WOMEN WE LOVE: JOANNA WHITE, founder, MALLOW + WHITE
Small batch beauty is on the up…we’ll be hearing a lot more about freshly-made capsule collections from artisan brands, often with a woman with a story behind them. Joanna White left BBC Radio to focus on her “keep-it-simple-with-six-ingredients” facial oil and masks range, and her commitment is starting to pay off – just days ago, she won a New For 2016 Janey Lee Grace Platinum Award for Mallow + White’s Dead Sea Clay Mask for Normal Skin.
We love a good “delve” behind a brand, so we caught up with Joanna recently to get the lowdown on her Mallow + White journey so far and how she thinks beauty will pan out in the next 5 years.
Joanna believes simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, she minimises waste by saying “no” to excess packaging, “yes” to using recycled or recyclable materials such as glass for our products. Mallow & White is a give-back brand, too – 10% of all profits go to Kiva, a charity empowering people around the world to alleviate them from poverty.
Women We Love: Joanna White
Joanna, how would you describe your brand in 5 words?
What was the catalyst for creating your brand?
My Eureka moment was 9 years ago, whilst working at the BBC, when I read a newspaper article about making soap from scratch with 3 ingredients. I tried it, and it was a revelation. For my sensitive skin, 100% natural and minimalist ingredients really worked.
From the BBC to the beauty world…Joanna White
Fast-forward a few years of research, craft markets and a growing band of enthusiastic customers, and I reached a now or never moment. Redundancy was offered. I held my breath, closed my eyes and took the leap. Mallow + White was born.
If you had to predict the beauty market in say 5 years time, what would it look like?
Ooh, what a lovely question. I know how I would like it to look.
It would include the continued rise and rise of natural beauty. With more customers believing natural and organic beauty products are better for their health, more mainstream brands will need to embrace natural in a genuine and transparent way, rather than greenwashing.
I would predict that the unfortunate rise in the occurrence of allergies and skin irritations will mean that the beauty industry will have to offer more ranges accommodating gluten-free, dairy-free and allergy-free products as well as offering more ranges with minimalist simply pure ingredients to cater for sensitive skin.
And finally, I predict a move away from “anti-aging” and a move towards more targeted age specific skincare. This would cater for the growing pro-aging movement of people who want to look radiant rather than younger. I would love to see a society that idolises youth less, and respects older people more. You can look beautiful at 50+. I would love for this to be more recognised within the beauty industry in the next 5 years.
Social justice and giving back are part of M+W’s mission, can you elaborate on your plans?
Yes! There is a very big part of me that yearns to “do away with the yoke of oppression, spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed”. OK, big ask, but every little bit helps. I will be starting with investing 10% of all of Mallow + White’s profits in Kiva.org, which empowers people and small businesses around the world to alleviate them from poverty. I hope that as sales grow, the percentage that is invested can grow too.
When you’re not making beautiful facial oils and working on the brand, how do you switch off?
I have to admit to being slightly obsessed with skincare recipes and ingredients, and part of my brain never switches off. Even at night, I wake up thinking of new blends to experiment with. My husband, 2 young daughters and puppy are all fabulous experts at distracting me and forcing me to switch off. In fact, long dog walks on crisp winter mornings are a perfect relaxation for me. Possibly followed by a leisurely pub lunch sitting next to a roaring log fire.
Restore (right) is her best-selling facial oil
5 words to describe you?
“Read the label” has been our mantra since 2009. Here’s a look at Joanna’s Restore Facial Oil for Mature Skin, with just 6 natural but “each one does something different” ingredients.
- Camellia Seed Oil
- Macadamia Nut oil
- Rosehip Seed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Mandarin essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
Keeping it simple and 100% organic.
Handblended in leafy Hertfordshire in small batches for maximum freshness.
Vegan. Cruelty free. Tested on friends, not animals