Interview with Judith Samama-Patte, co-founder of the brand, Fresh Body Green Mind
Recently, the question of cannabis legalisation in France has led to many debates about consumption for the purpose of pain management, something which is permitted in some American states. Here in France, attention is increasingly turning to CBD, the abbreviation of the word, ‘cannabidiol’ which is one of the molecules found in cannabis (‘cannabis indica’ in Latin). Unlike THC, its famous big brother, this legal substance is not psychotropic. CBD boasts many virtues, notably; calming properties and anxiety reducing effects, as well as an ability to ease menstrual pains, fight against skin problems such as acne, reduce sleep difficulties and stress, and aid muscle recovery. It is legal in France as long as the percentage of THC is under 0.2. Fresh Body Green Mind’s oil is organic and made in France. CBD oil has only recently come onto the market. Still covered in a smoky cloud of preconceptions and various reservations, its market is microscopic and Paris stockists can be counted on one hand. It was this gap in the market that Judith Samama-Patte (journalist and author) and Sandrine Bridoux (yoga instructor) were eager to fill when they launched their brand in September 2019.
Made out of vegetable oil which is not strictly speaking skincare, CBD oil is something of a hybrid product. It is on the margins of the beauty and sports markets, as well as holistic well-being, which was originally introduced by the practice of yoga. A well-being wave has swept over these sectors as consumers seek to combine the practice of sport with better (or more conscious) consumption in general. Regulation of cosmetic products is increasingly tight, since we are just as cautious about what we put on our skin as what we put on our plates. CBD fulfils this desire to treat oneself naturally, without chemical products. Similarly, it caters to those looking for an alternative to typical anti-anxiety medications. Used for stress management in a society striving to be evermore efficient, CBD oil calms the body and relaxes the mind. Incidentally, the name of the mono-product brand evokes ideas of purity and serenity.
Calming aches and pains from within. Reflecting their status as a CBD oil brand, Fresh Body Green Mind was situated in the Beauté area of Who’s Next, amongst other stands which proudly promote a return to natural simplicity. There is also the beauty trend of rich body oils which remain dry yet silky to the touch, so that you can get dressed worry-free after application. It is within this myriad of ointments that a unique oil finds itself - an oil which does not slip under the clothes, but under the tongue. The streamlined bottles reflect the simple design of these beauty products. These small brown (in order to protect the product from light) vessels contain two distinct oil concentrations (5% and 10%), all equipped with a pipette for easy pick-up, with minimalistic packaging and branding. For Judith and Sandrine, the benefits of their very first stand at Who’s Next are colossal: encounters with the beauty brands which have surrounded them over these four days have enabled them to discuss their respective businesses and communications strategies, as well as to exchange advice on how to manage this young brand’s expanding community. The grouping of beauty brands into a dedicated area, and organisation of clothing brands into sectors, promotes the best conditions. Judith highlights her burgeoning brand’s important business stakes, announcing that Welcome Bazar Bio, a concept store for environmentally friendly products in Paris’ 11th district, will soon be stocking Fresh Body Green Mind’s oils.
A very simple product: no frills and minimalistic, much like the font used on the tinted bottles. The two channels of communication are the website and Instagram page, new essentials for the budding brand. Nowadays, not much is displayed on paper, which has become communication’s pet hate. As work tools are being completely digitalised, physical encounters are verging on becoming obsolete. When she speaks, she expresses herself clearly and honestly: in plain terms, she admits, “We don’t have visitors cards. We follow the people we meet directly on Instagram, since we try to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible. This also involves small acts: for example, since our shipments only contain oil packaged in small cardboard boxes, they are sent in a standard envelope - that’s it! I think that we’ve gotten too used to excess packaging and that has to change!” Zero-waste remains a goal which frames all production issues.
Transparency and collusion. These two entrepreneurs are firmly grounded in real life, thus offering an affordable product, aimed at an audience they relate to. Alongside the e-shop which currently stocks two different low-concentration oils, their site also publishes lifestyle articles; editorials about CBD mediation, inspiration, and nutrition advice and city recommendations. The brand’s offer is intended to be complete and complex, led by these two thinkers: Julie, whose love of writing was awakened by her former career as a fitness journalist, and yoga instructor Sandrine, who is passionate about well-being. Judith describes their current strategy: “We are predominantly guided by our instincts and impulses, so much so that we have already turned down propositions which didn’t instantly inspire us.” Since their business plan is adjusted according to their meetings. Moreover, they believe that when launching a brand, it is important to avoid putting up barriers. They praise ‘positive thinking’, a practice which consists of practicing self-reflection in order to reach happiness: “We are great believers in positive thinking. Nothing is impossible! You mustn’t be afraid of canvassing, because everything can have an impact.” Faux pas can be avoided by taking one’s time, just like a runner who opts for a steady pace in order to run for longer, not allowing himself to skip any steps. Their mindset can be summed up in a catchy slogan: ‘stay fresh, stay chill’. She laughs and explains, “We describe ourselves as chill dealers!”. In the near future, the range will welcome a new product which is both elusive and different. It may not even take the form of an oil - the mystery remains... The sale of CBD oils tends to proliferate as a certain trend takes shape. For example, the brand Kiehl’s, has just launched their Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate for problem skin. New ways of doing things both in consumption and general lifestyle are gradually taking hold, despite restrictive but nonetheless evolving legislation.