Home Beautiful Creative Collection
Home Beautiful celebrates makers in its May issue and interviewed Bondi Wash founder Belinda Everingham as part of the series.
Read the full interview below
- How did you first come to making Bondi Wash homecare products?
It all started when I got a headache from a supermarket brand surface spray – which started me off looking for natural alternatives which either didn’t work well or smell great. The idea for creating more natural alternatives for the home started then, but it wasn’t until quite a few years later that the inspiration came. I was in Queensland on holiday, reading the novel Perfume by Patrick Susskind – which is all about a man’s quest to create the perfect scent – set in Paris and Grasse where the fragrance and beauty industry began. In our Queensland travels I also came across all these native plants that I’d never heard of. It got me thinking about whether we could create beautiful scents and products from Australian botanicals. Returning to Sydney I discovered a treasure trove of oils and active ingredients already being extracted from native flora. So I started working with them – and it fell together quite quickly. We launched 15 months later.
- What part have Australian native botanicals played in your creative journey to develop the products?
Huge….they are really what the brand is all about. I am biased but I find them all very beautiful – and fascinating. Beyond the ones you can already find extracts from, there are many more varieties I’d love to be creating from. I now work with a network of growers and extractors to create new scents or products from quite unique native botanicals. Part of my mission if you like is to ‘glamourise’ them. I think in the past people found natives a little daggy – preferring roses or tulips. I think it’s slowly changing and people are starting to appreciate their rugged and sculptural beauty.
- Describe the studio space/environment you work in. How does this impact/inspire your work?
It’s the kitchen bench for scent creation and the office for more mundane things. But the kitchen is airy and spacious and full of greenery so works well. Half the pantry is taken up with essential oils and ingredients. And living near the beach certainly helps with inspiration – just walking Roger the dog at Marks Park with its 180 degree views definitely inspires.
- Briefly describe your background and a little about your creative manifesto
I had a corporate career before having children – and whilst I enjoyed it, I was a probably a frustrated creative. It took me a long time to build up the confidence to step away and do something different. But once I started I actually threw away a lot of the skills and techniques I had developed in my career – the structure and rigour in particular. The creative process is so finely balanced, cannot be forced and works in a very magical way. These days I listen really closely to my intuition to guide both what I work on and how it develops. I also listen to people a lot….I get feedback and ideas from everywhere and am always grateful to anyone willing to give me their 2 cents worth.
- What are you working on now that can we look forward to from Bondi Wash in the near future?
Aside from product extensions within Bondi Wash (hair care, deodorant, face range) my dream is to release a range of natural Australian botanical fragrances. But it is hard – the scents for Bondi Wash came together relatively easily. This range is proving more challenging. I won’t launch them under the Bondi Wash brand name, but am certainly working hard on getting the scents right. We had a man walk into our Gould St store the other day and say ‘I want to smell like the Australian bush’ - that’s what I’d like to create.