Body Catalyst founder and CEO Samantha Barakat Light reveals the inspiration behind her growing body business.
Tell us what inspired you to set up Body Catalyst?
“I started Body Catalyst three years ago after I found that irrespective of how well people ate or how much they exercised, they would still retain weight in certain areas. Coming from a Health Science background, the disconnect between the two fascinated me as much as it frustrated me. What was even more concerning was how this disconnect affected people’s confidence (including my own). In-fact, the harder we work at keeping our bodies healthy and happy, the more frustrating it is to have pockets of fat insistent on sticking around.”
What was the treatment that sparked a lightbulb moment for you?
“When I learned of cryolipolysis (non-surgical liposuction), I was excited to find a treatment that helped this very issue by stimulating and working with the body’s natural processes. Up until then, changing the shape of the body was a luxury reserved for the likes of celebrities or the very wealthy. My vision was to make this technology accessible to everyone and with Body Catalyst I achieved that.”
How does Body Catalyst differ from other clinics offering fat loss treatments?
“Body Catalyst has been built around offering a holistic approach to helping our customers reach their body goals, combining leading technology with expertise in nutrition, health and wellness. All of our therapists are qualified nutritionists. We are fully invested in helping our clients not only reach their body goals but maintaining them.”
What are some of the most commonly asked for procedures?
“Fat Freezing (Cryolipolysis) is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, medically proven to reduce fat in treated areas by 20-30 percent. A special vacuumed applicator is applied to an area of the body and a controlled cooling technique lowers the treatment area to -9C. As fat cells cannot survive at this temperature, the fat cells crystallise, die and over a period of three months naturally eliminate from the body, making way for a new body shape to appear. So basically you kill the fat. Body Catalyst was the first business to pioneer this technology outside of plastic surgeries, so we have been able to make this service more accessible and affordable for our clients.”
Have you noticed a dramatic rise in people looking for fat loss alternatives?
“People are always looking at ways to make themselves the best versions of themselves that they can be physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Body Contouring is not an alternative to traditional fat loss methods such as healthy eating and regular exercise, rather it is a beautiful adjunct treatment that can greatly accelerate fat loss results. It also gives people the ability to target specific areas on their body, which diet and exercise has not been able to shift.”
What has been your most memorable moment in business?
“It was the realisation that that we don’t only offer our clients a physical shift in their bodies, rather we offer them an emotional shift about the way they feel about themselves. I think this is the most rewarding part of my business hearing how changes to our customers bodies has helped their confidence and in turn acted as a catalyst for positive change. For this, I’m grateful.”
Anything you wish you had have known when starting out?
“Oh boy, where do we start? That once you start a business you’re in. There is no turning back! That as the owner you get stuck with all the tasks that no one else wants to do. You don’t have to have all the answers (and I surely don’t). Just ask the right people the right questions. Surround yourself with amazing staff and experts in their fields and they will help you build a beautiful and successful business.”
What are some of the highlights of your role as founder?
“Last year was a pretty momentous year as we opened seven new clinics, rebranded, developed two new websites and implemented two new CRM systems. We also quadrupled our workforce and opened clinics in shopping centres.”
Any advice to other budding entrepreneurs?
“Just do it. Too many people spend too much time thinking and not doing. Business and environments are forever changing so it doesn’t matter how much you plan you always have to pivot and adapt. So get started, be persistent and get ready to be resilient.”
If you hadn’t founded Body Catalyst what would we find you doing?
“Having started some other business. At the time I came across body contouring I was also looking at an Inner City Cellar Door and a Co-Working Business.”
What are your plans for the business in 2019?
“Opening new clinics, increasing efficiencies within current clinics, constantly looking at ways of improving the customer experience and the employee experience and learning how to manage from afar with the addition of my second child.”