Yes, you read that right Beachbody the well known fitness brand tried to take down 24 year old Amy…
I have been debating on writing this post for a while. I don’t want anyone to think I am bashing Beachbody as a lot of my friends utilize it and I don’t feel anything negative towards the company except that they took time out of their day to crush my small business. A company that only survives by others starting a small “business” through them to spread and grow the brand . Ok… I’m a little salty.
We will start the beginning… and I will warn you of some awful product photography that you will see in this post. A good camera and good lighting were not in my repertoire yet! Early 2016 I had joined Beachbody with a friend from college. After successfully completing one of the programs I signed up as a coach. I had a lot of fun sharing my fitness journey online with others and starting a side hustle.
At that time patterned hair ties were everywhere… and if you don’t know what I’m talking about here is a picture for reference:
Those bad boys were everywhere as well as the cards they went on… if you were getting married in 2016 I can bet you the bride gave these to everyone in the wedding party. Now being the entrepreneurial craft gal I am, I thought to myself “I can make those!” so I started an Etsy shop selling these wedding themed cards and hair ties.
I will admit the field was a little saturated, like I said they were popular and easy to make. So I started to brainstorm ways to grow my Etsy shop but stay within the same category. When I thought of getting the word out about my Beachbody business I thought what a great idea to make these Beachbody business cards, with my information and a hair tie! So I did… and it was a big hit!
From March 2016 to July 2016 I had around 40 orders… which was a lot for lil ol me! I loved helping other gals grow their Beachbody business! No one else on Etsy was doing what I was doing. There were sellers creating other promotional items, but I was the head hair tie lady! I became friendly with another seller who made vinyl Beachbody stickers for water bottles. We often linked together for giveaways/promotions and such! Ladies helping ladies grow – it was a great a time to be alive! My little Etsy shop began to expand and I started to get requests for orders outside of Beachbody! So I began making promotional items for Advocare, essential oils, candles, etc!
Things were looking great until I got a message from a woman named Cheryl… simple question: “Are you a Beachbody coach?” I was enthused to talk with anyone about my coaching business. So I said “Yes! I’d love to answer any questions about Beachbody!” Cheryl could care less… in fact she was just checking that I was authorized to utilize the Beachbody logo… Huh?
Little background information… when you work for these types of companies you get access to a lot of brand material to share on your social media, I thought that because I PAY to be a coach I was authorized to utilize the brand material provided to me. Well friends, I was NOT.
She then sent me a message about how she was part of Beachbody’s legal team and if I didn’t remove my products in X amount of time they would take action. She claimed that all products with the logo needed to be approved by cooperate and I violated that rule… I was freaked out so I deleted it all.
I reached out to the other girl I worked with and found out that they took worse action on her (she had a lot more sales than I). They suspended her coaching status until she took the items down from her shop. Both of our shops tanked and we both stopped selling on Etsy. We couldn’t understand the harm we had done. We were only trying to help the business grow bigger by helping others grow their business… which is kinda the whole point of Beachbody isn’t it?
I’d like to say I learned my lesson but when I tried to reopen my shop years later selling hand knit coffee koozies I was again threatened with legal action from BIC (yes, the pen company BIC) who have trademarked the word “koozie” which means only they can use it… big businesses man… I guess that was the start my personal revolution where I did my best to not shop big chains and only support small, local, secondhand businesses.
So that is my little story about my frontline battle with big business… hah! If 2020 Amy was put in this situation, I think I would have fought a little harder. What would you have done in this situation?