Friends Jess and Rachel launched their boutique skincare range ALŌ late last year and have hit the ground running with their collection of nourishing face oils. We can’t wait to chat to these clever ladies in Sydney at their very first Finders Keepers market this May.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
We’re two great mates with a passion for Australian native-seed oils, brought on by a chance meeting 2 years ago which ignited a keen interest into the power of plant and flower extracts. After delving into the world of essential oils we learnt that not only did these natural extracts smell amazing, they also have an abundance of positive effects on our skin, hair, and well-being.
From here, our obsession developed from perfumery and aromatherapy to skincare. When learning about the relatively unknown natural benefits of Australian native-seeds, we were hooked! We set upon the pursuit of the perfect face oil – one that nourished the skin like no other without containing any harmful additives or chemicals.
We launched at the Bondi markets in November last year with our Daily, Active & Beard oils, packing them with vitamins and antioxidants from natural Australian botanical ingredients – including Kakadu Plum, Sandalwood Seed and Macadamia Nut.
Who inspires you and your creative process?
Australian Aboriginal people’s relationship with the land has naturally been a big inspiration and influence on ALŌ’s story and creative process. We are only just beginning to learn about and understand the rich and diverse history of our country’s native botanicals, and the unique properties and benefits of Australian native plants.
We’ve both also been inspired by our parents and experiences from our childhood. Rachel’s Dad is a botanist who often took her on trips to the local botanical gardens where he trained. She has definitely inherited his strong sense of smell and interest in plants. As a child, Jess travelled a lot throughout Australia with her family, into some of the remotest parts of the country. On these trips she learnt about the various native flora and fauna and how they adapt to survive in such remote and unforgiving environments.
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for ALŌ Botanics this year.
We really look forward to continue spreading the word about Australian native-seed extracts and increasing people’s understanding of the benefits of botanical oils – both here in Australia and overseas.
We’ll continue to research, trial and test new native extracts and blends. We’ve found that the more we discover about plant-based skincare, the more obsessed we get! We’re really excited about adding new products along the way and have some big ideas for 2017… watch this space!
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
For the products themselves and their raw materials it would have to be the Kakadu Plum, it’s in all three of our products. It’s an Australian super-fruit that has the highest natural source of Vitamin C in the world and does wonders for the skin and hair. Ours is sourced from Cape Leveque in the Kimberley region.
We’ve been really fortunate to have met some great industry professionals and experts along the way – both chemists and creatives – who have been really generous with their time and knowledge. Our tip for anyone wanting to go out and do something new is to always ask (respectfully), to pick the brains of those ‘in the know’ and you’ll often, if not always, be rewarded!
Finally, ALŌ would still be all but a dream if it wasn’t for our test pilots / family, friends and partners. Everyone has been so supportive and forthcoming with their help, which we appreciate so much.