It is SO important to all of us here at Retreat Yourself to support and celebrate local Australian and NZ brands who are doing ‘good’, and we know it is also super important to all of you - our beautiful RY community.
Behind the scenes of each of these brands are wonderful, caring and compassionate people - just like you and I - who have put their blood, sweat and tears into creating beautiful products that help you to feel good in your everyday life.
These people and the brands they’ve created always have a vision aligned with ours, of improving the lives of all of us in one way or another - whether that be through sustainability, high quality ingredients, removing nasties from their products, or creating products and services that will better your life.
We are so lucky to see so much of the behind-the-scenes of each of these brands through what we do, and us sharing a very tiny snippet of each brand’s story allows us to take you on a small part of the journey we’ve had in getting to know these brands and the people behind them.
And most importantly, it helps you to understand exactly who is behind the beautiful products in our boxes to support you in also getting to know them.
We hope you enjoy!
Kate, Kristy & the Retreat Yourself team x
Byron Bay Candles
Byron Bay Candles originated in 2001, with Annemarie Dove and her husband Christopher as the current owners of this beautiful Byron Bay based brand. Their passion for sustainable manufacturing in Australia inspired them to develop a range with 'clean' ingredients to support your health and well-being with each inhale. With 1 in 3 people suffering from fragrance sensitivities that trigger health afflictions such as headaches, nausea and breathing difficulties, they opt for plant-based aromas with a selection of pure essential oils aromas.
Every one of their candles is poured onsite at their Byron Bay factory (they love visitors - so if you’re ever in the area, pop in and say hello!). By overseeing the pouring process, you’re guaranteed of burning elements free from toxic substances such as petroleum based, paraffin waxes and paraben enhancers which can have adverse side effects on your health.
Another thing we found pretty awesome about this brand, is their mission to reduce landfill (approximately 1.2 million tonnes of glass waste goes to landfill each year, according to the ABS). Because of their dedication to the planet and their commitment to be part of a shift to a more sustainable future, they developed their 'refill' candle as a solution to recycle and reuse your empty candle jars.
Located in the stunning Byron Bay, nestled in nature, Byron Bay Candles captures the essence of Byron Bay and the vibrant and healthy community that resides within.
Springhill Farm was started over 35 years ago, by Fiona’s (Springhill Farm owner) mother, Jo (or Jojo which she was fondly called by her grandkids). It all began because school kids would regularly visit Fiona’s parents’ farm and while her Dad (Ray) gave them the full ‘farm experience’; think collecting eggs, hay bale rides and milking the goat. Jo wanted to give them something to eat that they could connect back to what they had learnt that day. Word quickly got around about Jojo and her delicious slice, and soon enough, she was baking with Ray full time.
As Fiona grew up, she loved being a taste tester, so it made sense that she would someday be involved in the business. Her husband James and herself have now been officially at the helm for 10 years, and while the business has grown tremendously, they are still based in country Victoria, and are still creating treats that wouldn’t have been out of place in Jojo’s kitchen.
And now, in 2022 they’ve expanded into a new warehouse in Ballarat and have created the wonderful Boodles that we’ve featured in the summer Imagine retreat - with all the chocolate, half the sugar and none of the dairy.
Coast To Coast
Coast to Coast is an Australian owned and made skincare company, established in 2009 and based in the beautiful Melbourne.
Inspired by Australia’s scorching plains, tropical rainforests, turquoise-fringed coasts and dramatic landscapes, founder Nicole Chadwick loved the idea of capturing the sense of well-being and freedom she felt whenever she was immersed in nature. What followed was a deeper exploration of her homeland, and a discovery of extraordinary terrain brimming with a bounty of native Indigenous botanicals and precious marine extracts.
With a burning desire to share nature’s intelligence with the world, Nicole collaborated with a team of scientists to create a suite of natural, consciously crafted products, worthy of your skin; and this is when Coast to Coast was born. We had to share this quote from Nicole, which resonates with us so much and is why we feel so connected to this wonderful, authentic brand:
“I’m proud to have created highly effective skincare that nurture the mind, body and spirit. Products that inspire conscious time-out and have the ability to anchor you in the here and now, so that your skin can flourish. The subtle natural aromas and delicate textures make our formulas irresistible to touch and smell. A delight for your senses, a treat for the soul. Because there’s really nothing like our natural world to escape the modern stresses of life, slow down and connect us to ourselves.”
Rutherford & Meyer
Rutherford & Meyer is based in the beautiful New Zealand, and was started by two farming friends from North Canterbury (in the South Island). The journey began back in 1996 when they were faced with a surplus harvest, so they got together to preserve their delicious summer fruits using old family recipes. Those first fruit pastes awakened their taste buds and set the stage for the full line of Rutherford & Meyer products and flavours.
Their focus has always been on using 100% natural ingredients, and they are truly committed to doing their part in taking care of our environment - being very aware of the problem of food-waste and reliance on resources places strain on our environment. Because of this, they’ve created their Upcycled Grain Project, which takes the leftover grain from the brewing process and turns it into a range of delicious on-the-go snacks. By Upcycling leftover grain they reduce their reliance on new resources and pressure on the environment.
Rutherford & Meyer are a truly authentic brand with a huge amount of integrity. You can find their products in your local Woolworths.
Altina was founded by Christina and Alan, back in 2018. Christina came up with the idea for Altina when she decided to change her relationship with alcohol but found very few alternatives. Not content, she embarked on a journey to use her Bachelor of Chemical Biotechnology and a Ph.D in Plant Biology to create the unique taste profile of Altina.
