Two 12-year-old best friends make a splash in the fight against food insecurity in Los Angeles County
Friends for most of their lives, Addison and Haley, started Bath & Body by the Seaside – a business specializing in bath and body products when they were 8 years old. The two incorporate giving back to their community whenever they can and most recently they raised enough money to help the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank provide 2,600 meals to food-insecure children, seniors, families and individuals.
“During COVID-19, we donated to the LA Regional Food Bank and we realized food insecurity was a huge problem especially during the pandemic and we wanted to do something about it,” Addison said over Zoom in a virtual interview with the Food Bank. “We also donated to the LA Regional Food Bank because we research a lot into what we are donating to and they are providing 4 meals for every one dollar, which is so much versus some other charities.”
Haley added, “We decided to donate through our business because we always thought it was super important to give back to our community and we’ve always tried to incorporate it into anything that we do. Our first stand near our local farmers market – we donated to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Association since I just lost my grandfather to Parkinson’s Disease. Ever since then, we’ve always wanted our business to not just be about us but to give back to the community. The organizations we pick always have to do with current events that are happening like during the 2019 LA fires we donated to the LA Fire Department Foundation.”
The Food Bank is honored to be the latest non-profit of choice for Bath & Body by the Seaside in their effort to support the community. In the course of two years, the entrepreneurs have donated more than $1,000 to various charities.
The dynamic duo originally met at their then-local library when they were two years old. Addison moved to a new LA neighborhood at age 3 and then Haley and her mom eventually moved nearby and the two are neighbors again. They’ve been friends ever since and their relationship has evolved.
“We started our business four years ago and we sell all sorts of bath and body products such as hand sanitizers, scrubs, soaps, candles, bug sprays, bug repellants,” Haley said.
Addison added that they loved making concoctions and both loved bath products so they “decided to channel [their] creativity into something actually productive.”
Bath & Body by the Seaside has given the two an opportunity to gain real-life experience in running and managing a business in many different ways.
Things the two have learned include “costs and revenue, donating back to the community, marketing and packaging and which marketing strategies do not work. For example, we tried taking a cart around to each house but that did not work as well. Then, when we created an Etsy account and we realized how much better it was since people could buy and sell products wherever they were and they didn’t have to come to us. We’ve also learned a lot about packaging. It has been better each time we’ve sold and our labels are becoming more professional. We’ve realized how much packaging can really sell your product just as much as the product itself.”
“No matter what donation, what you do, it always makes a difference no matter how small it is and everything you do can make a difference,” Haley says. “And it feels so good to give back to the community.”
It is thanks to generous people like Addison and Haley who help the Food Bank reach more people than ever before as the pandemic and its related economic downfall impacts all parts of the community. Addison and Haley are bright examples of how powerful it is when we come together as a community and that having each other is all we have and that that is how we will get through this and beyond. Together, #WeFeedLA.