Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Founder Friday Feature:
Brittany Bygrave of Butter’d Bodycare

How Brittany Bygrave is building a body care brand that celebrates and nurtures your skin exactly as it is

The founder of Butter’d Bodycare, Brittany Bygrave, explains, “Our origin story begins way before I thought of the name, the label, or even the products we have. In my teens, l tried every moisturizer you can think of for my skin. I have eczema, acne, and super dry skin. So at a young age, when you’re first figuring out makeup and starting to like boys, I was just overwhelmed by how my skin showed up.”

When Britney was 17, she began to create her own skincare using all-natural ingredients. “I made [the product] for myself for two or three years, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I realized there were people who wanted a product like this. My roommates started borrowing my products, and eventually, I started selling to my larger community. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I just knew that people wanted this thing I was creating.” Fast forward a few years, and Brittany graduated from college and got “a big fancy job.” However, when the pandemic hit, she decided it was time to formally re-launch and re-imagine her undergraduate business, and she launched what is now Butter’d Bodycare in early 2021. 

Launching Butter’d Bodycare

“I had to put my head down at first because I needed to figure out how I wanted to do this thing. I worked with chemists to reformulate the product for mass production and put more intention into the ingredients. We now have fairtrade ingredients sourced from Ghana, and our packaging is 80% plastic-free.”

“At first, I solely sold free sample packets to get feedback on the product…I relied on my previous customers from college to support different tests and give me unbiased feedback. I also went to TikTok. I utilized skin influencers to give me feedback and share the product with their community. That’s when I discovered that so many people want fun[body care] products that don’t remind them they have a skin condition like eczema or dry skin.”

After months of development, Butter’d launched the brand with one product, their “All Fluff Body Cream,” an unscented body cream targeting those with chronically dry, sensitive skin like Brittany. She explains, “It was our only product so it had to stand on its own, and that was the brand for the first year. We only had one product and one size, and it was our defining product — it said, ‘Here we are. This is what we do.”

Releasing new products

“I’m a fan of unscented products, but a lot of our customers aren’t. We launched a mango body cream in the spring of 2022, and it was based on the request of our customers. We did a survey asking, ‘If we did a scent, what would you want it to be?’ Mango was around 82%, so it was a no-brainer…These [products] are requests from our consumers, and we have a couple of products coming up [this year] that we created because of consumer feedback.”

Despite the scented versions Butter’d has since launched, Brittany remains committed to offering unscented products for sensitive customers. “I’ve made it my philosophy that every additional category we enter into, we will start with an unscented version and then branch out into scent.”

How to get comfortable showing up on social media

“We built the brand completely organic with no ads to date on social media, so social media is quite literally, no pun intended, our bread and butter. And it’s because I treat everyone like they’re my friend…I don’t post on my personal social media anymore because I’m always on Butter’d. I try my best to be as relatable and authentic as possible to cut through the noise. Of course, our page is filled with cute product photos and things like that, but I’m never shy to share what’s going on and ask for feedback. I have videos on our page where it’s just me in front of the camera, asking, ‘Which one is better?”

Brittany credits some of her ease with social media to her Gen Z identity. “We grew up on social media, but I understand why some founders struggle with it. I have founder friends who come to me for advice, and I tell them that it’s a hump you have to get over — an ‘I don’t care’ moment that comes over you. It’s vulnerable to post what’s going on behind the scenes, and it’s much easier said than done. It takes practice and positive self-talk to leap into social media.”

The hardest part of running Butter’d

“Funding,” Brittany says without skipping a beat. “For the first two or three years, it was mainly me funding the inventory. I wasn’t paying myself, and we stuck to that one product because I was scared to expand. I was reinvesting every dollar back into the product.” To mitigate her cash-flow stress, Brittany began applying to just about every grant she could find. “It took a lot of time, research, and planning. I met with people who were doing the same grant as me and we helped each other, or I would ask mentors to look over my application…I applied to over 100 grants and received six.”

Brittany’s hard work paid off and the funding from these six grants has allowed her to create new products. Brittany explains, “It has been awesome to be able to create [new products] again because that’s what I started the business to do — to create and of course, make money. But it takes money to make money as everyone says.”

“[Funding] will continue to be a struggle, but we don’t want to fundraise too early. I’m always open to the opportunity to chat with investors who may be interested now or later, but we’re trying to keep our heads down and focusing on our next steps, which means creating better products, honing in our community, and making sure we’re a profitable, healthy company.”

Brittany’s advice to fellow founders

“Find what makes you so unique that someone else can’t replicate it.” When Brittany first began Butter’d, she explains, “I was emulating the brands that inspired me so much that I was neglecting my unique factor. It took me months and a lot of conversations with myself to figure out what [my unique factor] is. What makes us different is our story, not imitating huge brands that don’t have a story. They pay millions to craft a story that is maybe half as good as mine. Define yourself and your brand for who you are instead of what business is booming or what’s trending — we’re all in this for a reason, and when you have an authentic, powerful story, nobody else can’t replicate it.”

If you’re interested in trying Butter’d Bodycare, Brittany offered a discount for StartUp CPG community members. For 25%, click here or enter code StartupCPG.

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