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A Q&A with the founder of EverEscents

Julia Charters, who with her husband Luke owns organic haircare brand EverEscents, talks about how they’re using skills learnt in the corporate world to grow a business they believe in.

You and your husband Luke bought EverEscents from your friend Leone Martin in 2007. How did that takeover come about?

I’ve always been passionate about natural products and caring for our environment as I was brought up by a very alternative mother who was ahead of her time (thanks, Mum — you’re an inspiration!). Leone and I went to primary school together in Victoria and hadn’t seen each other for 25 years. We met up again on the Sunshine Coast through a mutual friend and that’s when we had the idea of buying her company.

What’s your background and what inspired you to get into the haircare business?

Both Luke and I have backgrounds in sales and marketing, predominantly with large multinational companies. We worked for a number of firms in Brisbane and Sydney before settling down on the Sunshine Coast. Once we moved here, we decided we wanted to run our own business and put all the skills we’d learnt from the big guns into practice. We looked at many different businesses and EverEscents was the one that ticked all the boxes.

Tell us a little about Leone’s story.

Leone’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, which is why she started to lead a chemical-free lifestyle. She was fortunate enough to have another eight years with her grandmother and it was during this time she researched personal-care products and was shocked to learn about the ingredients in them. She also learnt about some fantastic natural alternatives, so she decided to create her own range. EverEscents was born in 2004 with three shampoos and three conditioners. Leone was involved in the business for the first 12 months and we continue to stay in touch.

Why did you choose to continue down the path of producing organic, natural products?

We are very passionate about living chemical free and believe it’s essential to ensure a healthy future. To eradicate horrible diseases like cancer, the answer is not just to find a cure; we need to educate people to lead different lifestyles and take preventive measures by removing chemicals from their daily lives.

All your products are organic and the packaging is recyclable. What are your thoughts on businesses and environmental responsibility?

Our philosophy, both in our personal lives and our business, is that every little bit counts and it’s our responsibility to leave our planet better than we found it. We have this goal in mind when running the daily operations of our business and making decisions around it.

How has demand for ethical products in hair salons changed over the past five years?

The professional hair salon market has definitely had an increase in the demand for natural products, which is why our range now consists of 21 products. Due to the nature of the industry, in which hairdressers work with chemicals in the form of hair dyes and colours every day, we’ve spent the past five years educating them on how they can minimise their exposure by using organic products. Our product range has come about as a result of demand from hairdressers and consumers. We don’t develop a new product unless we know there’s demand for it, as we are not interested in developing products just for marketing purposes. Every product must be useful and make people feel good about their haircare regime.

Sourcing all your ingredients and packaging containers from within Australia is a big focus. Why is that?

We believe if everyone sourced whatever they could from within Australia it would create a huge positive environmental impact by keeping all those ships away from our reefs and keeping jobs in Australia. We are dedicated to keeping our business in Australia and often pay more than double what we would if we took our business to China.

How do you and your husband live an ethical life, away from the business?

We are very passionate about practising what we preach away from the business. We source all our local, organic produce from locally owned stores or the farmers’ market. We use only safe household cleaning products, natural skincare, makeup and, of course, haircare products. We have a four-year-old daughter and have brought her up as chemical-free as we can. We also carbon offset our emissions and purchase green power for our home.

What’s next on the agenda for EverEscents?

Our next major focus is on building a new office and warehouse. We’ve outgrown our current location and are about to start building a new home for EverEscents that we hope to move into around Christmas time. We’re researching eco-friendly building techniques and plan to make the new building energy-efficient. We’re also working on four more products to add to our range. There are more exciting times ahead for EverEscents!

For more details, visit everescents.com.au

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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