Austin Austin Organic
Brand Feature: Austin Austin
January 18, 2019
Austin Austin is an organic beauty line with artful packaging and delicious sets for hands, body and hair. We came across the unique brand a few months back while on the search for new natural products. After learning a bit about the UK based Richard and Bessie, the Father / Daughter duo behind the brand and their background in organic foods I was intrigued. Initially drawn to the beautiful hand drawings on each bottle we placed an order for the shop and savored each scent. Having used each product: the Palmarosa & Vetiver hand-wash and cream, Neroli & Petigrain body-wash and cream and Bergamot & Juniper shampoo, it has become one of our store staples and a brand we are excited to see grow. Bessie tells me more of how they started and created an honest, approachable and very thoughtful brand of Austin Austin Organic.
Can you tell us a bit about how Austin and Austin began? I know you are a father and daughter run company…
Richard (my dad and the other Austin) has worked with certified Organic goods since the 70’s when he set up one of the first whole food shops in the country. He also founded Kingfisher Natural Toothpaste the year I was born. And my mum is a homeopath. So I grew up surrounded by organic food and with natural products in the bathroom.
I retained my belief in the principles that I grew up with and began to feel that there might be space for a company that holds those ideas whilst also taking seriously considered design and creative aesthetics.
We decided to start Austin Austin around three years ago, at the start of 2016. We launched our first collection just over a year and a half after those very first conversations.
What is the philosophy behind your brand?
To a large extent, Austin Austin represents my desire for something beautifully fragranced, effective and creatively interesting which is underpinned by my families principles. I believe that being organic and environmentally conscious is the only way forwards but this doesn't need to exclude a strong sense of the contemporary.
I often summarize it like this: Every bottle is of exquisite quality, a canvas for artwork on the bathroom shelf and priced in a way that our products don’t become too precious to be properly enjoyed every day.
You have three signature scents – one for hand, body and hair. How did you choose these?
We spent a long time developing the three fragrances. We wanted all three to evoke a similar world and most importantly, to be contemporary. Our organic essential oil blends use 5 or 6 oils to achieve complex and well balanced scents with multiple layers.
Certified Organic essential oils can be very expensive, however, we were determined to use a high percentage of oil so that the scent carried properly. We also didn’t restrict ourselves to the more affordable citrus notes and use a whole host of interesting and unusual oils.
Your packaging is so beautiful – we just love the hand drawings. How did the collaboration with your artist come about?
We wanted the aesthetics of Austin Austin to have as much integrity as the organic ingredients that we use. So instead of branded design work, we showcase pieces of fine art by working artists to offer people more than just an effective product, but also a beautiful object for the bathroom.
We worked with London and Madrid based artist Christian Newby. His artworks span ceramic, tapestry, screen printing, collage and he is interested in both the form of the body and domestic settings which was very interesting to us. The five drawings that Christian made for us were done in Indian Ink.
Will there be more products in the future?
Yes, we’re hoping to launch our second range this year. Everything we do is certified organic by the soil association and cosmos which means we take a lot of time and care in our development.