Sandra Navarette

Founder, Bodynew

I remember that from a very young age I was restless, and I liked to create things. Driven by my passion for research and knowledge I learned to read at 3 years old. I launched my first venture when I was 12. At that time, my school taught us arts and crafts and gave us drawing homework. My friends didn't like drawing or homework, so I proposed to charge them for doing their homework so they could have the afternoon off and charged 500 pesos per task. I did this until the teacher caught on to the similarity between all our drawings!

I got into university to study chemical engineering, organizing my time so I could work and study. I had several jobs, including promoter and teacher in an institute, leaving very little time for myself and to rest. After some time working at such a pace, I suffered from stress and had paralysis on the right side of my body. Though I didn't suffer major relapses, my recovery still took 8 months. I asked my college professor to postpone my studies until I was well. I am grateful to my classmates and teachers for their support; I managed to finish my degree at the age of 22 with the top marks in my class.­

My first job after university was as a Project Manager at a mining company. In this company I grew up a lot, I trained myself to take charge of different areas and completed a Masters in Environment and a Diploma in Materials Corrosion. After 5 years I was offered an opportunity to work in a multinational company and I took it. Within my first year I was already in charge of the factory, taking charge opened my eyes to the idea that I could be an entrepreneur. This is how I came up with the creation of Plamet Engineering, my first small business. Although it was growing, the business did not provide enough for me to be sure that I could support my children and pay the mortgage. I think the fear of not knowing if you can succeed is one of the problems we have as entrepreneurs. While running this new venture, I learned that my father had cancer and that he had 6 months to live. I decided to look for a more secure environment that would allow me to care for and support my father.

Looking for work, I got an offer for a cosmetics company, an area that had always fascinated me, but that I had never worked in. In the end I chose to take another job in the mining industry, with which I was already familiar. That job gave me the opportunity to support my dad with his medical expenses, but sadly he died the following year. My father's passing gave me the resolution to do what I had always dreamed of doing: having a cosmetic company.

This is how my current venture, Bodynew, was born. Bodynew's first year I focused on product development and testing with consumers. The second year I started going to fairs at malls around Santiago to publicize my brand, and in the third year I went out to sell to regions. In 2018, while still at my previous job, I negotiated to work only four days a week, Monday through Thursday, allowing me Friday and weekend to focus on my company. In those early days, Bodynew offered only conventional cosmetics, but as I progressed I developed a 100% natural dermocosmetic line. Through my experience in the market I identified a need for products associated specifically with skin problems, which led me to reinvent my products. My product line is born to treat rosacea.

In 2017 I started having health problems. After seeing 8 doctors, neurosurgeons, traumatologists and neurologists, they discovered that I had a small tumor on my sciatic nerve. But this did not stop me from moving forward. In December 2018, the Mujeres Emprendedoras organization in Chile named me “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”. In April 2019, I quit my job as a development manager and dedicated myself 100% to Bodynew. Today I have a line of 12 products and I am studying to create 5 more. Every product that I develop starts I start people’s needs first.

To drive my company further I have also dedicated myself to training in this industry and I am finishing a Masters in Dermocosmetics in Madrid.  In 2019, my third year of business, I have quadrupled sales and I hope to continue growing. I already have clients from Arica to Puerto Montt, and I hope to start exporting soon.

I entered the Female Foundry program in November 2019, despite the unrest and protests in Chile at the time. I immersed myself in the three days of bootcamp where I received a lot of knowledge, and where I could see my company from others’ eyes. I realized that I had been moving away from my main objective as a businesswoman, and Female Foundry gave me the roadmap and tools to continue growing.