Social Togetherness: Bessie Austin
What started you on your path to manufacture responsibly and how do you define your company philosophy?
I grew up surrounded by the environmental principles of natural and organic produce. Until quite recently, this was an alternative way of living which hadn’t yet captured the imagination of most. I have never disagreed with the principles underpinning my parents’ more environmentally responsible way of living but growing up I did wish that the products (outside of food) didn’t have to compromise function and aesthetics.
As global interest in organic and natural grew, the science and production around organic advanced too. This opened up the possibility of creating a collection that was aesthetically considered, high performing and responsibly manufactured. These are the cornerstones of our company philosophy.
Who assisted in the design?
We worked with artist Christian Newby on the Indian ink drawings you see on our boxes and bottles.
Any hints on how to use and maximise the benefits of Austin Austin products.
Hands are taking a lot of wear at the moment. I keep hand cream on my desk so I can apply regularly and catch my hands when they are completely dry which helps the cream to sink in more easily. You only need a pea-sized amount and I like to give each hand a short massage during the application, particularly around the palm and between the fingers. Our palmarosa & vetiver hand cream helps condition the skin with ingredients such as grape seed, sunflower seed, shea butter and coco butter. While extracts of plants, grasses, seaweed and algae moisturise and protect those well-washed hands.
What aspects of the pandemic have bought positive gains for you, your work or your family?
I have a daughter who is coming up to a year old. Lockdown has allowed my husband to work from home which has given them the time to grow close. Her changes and developments are almost daily at the moment and it’s incredibly special to witness these together. Today she started pushing herself up to stand for a few moments.
Any new designs/products you would like to share and thoughts for the future?
We have a second collection in development at the moment. We are working with a new artist and are excited to announce the designs soon. We were hoping to get them on the shelf in time for Christmas but due to COVID, we are now aiming for the new year. In terms of the future landscape, perhaps as we continue to see the environmental impact that our buying decisions have, making conscious and careful choices like opting for certified Organic products will become ever more important.
Many thanks to Bessie for taking the time to speak to us.