Inspired by the founders’ studies of Ayurvedic medicine, Ayu’s perfumes blends – which are handmade in India – have already established a cult following with celebrities and beauty lovers alike.
Our brand is built around the philosophy of Ayurveda – hailing from India, it’s believed to be one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. The word ‘Ayurveda’ translates from Sanskrit to mean ‘science of life’ and it’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. Essentially, Ayurveda teaches you about prevention and maintaining good health, rather than waiting for sickness to happen.
My business partner Madeleine Whitter studied Ayurveda and I was really intrigued by it. After travelling to India and becoming so immersed in it, I came back home and began my studies in it as well. We both knew that we wanted to somehow create and bring to life what we’d been taught, and from a mutual love of creating our own scents stemmed the idea of incorporating ayurvedic principles into a perfume, which is now Ayu.
We work with a number of suppliers in India for essential oils, absolutes and herbs, and this can be quite challenging. We have very different ideas on timing which has definitely taught us patience. They also have so many religious holidays every month which can add to the many delays we can never plan for.
I don’t think there’s anything we’d do differently – everything that’s happened to us has been a good learning curve to move us forward to the next chapter. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every moment.
Launching Souq as our first scent – the response was extremely positive and the catalyst for great things that lay ahead. We’ve been picked up by some amazing and really supportive retailers including My Chameleon, Orchard Street, Newrybar Merchants and Splice.
We’ve just returned from a trip to India where we’ve been working on developing new products and expanding our range into other categories of beauty as well, which you will start to see over the coming months.
Souq is definitely very much loved by everyone – we receive so much great feedback and stories of people being stopped in the street to ask what they’re wearing. That honestly makes our day!
Named in honour of the classic beauty of two Hollywood icons, Garbo & Kelly deliver makeup products that work for every woman. They’ve recently been awarded Australian Makeup Brand of the Year at the Makeup Artist Guild Asia Pacific Awards 2018.
Garbo & Kelly offer vegan products that specialise in perfectly shaped brows, chiselled cheeks and defined lips to create a look of urban glamour. We believe that every woman deserves the highest quality products and tools to create, correct, camouflage and enhance our beauty, and go from desk to diva in minutes. This gives us the confidence to conquer all elements and expectations of our day.
After working with Anastasia Soare [of Anastasia Beverly Hills] for many years, I was so inspired by her that I wanted to make the most of the knowledge I had gained, and to create a brand that was about classic and timeless looks. I wanted to keep the brand tight without too many confusing shades or fad colours.
Everything has surprised me. Creating Garbo & Kelly is the hardest thing I have done in my life. I have learnt a lot about ingredients and I am still listening to my customers about which ingredients they want. I think this was the most overwhelming area and one I want to improve in.
I have thought about this so much and I don’t think there is anything I would change. There are items I would like to add in the near future, such as mascara to complement our award-winning Femme Fatale Duo Eyeliner (recently awarded Best New Eye Product at the Pure Global Beauty Awards). Garbo & Kelly only started 18 months ago and I am so excited to continue building the range.
Working with Anastasia for 13 years and being her Australian distributor gave me an insight into what is important to Australian women. Time is of the essence and life is so fast that we need to go from work to wow as quickly as possible. I have also developed products that are waterproof or water resistant where possible to withstand the Australian climate and the demands of the day.
Our lip collection is nut free. A girlfriend of mine has a severe nut allergy and I would have been nervous sending her products that could affect her.
I never want Garbo & Kelly to have products in the range that are not necessary, so this is a hard question. Our biggest seller that everyone seems to love is our Master of Illumination Highlighting Kit – it has two matte shades that are great to use on top of the brow and between the eyes to make the brow pop, and four shimmer shades for red carpet looks.
SALT By Hendrix’s range – offering skincare, bath and home fragrance – deliver premium products with plant-based ingredients, created to leave you feeling beautiful both inside and out.
A beautiful plant-based beauty range that is a sensory delight. Our products must offer incredible performance yet smell and feel amazing on the skin. We didn’t want a product that you wanted to hide in your cupboard – our range looks and smells as amazingly as it performs.
It essentially started in my kitchen at home, where I built formulations for my son who had incredibly sensitive skin and eczema as a baby. I was concerned about using harsh, synthetic ingredients to improve his skin sensitivities and the line evolved from this point when I could see the improvements in his skin.
The amount of time and effort it takes to perfect a formulation – so much thought, time, planning and playing to get products just right. The product looks so simple but hiding behind this simplicity is crazy amounts of complexity, from packaging to formulations to getting them market ready for our buyers and customers. I find that people underestimate the intricacies of a beauty brand.
I’d have more confidence in our line from the start. When you bring a product to market you always dream and hope that it is going to be loved, but it is also very daunting – especially with so many amazing brands out there. Thankfully I have always had an awesome family and team to instil confidence in me.
Receiving emails and phone calls from major retailers around the world has been amazing. We have always been passionate about our face range but it is also a complicated market and consumers are incredibly educated. The positive feedback that retailers and customers have for this part of our line has been a long-term goal and hearing it has been lifechanging for us.
Our brand is what it is today thanks to our incredible team. We are so fortunate to have a team of amazing ladies (and mummas) that work with us; without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We always hire on aptitude and attitude, making sure new team members are right for our brand and bring the sparkle we love has been imperative and will continue to be as we work towards our goals.
Mermaid Oil. She is the little baby people are addicted to – she is hydrating, great under makeup or at night and is super gentle. Being able to create a product that has such loyalty and repeat purchases has been a game changer. She is the inspiration for our newest line of products coming out soon.
Story by Tess Schlink; Images from brand founders