Take Time for Self-Care
James Wong is the entrepreneur behind BeGood, a natural body care brand that wants us all to be good to ourselves and the world
In the hustle and bustle of the city, we tend to neglect the little things that help us relax and feel centred and this could lead to stress. Conditions that stress can lead to include hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more. Taking the time to decompress and be good to yourself could make a world of difference when it comes to your physical and mental health.
We had the chance to speak to James Wong, the entrepreneur and founder behind BeGood to find out how and why we should all be good to ourselves and the world.
1Twenty80: Could you tell us about BeGood and what you aim to present to your customers?
James Wong: BeGood is a natural body care brand that reminds us all to take a bit of time out our daily hectic life to be good to ourselves and the world around us. Be it a relaxing bath, body scrub or applying body oils just before we sleep or to perk us up in the morning, to that all empowering swipe of lip balm before a major presentation. My ultimate aim is for my customers to realise the importance of self-care.
1Twenty80: What is your background and do you do BeGood full time?
James: BeGood is a passion project and not full time. My background is in art and design which provides me the foundation to continuously see inspiration from smell, sights, people and culture. I then turn them into products and scents based on life stories and essential oils in hopes to continue to bring some goodness into a person’s life.
1Twenty80: What inspired you to start your business?
James: Upon graduating from my MBA, I was at a crossroad of my career and I didn’t know what’s next or how to reinvigorate myself after the tiring journey of balancing work and school. I was inspired by an MBA class on sustainable business and wanted to try that too.
I revisited a childhood passion – essential oils. This inspired me to create products for myself such as lip balm to balance and centre myself during the day. That sparked a line of products that are 100 percent natural and uncompromised in terms of ethics in ingredients and packaging grounded on the core purpose to inspire all who uses it to be good to ourselves and the world around us.
With this, BeGood continues to develop environmentally friendly products, and to date, BeGood also allocates five percent of our sales to a charity of our choice. This is done to fund their good efforts but also to use BeGood as a platform to feature and share information about these charitable organisations.
1Twenty80: When was your store launched and what kind of obstacles did you face?
James: When BeGood first launched, we were small (and we still are). It was difficult getting into flea markets as we are less known and this meant customers may hesitate to test and purchase the products. While doing good is great, a business needs to be self-sufficient in order to fund our good intent. It was a struggle but with the support of all our customers, friends and family, we’re doing much better.
1Twenty80: How was it like during the early days?
James: Like all start-ups, it was home-made in a kitchen and personally mixed, packed and sold. We had help from friends to help mind the store and now have partners who stock our products making it available as and when our customers need them. This helps us focus on producing products and developing new ones.
1Twenty80: What makes BeGood’s products different compared to others
on the market?
James: All our products are 100 percent natural, made with food-safe ingredients such as sugar, salt, flour, tea or herbs which complements our core ingredient – essential oils. Our philosophy has always been if it is good enough to eat it should be good enough for the skin. Essential oils are used instead of fragrances because essential oils have natural properties which calms, relaxes and heals.
We don’t just stop at being good to the skin, but also good for the environment whereby we ensure our packaging can be recycled and if bottles are returned, the next purchase would receive a discount. The bottles would then be cleaned and recycled. Ultimately, we are working towards reduced waste production.
1Twenty80: WHO INSPIRES YOU TO BE THE SUCCESSFUL PERSON YOU ARE TODAY?
James: Oprah Winfrey inspires me on two levels. Firstly, as a person who continues to inspire others by being a channel of sharing and changing communities through her book clubs and other charities.
With all the good she does despite all the challenges; I could only hope to be like her by using myself as a channel for good. While she does good, she herself is a brand that cuts across multiple facades of one’s life and have pushed for living better through magazines, television, talks and books. With that she has built an organisation which is not only profitable but also purpose driven.
Quote: I think one key advice which was given to me when I first started and would like to pass on is “just go for it”.
1Twenty80: How do you ensure that you stay healthy while managing your business?
James: Four words: ‘Framework, Food, Fitness, Freshness’.
Framework: Planning time to work and rest. By putting a framework around time, I am able to get more things done during the day and it also ensures that I can make time for the other ‘F’ matters.
Food: To eat for health is an absolute must, which involves eating clean and balanced meals. Hence, I meal prep my next few meals to ensure that I have food ready and won’t accidentally not eat amidst balancing work and my passion for BeGood.
Fitness: Allocating time for exercising ensures that all the toxins accumulated from stress are released. But it also provides headspace during training to allow the mind to rest and come back with a new perspective.
Freshness: This is sleep that helps focus and manage fatigue leading to better health but most importantly to be optimal when spending time running the business. As I become more alert to my personal circadian rhythms and accept its uniqueness, I plan my life around it to ensure I have sufficient sleep.
1Twenty80: What do you do to unwind?
James: It would be cliché to share that I use aromatherapy to unwind; but the reality is that I do. Essential oils centre me and so do the products that I make. I take preventive approaches to ensure that I don’t get tangled or all strung up. This means starting the day right that involves spending time exercising and setting the intention for the day as inspired by Mel Robbins, lighting up aromatherapy or burning sage or palo santos and saying a prayer. Doing these ensure that I set the momentum for the day and ground the mood of the day. Setting the right foundation ensures that I am unfrazzled.
1Twenty80: Words of wisdom to any of our readers who want to become an entrepreneur or chase their dreams?
James: I think one key advice which was given to me when I first started and would like to pass on is “just go for it”. Usually taking the first step is the toughest. We all have great ideas and will continue to have them even after starting the business, but to take the leap to make it, test it, share it and sell it, shift it beyond just an idea into the realm of reality – that is when we turn dreams into reality. If we fail, at least we knew the cause and we can always start again. So just leap!
Find BeGood at: NUDE The Zero Waste Store
11A, Jalan 19/29, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Facebook.com/BeGoodTo