Profile: Shop Small, Shop Local at Bondi Wash
In conjunction with American Express’s Shop Small, Shop Local campaign, we bring you this great local story about local brand brining the gorgeous native scents of Australia into the home. By Lara Picone
A schoolboy, a mother-in-law and Nigella Lawson walk into a Paddington store. No, this isn’t the set up for some elaborate joke. Rather, this unusual trio is among Belinda Everingham’s most devoted fans.
The reasons for the visit range from stubborn stain removal to the disappearance of a lifelong rash and a penchant for soothing balms, but these three strangers are united in their admiration of Everingham’s talents for Australian-botanical alchemy.
They’re by no means alone. Bondi Wash has bewitched customers with the beauty of Australian native scents since 2013. The Bondi mother-of-three cites Patrick Suskind’s novel Perfume, along with the evocative scents encountered on a holiday in Far North Queensland, as a inspiration for the homegrown brand. If the French have been using their native flora to create heavenly fragrances for centuries, thought Belinda, why can’t the same be done with Australian natives?
And as it turns out, it absolutely can. The opening of a store in Paddington late last year, following the original Bondi Beach flagship, speaks to our growing willingness to cleanse our homes, bodies and pets using our native botanicals. The store is a soothing, minimalistic sanctuary of blond woods and clean lines. It’s subtly reminiscent of a French perfumery but with an intrinsic Australian approachability. “I wanted it to be calm, warm and inviting; a little like people might feel walking into my living room,” says Everingham, adding that the Bondi Wash staff have no sales targets to ensure customers don’t feel pressure to purchase.
It’s an uncommon concept in today’s competitive retail market, but Everingham’s faith in the exceptional quality of her range means she’s determined to ensure everything about the brand embodies that welcoming ethos. “Our stores should also be a place of learning if you’re open to it — with education and display of Australian native flora,” she says.
Stop by and you’ll leave armed with a little more knowledge. The staff are only too happy to dispense samples and explain the native ingredients such as Tasmanian pepper, native lemon and emu apple that are used in products as diverse as the sensual sounding Wildflower Nights fragrance; salves such as the Purifying Night Balm for which Nigella Lawson returned in search of three jars; and the hardworking, best-selling bench sprays, dish wash, hand wash, and even dog wash.
Everingham hopes Bondi Wash boutiques will take Australian scents to the world. And while during her travels she takes note of streets she loves as part of plans for a future global presence, for now her focus is ensuring the business continues to delight schoolboys, mothers-in-law and celebrity chefs alike. “It’s not easy to create a brand with longevity that people love and trust. I’m focused on building a company that creates products people love, does the right thing, and hopefully will last a long time.”