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Being a blogger has it’s perks. If you’re lucky a brand may contact you and offer to send you a free product to review and keep or maybe they will even pay you!
One perk I do want to explore more in 2018 is Blogger Events. Some brands are excellent in engaging with the blogging community and one brand that is getting more involved with bloggers is The Body Shop.
Yes, that high street staple of great quality beauty and skin products that has committed to being against animal cruelty.
I’ve loved The Body Shop as long as I can remember and I have fond memories of visiting my local store as a teenager and using my pocket money to purchase their bath beads (bath bombs were way off in the future!) and their animal shaped soaps, a blue dolphin being my favourite.
It’s a brand I know I can trust for fun products that are beautifully scented and is against animal cruelty. And as I get older being cruelty free becomes something I care about more and more.
So when I randomly came across a tweet from my local The Body Shop store manager asking for any local bloggers who wanted to come to a VIP blogger evening, I jumped at the chance!
I’ve not been to many blogger events as most of them are held in London or larger cities, so this was a real treat to have one in my own town.
So off I went one November evening recently, with my husband Dan in tow (we come as a pair!) to my local The Body Shop. I wasn’t sure how many people would be there but in total there was about 40 other local bloggers and Instragrammers.
I was welcomed by James and his wonderful team of staff. We were offered some fizz and nibbles and handed a goodie bag upon entry. I will add there was no charge to attend, which for what we received is amazing!
I had a good look around the shop, taking in all their festive ranges and new products, to which there was lots! Including amazing smelling bath bombs, for a mere £1.50 each, and a collaboration with fashion designer Henry Holland on a selection of their Christmas products and some very festive scents like Vanilla Chai and Frosted Plum.
We then had a talk by some of the staff which I found really interesting. For example I learnt that:
- The Body Shop store in Chichester was the second ever The Body Shop to open, and has been open for business ever since the mid 1970’s.
- After a little Google search I also learnt that Anita (the founder) needed a bank loan of £4000 to open the Chichester store, but kept getting refused by the banks. It wasn’t until a local business man stepped in, offered the full amount she needed for a stake in the business. Fast forward a number of years and that £4000 was worth well into the millions!
- Until June 2017, The Body Shop has been owned by L’Oreal after Anita sold it for well over £100m. There was controversy around the new owners as L’Oreal has a reputation of testing on animals which is against The Body Shop’s ethics.
- The Body Shop has since been brought by a company called Natura who Anita knew and the companies views are much aligned to that of The Body Shop’s own.
- Anita started the company by making all the products herself and would often recycle the bottles, as well as being more ethical, it helped as she didn’t have the supply of new bottles to use!
- The first ever The Body Shop in Brighton was situated in between two under takers, and Anita used this to her advantage as it was seen odd having a ‘Body Shop’ between two such businesses and used this to create PR for the shop.
- The Body Shop is the first ever brand to being fully committed to being against animal testing and still is to this day.
- Their body butters are so called, as when Anita was making them at her kitchen table, her children thought they looked like butter and the name stuck!
- Interestingly my friend used to work at The Body Shop UK head office based near Littlehampton a few miles up the road. She worked as a buyer and it is her we thank for coming up with their 3 for 2 offers on the body butters.
After hearing about the history of the company and getting to sample some of their festive ranges, we were free to shop!
The staff in the shop (and I’m sure across all the over The Body Shop stores) are so helpful and friendly and their customer service is second to none.
They even said we could have 30% off our purchases that evening, including their advent calendars which normally do not get discounted.
And to add to their already generous offers, they said if we spend over £30 we get a free gift worth £20, which included a full size shower gel and a body butter. I naturally went for the strawberry scent and they even gave us all a free personalised sticker to put on our body butter tub.
This is a new service across the stores and allows you for free, to print a sticker with the name of your recipient (or you if you’re treating yourself!) to go on the body butter. Perfect for a gift for Christmas!
I did end up using this as an opportunity to spend a fair amount and get some Christmas gifts. I did purchase one of their advent calendars, which I will be sharing each day from the 1st December on my blog, what I get on each day.
I also got one of their new metallic lip colours as I think these will be great for the party season and they are only £6! I also got a few other bits, but I don’t want to share them all as they are going to be Christmas presents.
Another great element to the evening was chatting to other local bloggers. It was great to have an opportunity to find other local like minded people and find out that there is more than just me who blogs in my area. I’m looking forward to their next event in January to get to catch up with them.
I also took the liberty to have a chat to James, who had spent quite some time planning and setting up the event. James had recently come from Lush, who we know are well engaged with the social media community, and James wanted to bring this to The Body Shop.
He took the idea of the blogger event to Head Office and got the buy in from the Retail Director. Little did James know that the Retail Director took this as an opportunity to surprise him with a visit earlier that day!
James created a lot of the graphics for the event himself, but you’d never know as they looked so well made.
I could tell he had put in a lot of effort and with the support of his team and it paid off, as I had a great time and felt thoroughly spoilt.
There are plans for a similar event to be held in the Isle of Wight on the back of this event and who knows, this could become a regular feature in a number of The Body Shop stores around the country on the back of James’s work. Which is exactly what Anita strived for, breaking the boundaries and thinking outside the box.
I think I have now reaffirmed my love for The Body Shop and I’m sure you will too when you next visit a The Body Shop store!
Love and hugs,
Below are some of the products I brought: