OVER COFFEE WITH: Saasha Burns from BEAR
[ In a new segment, I will be interviewing different women from an array of areas, careers & backgrounds who epitomise the words; inspiring, driven & organised. ]
My third interview is with BEAR founder & creative director Saasha Burns. Newly launched, BEAR is a bespoke range of Essential Daily Vitamins made from native plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy. As an avid fan myself (since the launch in Byron Bay a few months ago), it was an absolute pleasure chatting to this driven, talented, organised & stunning woman about how & why she began BEAR, how she juggles modelling + work life and her plans for the future...
NAME: Saasha Burns
OCCUPATION: Founder & Creative Director of BEAR
How did ‘BEAR’ come about?
It happened really organically and stemmed from a natural gap we identified when we went to purchase vitamins a number of years ago. Standing in a chemist, we were overwhelmed by choice and honestly didn’t know which brand we could trust to deliver real benefits. My husband Sam and I founded BEAR to solve this underlying fog that surrounds the current vitamin landscape. The discerning BEAR customer has experienced the same frustration; standing in a chemist or supermarket trying to decipher the aisles packed with a mryiad of low-quality supplements.
Our bespoke range of Essential Daily Vitamins are based on four distinct lifestyle territories, are gender neutral and contain the highest quality, simplified ingredients proven in efficacy, safety and stability.
What gave you the confidence to start BEAR & how did you know the time was right?
We both had experience in other areas of business and Sam had recently completed his MBA, but we took a fresh perspective to the industry and questioned every facet of the traditional vitamin supply chain. From the start, we were always clear about our insights and vision for BEAR and set out to develop a high quality Australian product based on simplicity, design and function. It’s been a journey of research and discovery and we had worked closely with a strong team of natropaths, compounding pharamsists and medical professionals for over two years before we launched. We are always refining our ideas and processes, always looking to the future. We felt it was the perfect time to launch BEAR as the supplement industry had never been more confusing, yet the solution had never been clearer.
There really is no better time than now to ‘just start’ and excecute your ideas. We’ve had such an overwhelmingly positive response since our launch and the support has been incredible from our family and friends.
What is the one piece of advice you would give budding entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?
From the beginning we built a strong network of thought leaders who helped guide us across all facets of our business, from our legal foundation to our operational processes. We were really fortunate that we could draw on such an amazing, well-credentialed group of people early on in the BEAR journey who helped challenge our thinking and bring our ideas to life. This would my first recommendation to starting a new business.
To date, who have you looked up to over your career?
Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox – for her inate sense of style, leadership, authenticity and kindness.
Work wise, what has been your highlight & your most challenging moment/s to date?
The most challenging moments are always the most rewarding. Each year brings new opportinuties and I have been fortunate to work with and meet some incredibly talented people as Creative Director of BEAR, with my work as a model with Chadwick and travel writer for my website Straat Stories. Launching BEAR in Mecca across Australia and New Zealand has been a definite career highlight and I’m excited to conitue to challenge ourselves and the build the BEAR brand moving forward.
And… in general how do you manage / juggle BEAR life with your modelling / influencer life?
I try to be as flexible as possible with my schedule. At the start of every year I set some goals, both big and small, and work out our international travel plans for the months ahead. Each week is different and I still like to document my schedule in a hard copy diary. I like to include a number of daily health rituals into my routine which helps to keep me focused – such as going for a long walk, a hot yoga class or getting an early night sleep.
What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?
1. I love setting goals and focus points at the start of every year, and revisiting them every few months.
2. Rising early sets me up to be creative and productive – a few coffees also help keep me focused!
3. I always use a diary to physically document my days – meetings, projects and achievements.
What is your workspace style & what essentials would we find on your desk at the moment?
My desk is surpringsly organized! You’ll find a few of my favourite publications including Cereal and Russh, alongside a Le Labo Santal 26 candle and our BEAR Explore Essential Daily Vitamins. I also have a framed wedding photo of Sammy and his mates in their tuxedos overlooking the Amalfi Coast. I’d love to go back to that moment…
How would you describe your personal style in 3-5 words…
Understated, yet refined. My staples are high waisted denim, a black boyfriend tee and my Acne leather jacket.
Where to from here? What are your personal career goals & plans for BEAR?
We are always looking to the future and planning our next adventure. I love being challenged and feel most inspired when travelling, meeting new people and exploring new cities. With BEAR, we are in the process of developing a new product range which we hope to launch later in the year. We’ve had an amazing international response to the brand and we will be basing ourselves in London in August and are really excited by the new opportunities that will bring. With Straat Stories, I am working with some amazing brands on their content strategies, both within Australia and overseas. I can’t wait to share what we have been working on!
FOLLOW SAASHA + BEAR