Exclusive Interview: Organic Index
The naturally gifted trio.
The Organic Index showroom on Latrobe Terrace immediately fills you with a sense of tranquility.
The business is run by sisters Rebecca Medcalf, Emma Dowling, and Melissa Krueger – inspiring women who share a belief that beauty and wellbeing are interwoven. I recently had the opportunity to get to know a little more about them.
What inspired you to open Organic Index?
We love natural, organic and local products; we have always gone out of our way to source products with integrity and transparency for ourselves and our family.
The more we learnt about what was available in Australia and New Zealand, the more we saw an opportunity to create a space that really showcased their quality and uniqueness.
The second reason we chose to open a physical showroom as well as an online platform is because the majority of skincare and cosmetic purchases are made in-person: people like to touch, smell and try products to find exactly what is right for them.
Three sisters, one business. What is it like working together?
To be fair there are awesome days, and not-so-awesome days! The three of us have always been close growing up, and we have been involved in family business in the past.
The best part is always [having] someone who understands when life gets difficult and helps fill the gaps – we do that for each other naturally. All three of us are totally committed to the growth of Organic Index. We are all mothers, friends and sisters, so the connection is strong and we use that to our benefit.
Why did you choose the store space in Paddington?
We grew up in an old Queenslander in Brisbane so have always loved the character and soul of old buildings. When we found the space, it seemed like a perfect fit for Organic Index.
We are a destination shop, so we definitely make sure our space is fresh, light, airy and welcoming. We want people to feel comfortable and take their time exploring the options and enjoy the process – there is no rush.
We had the opportunity to create a full range and also a beautiful workshop space for masterclasses and events, and Paddington locals have been a huge support. We have complementary businesses around us and Paddington is just such a chilled, character-filled superb so we love it!
Why is organic beauty so important to you?
Natural and organic beauty is a natural extension of a healthy lifestyle. We only stock brands that we believe in and can contact the maker, so transparency is everything for our business.
We believe beauty and wellness should be inseparable, and part of that journey is minimising unnecessary or filler ingredients, fragrances and preservatives.
We offer products across the board [with] the highest quality ingredients, fresh small batches and just as sophisticated active ingredients as the mainstream offering. We are completely cruelty-free and 100 per cent local to Australia and New Zealand brands, which means more thriving, diverse businesses in our communities.
What nutrients does our skin need on a day-to-day basis?
Each person varies in skin type and skin condition so daily [regimen is] something that is tailored to each individual. It is really important that skin is hydrated, protected and supported by a great cleanser, moisturiser and targeted serums depending on the desired outcome.
It doesn’t stop with skincare, though. There is makeup and body care to consider as well, and internal support in the way of edible beauty – targeted supplements to help support healthy skin.
We look at the whole picture and work with what is realistic for each person to add to their daily routine in a way that makes them feel healthier, nurtured and unique.
What should we keep in mind when selecting the perfect product for our skin?
Effectiveness and ease of use is definitely a big consideration when investing in skincare. We strongly believe in the ethos of less but better.
There is no point having a bathroom full of half-used bargain buys when they don’t actually work or bring you joy in the process. So our top tip would be to keep it simple, effective and the highest quality possible to meet your needs.
What is a common misconception about organic beauty products?
There is a common misconception that organic products are going to be more expensive [and less effective] than the mainstream, which is just not the case.
On average, our product range has more active and fresher ingredients than mainstream, and because there are no fillers or preservatives you are getting exactly what you pay for: better quality.
Our prices start at $7 and go right through to $110. Our mascara, foundation and skincare products are comparable to what you will find across the board in mainstream.
Can you tell us a little more about the types of events that you host at the store?
We love bringing another layer of value to our community [by] hosting Meet the Maker workshops, where you can sit down, have a glass of wine and be guided through an entire range by the product founder. This is a whole new level of transparency that allows you to ask anything about the products, how they are made, the ethos, and tips and tricks.
We also hold makeup masterclasses for specific looks, as well as Mother and Daughter days, DIY facials, and lots of other events. We are also always open to collaborations with like-minded business in jewellery, homewares, fashion and food. We have an open door policy and love supporting people and other small businesses.
If you could pick your favourite product in-store, what would it be and why?
It changes every week! I would have to say this week I have a huge crush on WildCrafted Wildflowers Rejuvenating Serum. It is a rich oil serum packed full of nutrients for your skin, and smells just incredible – it is perfect ritual for autumn!
Could you tell us about the brand Hot Tresses Hair Care that you worked on with Spell Boutique?
We were thrilled to support Hot Tresses Hair Care on a collaboration with Spell Boutique in Byron Bay. It was a great event held in the Spell Cactus Garden, and we created beautiful flower hair wreaths, makeup and haircare, and generally just enjoyed getting out and meeting the Spell team and all the lovely customers. We were really happy to be part of it!
What are the perks of visiting the store over purchasing online?
The best part about visiting us at Organic Index is that you get to touch, smell, feel and apply just about everything in-store! We are very much focused on delivering exceptional service and a very tactile exploration of everything we offer. Most people walk out smelling amazing and with a whole new understanding of what is available in the skincare, makeup and body products. We believe the experience is everything!
What’s next on the agenda for Organic Index?
We are looking to expand our range and open our second shop this year. We are so driven to disrupt this industry in a good way! We completely believe in shared success business – a model [in which] our communities come alive, each unique business thrives, and customers enjoy unprecedented, curated, high-quality choices they can trust.