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Celebrate
Every Body.
The Anti Tag Line.

1 Jul, 2021 | Philosophy

Corporate Midlife Crisis?

Last year, around the time of Bali Secrets´ fifth birthday, my colleagues Katharina, Giles and I talked about our journey with the company so far. What started as a reflection on our values turned into a kind of soul searching session. During our conversation, many familiar questions came up: Who are we? What are our values? And most importantly, how do we want to show up in the world?

Was this just the corporate version of a premature midlife crisis? (My therapist says it wasn’t). I believe taking the time to reflect is essential. The last time we asked these questions was in the very beginning of our adventure. Now, five years in, it seemed the time was ripe to revisit the company’s foundation, and to ask new questions, too. What have we learned? Have our values changed? What do we want to do differently? How do we want to celebrate our successes and failures?

That’s when it happened. As we talked about the importance of celebration, the proverbial penny dropped. We realised our tagline had expired.

Until Further Notice,
Celebrate Everything.

Daily offering in Balinese shrine

Let’s Rewind.

It was a couple of years ago, when yet another inspirational post found its way into my Facebook timeline. Most of these posts slip by, sometimes inspiring nothing more than a roll of the eyes. But occasionally one sticks with me. That happened when I saw one that read: “Until further notice, celebrate everything.”

This simple line resonated deeply with me. Launching and running a business is a bit like a telenovela, with only slightly fewer dramatic gestures and evil twins. At first everything seems happy and romantic. Then – boom – plot twist. The mood switches from exhilaration to devastation and back again, all within one thirty-minute episode. I lost count of how many times I’ve seen small successes followed by small or not so small failures. One of our best selling days on Amazon was followed by an ugly one-star review written by a competitor. A silky smooth production run was followed by Fedex losing our shipment. C’est la vie.

At the time, ‘celebrate everything’ became Bali Secrets’ internal tagline, and by extension, my own. It became a reminder that helped my partners and me accept and acknowledge every step or stumble along journey as exactly that; the journey.

Read more about our ‘Celebrate Everything’ attitude here.

The Wacky, Weird World of the Beauty Industry

Group of four people wrapped in plastic

Bubbles & Scents.

We need to rewind a little further. If someone had told me years ago that someday I would co-own a brand of natural deodorant, I would have laughed at them. Until I was a part of it, I never thought about my ‘relationship’ to the beauty and personal care industry. Like many others, I was surrounded by my mom’s creams, tinctures, perfumes and makeup while growing up. As a child I thoroughly enjoyed the colourful, scented bath salts that turned my bathwater blue or purple. It smelled delicious, and oh boy were the bubbles fun!

Later, as a teenager, I had a friend who worked in a cosmetics and perfume store. During her apprenticeship she not only shared stacks of free samples with me, but also her disillusioning firsthand ‘behind the scenes’ insights. My teenage self quickly developed a suspicion: Maybe the beauty industry was not as beautiful as it made itself out to be?

When we launched Bali Secrets, none us had any practical experience in the beauty industry. All of us were customers of various brands (we’re not total hippies), and all of us shared both my childlike joy for bubbly, scented products, and my teenage self’s suspicion that the industry was a lot less pretty than it appeared. 

As a young brand, we wanted to be different. Duh! Of course we did. So how to position ourselves in a market whose most enduring tactic seemed to be exploiting peoples’ insecurities?

Natural Goodness for Everybody.
Or not.

Painted face of a woman on a wall with flowers as hair

We’re not the best.

Our first official tagline was ‘Natural Goodness for Everybody.’ It felt happy and inclusive, until it didn’t. Over the years, our customers helped us to understand that every body is different. While this diversity can be seen as a challenge, there is also a beauty to it. To acknowledge that everyone has individual needs, that body chemistries are different, that tastes and likes vary, actually feels good.

In the light of this individuality, isn’t it kind of ironic that so many brands proclaim that they offer ‘the best’ _________? I’ve used Bali Secrets deodorant every day since before we even launched. I love our product and it works great for me. We get a lot of customer love, and have even been called the ‘holy grail’ of the natural deodorant world. As good as this may feel, I still don’t believe that there is such a thing as ‘the best’ deodorant. This may be ‘the best’ deodorant for my body, but since your body is different than mine, it might not be ‘the best’ for you or someone else. 

Truth be told, we realised that ‘Natural Goodness for Everybody’ was in stark contrast with our reality. While it probably sounded fine, it turned out to be wishful thinking. Thanks to our customers, we learned that by definition our products can’t be for every body.  

Accept.
Tolerate.
Celebrate.

Colourful dots in a heart shape on black background

Celebrate Every Body.

As we came to understand that our tagline and the beliefs it represented had expired, the soul searching began. We talked about the diversity of needs and preferences, and it quickly became clear that this topic goes far beyond deodorants or the beauty industry.

The world seems to be increasingly divided by different perspectives and philosophies as to how life is meant to be lived. Seeing this all too often violent divide is painful. We believe that as long as people respect each other’s individualities, everyone is free to choose how to live their lives. Why force our ideas and values onto others?

We don’t just want to tolerate that people are different. We don’t just want to accept that people are different. We want to celebrate it. And we want to contribute something of value, especially to the wacky, weird world of the beauty industry.In that spirit, our new tagline was born:

Celebrate Every Body.

This is more than a slogan. It’s a way of being. As humans and as a company, we want to live in a world rooted in kindness and respect. A world where people sincerely care. Or, to put it bluntly, a world where we all give a shit – for ourselves, each other and our planet.

Celebrate Every Body.

Let’s celebrate each other. Celebrate our individuality. Celebrate our unique perspectives and experiences. Whatever age, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation and gender – We are all in this together.

Celebrate Every Body.

It is an invitation to you: Celebrate yourself – all of you – every part, every strength, every so-called flaw. It is an invitation to celebrate others for who they are. Every single day.

Celebrate Every Body.

P.S. Want to see more reasons to celebrate?
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Martin Leitner

Co-Founder

Martin’s inspiration is fuelled by Stand-up and Improv comedy, hikes and runs in nature, and good conversation. He’s responsible for Bali Secrets’ creative direction and branding, runs the UK company and keeps up the good vibes with his never ending optimism und unique sense of humour.

Oh look – There’s more!

How Bali Taught Me to Celebrate Everything

When we started Bali Secrets in 2015, none of us had any idea what we had signed up for. It quickly became clear that our expectations around timeliness and productivity were highly unrealistic, given that we were in a culture that proudly prioritises holidays and ceremonies ...

Read More

Two Balinese women carrying offerings at sunrise