Coastal living interviews // BONDI WASH

What was the 1 product that began the journey?

I knew I needed to understand what was in the products, so I started making a hand wash from scratch. I sourced some ingredients online and would add the different essential oil fragrance blends I was also playing around with.  It was lovely to use and smelt great but looked cloudy and gluggy – pretty awful really.  But I was proud of it at the time.  The Bench Spray followed not long after.  And then I realised I needed professional help and found a chemist to help refine the formulations.

 

What plants types are used in Bondi Wash products?

Each scent is designed around an Australian botanical – but often these native oils are intense so we balance them with other oils from around the world, adding top, middle and base notes just like a perfume.  The other ingredients are derived from coconut, sugar cane, corn, potato, sunflower seeds, jojoba, aloe vera and more.  The only non-plant-based ingredients we use are food-grade preservatives to keep the products shelf stable when required.

 

Was there a product that was a bit troublesome in the sampling/creation process?

The Hand Spray.  We wanted it to meet the independent lab test ‘kills 99.99% of germs’ so we had to do a few iterations to get there.  Each time it went to the lab it cost $1,000 so it cost quite a bit to develop and took a few years.

Right now we are struggling with shampoo.  So many people ask for it but doing it truly naturally – having the properties people expect like foaming – is proving really hard.

 

What is your favourite product from the range?

Right now it’s the Purifying Night Balm.  It feels so indulgent and soothing to lather it all over your face and neck at night. And your skin feels so soft on waking in the morning.

 

The company is so connected to Australia, what is it about our “backyard” that is so inspiring?

It’s a multi-layered love for the flora.  The fragrance is one love.  The sculptural shapes and vibrant colours is another – even just the graceful shape of the humble eucalyptus leaf I find inspiring.  One feature I love is how tough and delicate they can be at the same time.  And then how incredibly diverse they are.  Within a species like eucalyptus or wattle you get so many different varieties.  And what’s really interesting is their functional properties.  Like the high level of vitamin C and antioxidants in lilly pilly extract, or the nourishing and moisturising properties of wattle seed oil.  The research is in many cases only just being done on many of these Australian native ingredients.

 

Is there anywhere else in the world that inspires you as much?

I get inspired from most places I visit.  Even big cities I find inspiring – for their energy and creativity.  I especially love Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai.  Patagonia is incredible for its wild beauty. In Southern Argentina we watched the ice bergs break off with a gunshot sound and then splash into the lake below at the Perito Moreno Glacier  – it was mesmerising.

Is there anywhere else in the world that inspires you as much?

I get inspired from most places I visit.  Even big cities I find inspiring – for their energy and creativity.  I especially love Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai.  Patagonia is incredible for its wild beauty. In Southern Argentina we watched the ice bergs break off with a gunshot sound and then splash into the lake below at the Perito Moreno Glacier  – it was mesmerising.

 

So much production takes place off-shore these days… do you find it hard to keep producing your range locally?

We have a great manufacturing partner here for most of our products – and a range of high quality suppliers we work with.  But I agree, it is not always easy.

 

How do you balance work and family life?

By spreading the work across the whole week, so I can make time for school events or to pick someone up from school.  I also encourage the kids to develop skills and independence so they can do things themselves.  Having a super supportive husband helps too.  I don’t stress about a messy house – you really can’t do everything and tidying the house is right down the priority list.  Regular yoga definitely helps keep me sane and relaxed in the face of a long to do list.

 

Can you describe Coastal Living in 3 words?

Integrity, beauty, simplicity

 

What do you remember about meeting Coastal Living for the first time?

In addition to a beautifully curated space, what really stood out was just how lovely Lou, Ross and all the staff are.

 

What’s next for Bondi Wash?

We do have deodorant and a fruit & vege wash launching later this year.

Each market is demanding different new products, so we are working on quite a range.  Shampoo and conditioner is top of the list.

Quick fire Q&A…

 

Succulents or natives?

Natives every time

 

Beach or Country?

That’s a tough one so I’ll go for country by the beach, and the Mornington Peninsula is one of my favourite country/beach places in the world.   Our family were pioneer settlers here in the late 1800s so it holds a special place in my heart.

 

For the boys… speedo or boardshorts?

Boardshorts in bright colours

 

For the girls… visor or wide brim hat?

Wide brim hat for better face and cleavage sun-protection

 

Sunrise or sunset?

Sunset – it’s more romantic.

 

Online or bricks and mortar?

Bricks and mortar – nothing beats being able to touch, feel and smell