Alisa and Lysandra's al.ive body success and DIY renovation tips

As Australia was being plunged into lockdown, Alisa and Lysandra Fraser made a big decision amid growing uncertainty around the country.


Everyone’s favourite Block twins, who won the series in 2013, had been refining the plans and products behind the March launch of their very own start-up for 12 months.


But on March 11, the novel coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and, by the end of the month, Australia’s borders were closed and panic-buying saw toilet paper make national headlines.


The pair didn’t panic, though, instead sticking to, and believing in, their vision – a trait which has been the cornerstone to their success – and the personal care range al.ive body was born in a time when not many knew what the world would look like more than a week in advance.

“We definitely questioned whether we had made a terrible mistake when Covid hit right as we were getting ready to launch the brand,” Alisa tells Place Journal.


“But despite the panic we think we knew our research and development was spot on and that we had a winning product on our hands.


“What helped us through was the confidence in our concept and preparation.


“We saw a gap in the market and knew we had the idea to fill it. It was so obvious to us what was needed - beautiful personal care products that serve both the aesthetic and product purity desires of the premium consumer.”


Rarely, they thought, did a brand focus on both.


Sure, it was certainly a good time to enter the hand wash market, and launch an online business when many had no choice but to shop that way.


But it’s the clear focus and determination to deliver on the vision that saw al.ive body expand rapidly over the first nine months and, by two years, employ 12 staff members and receive interest from international markets.


It’s also helped the decision-making process along the way and kept the twins, who also run Alisa and Lysandra Interiors, on the same page.


Well as often as humanly possible when working together full-time, running two businesses in the same office in Adelaide - the city they grew up in.


“When we do (disagree on something), we don’t hold back,” Lysandra laughs.


“While there was plenty of robust discussion throughout the process, what helped us find common ground was that our vision for the brand and product was clear and shared by both of us.


“Ultimately, we could always distill any difference of opinion down to ‘what will best help our vision come to life?’”


Alisa jumps in. “Bringing it back to our vision solved 99 per cent of arguments.”

This line of thinking is also among the first pieces of advice they give DIY renovators.


“By having a clear concept from the start it helps you assess every decision you need to make through the lens of ‘does this deliver on my vision?’” Alisa explains.


“We recommend researching and creating mood boards for your space before you tackle even your first project.”


As expected, though, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. But the bumpy ride over the past two years isn’t going to slow them down.


“It’s definitely been a challenge, trying to run two businesses through the ups and downs, as well as keep our families happy and healthy,” Lysandra admits.


“But the success of both businesses is a wonderful reward for all of our hard work, and we are excited about what the next 12 months will bring.”


Along with the continued growth of al.ive body, which now features a 100% palm oil-free baby care range, there are three more series of The Design Duo in the works, including ‘Twin-Off’, where they will build their separate family homes next door to each other – a project which has the duo excited to “flex their own individual design tastes and skills”.


“We have several exciting product launches in the next 12 months that we can’t wait to share… our customers are hungry for new al.ive body products in every room of their homes.


“We’re also exploring new markets, we get requests from customers all over the world who would love to be able to buy al.ive body products in their local stores. It’s a really exciting time for the business and we love watching it grow and thrive.”


Growing out of Adelaide?


"We love living and working here, it’s just such an easy city to live your life in," Alisa adds.


"We’re born and raised here, and couldn’t imagine running our business anywhere else."

See al.ive body products in a Place feature on a recently renovated beach house


ALISA AND LYSANDRA’S DIY TIPS


Find the right tradies Our number one tip is to work with trustworthy and reliable tradespeople, because it is their work that will make or break your renovation. Even if you’re doing most of the work yourself, you will need trades for things like plumbing and electrical. Tradies that come recommended from friends and family, and whose work you can witness/inspect yourselves are worth their weight in gold. Otherwise, if searching, read their website and google reviews, and check in community renovation groups like on Facebook for evidence of good work and service.


Know your concept, follow your vision We recommend researching and creating mood boards for your space before you tackle even your first project. By having a clear concept from the start it helps you assess every decision you need to make through the lens of ‘does this deliver on my vision?” and you won’t get distracted or go off track.