When Covid hit early last year, Froth N Flames went from doing pop-up shops, markets and online to just being online, which became its only source of income.
For founder, Tracey Barnes, this was a reason to look at other avenues to generate income including B2B.
“We have predominately been a boutique retail style store and during the outbreak of Covid in Melbourne we had around 40 events cancelled,” she says.
“I began to research the benefits of splitting our focus to include B2B. At the same time the Australian Government released a number of grant opportunities for small businesses. We quickly got on board with the business events grant scheme.”
Melbourne Gift & Lifestyle was the brand’s first B2B event. “I found the event to be highly successful. I am naturally a shy person so find it hard to approach stores to stock my products. At a trade show people approach if they have a need or want for our products.”
Froth N Flames was launched in 2010, after both her kids where diagnosed on the autism spectrum and Barnes had to step down from regular work to care for them. She started the business in her spare time.
“As time went by and their needs were less I focused more on the business―it has been my full-time job for the last five years. I chose the field of bath body and home fragrance because in my early years I had worked in a laboratory making homeopathic medicine. The love of creating followed me throughout my life.
“When the children where small I noticed that different scents and fragrances affected their moods. With much research I developed my first line, a bath and foot soak. Research told me that many people on the autism spectrum are naturally deficient in magnesium. Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts improved my son’s behaviour dramatically.”
The bath and foot soak is all natural with pure essential oils, food grade Himalayan salts and pharmaceutical grade Epsom salts. It is evident that not everyone has the time nor like having baths, she says, but everyone has time to put salts in a bucket of hot water and work on their computer or watch TV. You still get the benefits of all the ingredients this way.
Froth N Flames has always been about creating handmade products at affordable prices, adds Barnes. “Looking after the environment has been ingrained in me since I was a young child. My parents’ environmental ethics and conservation activities are a part of who I am, and a part of our business. We purchase all our ingredients from local businesses. I am of the mindset we all need to support local businesses and families.”
While the B2B business has been very successful so far, the brand has returned to its pre-Covid events in a reduced capacity, however, the look and feel is a little different.
“Our goal is to build on our B2B customer base and continue with a smaller retail presence. We want to maintain our boutique image and feel. Our stockists are selected with the mind of not oversaturating the marketplace.
“This year is very exciting for us, we have some more B2B events booked later in the year plus my personal favourite, the Mind Body Spirit festival in June. Our goal is to bring my husband into the business full-time. There is an aim for some new product releases in the second half of the year.
“I have several new items in the testing phase. I still get excited every time we receive an order. It validates all the hard work and effort put in to all our products. The intent is to touch people’s lives and bring some happiness.”