Alysha from JAK Organics tells us how her & her sisters came up with JAK Organics, and how they ensure there are always good tunes being played on ‘make days’ to make sure the finished product is infused with happiness!
Tell us a bit about the people behind your company
JAK is three sisters – Jemma, Alysha and Karissa (JAK) and surrogate sister, Kate. We all grew up amongst nature in Victoria’s Sherbrooke Forest and have always had a shared interested in natural alternatives. As a Model, a Corporate, a Scientist and a Graphic Designer we couldn’t resist creating something together.
What inspired you to start your company and when did you start it?
Jemma, being an avid naturalist, hated being slathered in chemical enhancers when on shoots and would rave about the benefits of coconut oil. She wished that this was the go-to choice for creatives when on shoots with it’s 100’s of uses and benefits. As new mums, Karissa and I had succumbed to the convenience of commercial wipes but found they were causing a myriad of problems for our little people, so we started researching the chemicals found in baby wipes and were horrified. Around the same time there was quite a bit going on in the media about dermatitis reactions occurring from personal care wipes so we thought it was a great time to join forces and come up with a better, healthier and fresh take on the alternatives. We formally started the company back in June 2013 but because oils and water don’t mix in the natural world we spent a good 3.5 years doing product development to make sure the formulas were kept 100% natural, but still 100% effective.
What would an ‘average day in the life of’ look like for you?
It is a chaotic but beautiful combo of family, work and to-do-lists.
How do you make your products?
We have a no compromise attitude when it comes to quality ingredients. Our wipes are made with certified organic cold pressed oils and natural ingredients, plus 100% compostable and biodegradable bamboo fibre to make them as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible. Our other products are handmade in Melbourne with 100% certified organic oils. We are hippies at heart so always ensure there are good vibes and good tunes being played on ‘make days’ to make sure the finished product is infused with happiness
What is your favourite product in your range?
JAK BODY wipes. They save me! People just have to try them to realize how much of a game changing product they are for the busy wellness -seekers of us out there. A must have for any gym bag/hand bag/travel bag.
What is an interesting way of using your products that not many people would know about?
When camping you can bury our bamboo wipes and they will fully decompose within weeks. Good for wiping off a dirty day of exploring and even perfect for toilet time. Just use and discard in that hole you dug.
What have been the biggest trials so far in starting and running your company?
The balancing act between family and business. It is a never-ending feat requiring constant adaptations, endless problem solving and fierce organisation skills (which does not come naturally to me) so I definitely have my ‘is it all worth it moments’.. they answer keeps coming out as “yes”.
What experiences lead to the values you have instilled in your company?
As sisters we were brought up by a health-conscious mum who was before her time. She had an impressive veggie patch, brewed her own kombucha and taught us everything about the importance of living a life without unnecessary chemicals. When we were growing up it was not the ‘in-vouge’ thing to eat a predominately vegan diet, make your own avocado face masks, or almond meal scrubs – lucky for us we have a mum who put health first, the bonus was clear skin, bright eyes and shiny hair. Our dad, being the entrepreneurial type has always encouraged us to dig deep in the pursuit of following our dreams. He has taught us that there is almost always a way around “no” if you are passionate enough about something. JAK is the perfect avenue for us to follow our passion and cultivate change in the mass-chemical populated marketplace that is skincare.
If you weren’t running your company, what would you be doing?
Possibly studying to becoming a Doula. I think pregnancy and birth is real-life magic.
What is your favourite way of winding down and taking time out?
The husband is a pretty awesome guy, I like spending time with him. We live Bayside so going for beach walks is one of my favourite things to do, rain, hail or shine. Although not a trained dancer by any measure music is always being played in the house so random family dance-off’s have become a favourite past-time of mine, definitely helps to relive stress.
Here at Retreat Yourself, we LOVE dreaming BIG – what is your vision for your company?
We have always had international sights. We’d like to continually grow our market and have a happy running company where we can continue to develop and push the boundaries on common FMCG and lifestyle products.
For anyone out there wanting to start their own business, what would your biggest piece of advice be?
Do extensive research for your ideas, but trust your instincts. As advice can often conflict it is so important that your values and your ‘why’ are concrete so you can expand dynamically. I was once told that ‘luck and resilience are just as important as ideas and talents’ and I have definitely found this to be true during our startup phase. Don’t get lost in everything ‘business’ and make sure you make time for the important people in your life along the way.
And lastly, what does a fulfilled life look like to you?
It is probably a bit predictable but having a healthy and happy family is really what it is all about. Also having the freedoms to run the business from anywhere in the world so I can adventure through life, collecting lovely memories with my family and friends.
You can find JAK Organics FACE Wipes in our Winter 2018 Retreat Yourself Box or at www.jakorganics.com.