Unlike other non-alcoholic wines that typically combine de-alcoholised wine and concentrated grape juice, Christina never adds sugar to her formulations. Instead, she uses natural ingredients and native Australian botanicals. Her expert blending skills deliver a nuanced and layered drinking experience designed to build in complexity as you sip.
Alan co-founded Altina Drinks with Christina in 2018, with a mission of wanting to inspire Australians to live life without the negative aspects of excessive alcohol consumption. Alan believes business can and should be a force for good. His role is to ensure Altina's health giving products are stocked far and wide, as well as working to environmentally sustainable business practices.
Together, Christina and Alan are taking Altina to the world and are making waves in the non-alcoholic beverage industry.
The Aromatherapy Co.
Founded in Auckland, New Zealand in 1990, the Aromatherapy Co. has become market leaders of home fragrance and body care across the world. Not only are their products truly amazing, but their ethics and values are so strong too. Over the past 32 years of being in business, they have looked at all areas of manufacturing, materials and ingredients to formulate and design products that are suitable for all people.
They do not test on animals, or use any processes in their business that are harmful to animals. All products are cruelty free and 100% vegan, and their fragrances are comprised of both natural essential oils and synthetic aromas (used when natural fragrance compromise animals or sustainability of natural resources).
The Aromatherapy Co. are continuously reducing their waste and energy use, by always questioning their packaging and processes to get the balance right. Their goal is to eliminate single use plastics completely from our supply chain and use recycled materials wherever possible. An incredible brand that ticks many of our boxes!
Nourished Skin Co.
Nourished Skin Co. was founded by Kate (solo mama and skincare formulator) after trialling and testing her own skincare formulations for 20 years. Kate grew up being interested in a more natural lifestyle. Going to a naturopath, learning kombucha fermentation, and trialling and testing her own skincare formulations. First came her tried-and-tested coconut body lotion. She then realised there was no commercial lip balm she trusted to put on my lips. So she created the coconut vanilla lip balm with certified organic ingredients.
Nourished Skin Co. then grew and has continued to flourish since - winning multiple awards over the years for her natural, organic and preservative free skincare. Created in Kate’s hometown of Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Nourished Skin Co. is and amazing brand that we’re excited to watch over the coming years.
Airyday was started after Frances (founder), found a small spot on her temple. After an urgent dermatologist appointment, biopsy and a week of anxious waiting, at 36, she was diagnosed with skin cancer. Fortunately for Frances, it turned out to be Basal Cell Carcinoma, which when detected early enough, can be treated and cured.
As a result, she questioned her sunscreen usage and realised that she hadn’t worn it nearly enough. Wearing it only at the beach, pool or a day out ‘enjoying’ the sun, cliché sunny moments where we are encouraged to apply sun protection. She then realised how much she hated sunscreen; the smell, the stickiness, the thickness and the way it felt like it did more harm to her skin than good.
Awareness dawned. Protection was non-negotiable. So, nine stitches later, an all-clear from the Dermatologist and a desire to create something people wanted to wear daily, Airyday was born. Airyday is now a TGA approved sunscreen brand with a range of sunscreens and skinscreens (yes, they include ingredients that are also nourishing for your skin) so that you feel comfortable wearing it on your face every single day.
Antipodes was started by the amazing Elizabeth Barbalich, around 18 years ago in Wellington, New Zealand. Elizabeth was searching for natural skincare that offered the same benefits as prestige brands – but using pure New Zealand ingredients that were independently and scientifically validated.
That personal quest turned into a trailblazing scientific green beauty brand which has won global fans and award for combining nutrient-rich New Zealand bioactive ingredients with science and innovation to produce high-tech, premium formulations.lessons that she brought to Antipodes: innovation, creativity, robust scientific validation – and a belief that business can be a force for good.
Elizabeth’s introduction to a natural lifestyle came as she was raising her three young children. Strongly encouraged by her family who were on their own personal quest for improved health and wellbeing, Elizabeth made the switch to a plant-based way of life. At the same time, she was scouring the world’s skincare for a hydrating product that could alleviate her dry skin – but couldn’t find any green beauty products that performed as well, or felt hydrating enough, as the conventional brands she was using.
Elizabeth listened to her body, the way this nutrient-rich lifestyle made her feel healthy and energised, and she wanted to capture that feeling in skincare. And that’s how Antipodes was born. From just six formulations, Antipodes is now found in more than 40 countries worldwide. A truly phenomenal brand that we are so proud to partner with.
Life HQ Wellness
Life HQ Wellness was founded by mother & daughter duo, Connie + Krystle. The passion and inspiration behind Life HQ Wellness came their own struggles with skin and their interest in holistic wellness and skin care. Between the two, they have 50+ years of face to face clinical practice in medical skin care (Connie) and integrative allied health (Krystle).
Their approach is all-encompassing when it comes to your emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing using simple, effective rituals to keep you grounded and strong.
Their mission is to create simple, superior quality, clean skincare using only the finest Australian botanicals and plant based ingredients - and they do a damn good job at it!
Based right near us, here on the Surf Coast Victoria, Life HQ Wellness are a perfect example of an authentic, effective Australian skincare brand doing incredible things for our skin.
Empire Australia came to be around ten years ago, a collaboration between two people who have a long history in the Australian cosmetic, bath and body industry. Two people who have combined their skills to create beautiful, contemporary, well designed products that we absolutely love! They also live in Melbourne, so they are locals to so many of you!
It is super important to the Empire team to buy their packaging from local suppliers, have their labels printed in Australia, and they formulate and make their large range of products in their Melbourne laboratory. They are passionate about creating beautiful products that feel luxurious to use, yet only use essential oils to fragrance them - rather than artificial fragrances.
We absolutely LOVE sharing their products with you.
From all of us here at Retreat Yourself, thank you so much for helping us to support each of these incredible brands x