What do you get when you combine three women who self-admittedly “think too much, do too much and generally overcommit”? One of Australia’s most thoughtful beauty brands.
Thirsty Turtl was founded with the intention to formulate skincare that fits easily and effortlessly into busy lifestyles, packed with powerful ingredients backed by research. The result? A simple but powerful three-step routine that includes the brand’s Desert Glow Gel-Crème, Forest Therapy Balancing Cream Foam Cleanser and Pacific Dusk Overnight Barrier Cream.
Beyond the hard-working formulas, Thirsty Turtl prides itself on its commitment to supporting Indigenous suppliers and Australia’s native environment. That includes sourcing white cypress wood oil, leaf oil and hydrosol from Native Secrets, which works to restore biodiversity in the Dubbo region of Central West NSW and Desert Tomato from Dominic Smith of Pundi Produce, an Aboriginal man originally from Yuin country.
Below Jenkins shares a bit more about the brand and how the trio combined their expertise to bring it mindfully to life.
“When we came together, we realised that the diversity of our backgrounds was our biggest strength. It felt like we had a shared passion for pioneering a new category of beauty, but it could only become a reality with all three of us involved. Alisha is a founder of multiple start-ups, she brings a deep passion for her Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and people. Jasmin was wanting to address climate change through native plants and seaweed farming. Ellen brings it all together in the lab, having transitioned from industrial to cosmetic chemistry.”
“Being on Country with one of our Indigenous suppliers. We were out near Dubbo and got to see first hand the process of thinning out white cypress and the biodiversity benefits of this work. We spent time with the inspirational First Nations founders who supply our white cypress oils and hydrosols and chin wagged about what else we could do together. We felt humbled by the flora of Australia and tens of thousands of years of First Nations knowledge.”
“1. We laugh when we think about our plans to ‘launch in six months.’ It took more than two years to research, test and finalise our formulations. 2. Our lovely customers care deeply about our brand ethos, but they are pinched for time, so we have to make it simple and enjoyable to use our products and to support our values. 3. Figure out what’s important to understand first hand and what you can leverage/outsource to others. For us, it was critical that we took the reins on product formulation, sourcing Indigenous supplied botanicals and environmentally conscious packaging. We also felt it was important to tell our story in our own words. But legal, accounting, website mechanics and digital marketing back-end… thank goodness there’s fantastic platforms for this.”
“The female founders we’ve met have been resourceful multi-taskers who are resilient, creative and empathetic. Why wouldn’t you back this kind of founder! Early on we heard two male founders describe their selection of pink in their products as ‘girls like pink’. We thought - if this is our competition, then how can we not succeed?! As female founders in a category with predominantly female customers, we’ve always dug deeper than generalisations and incorporated those insights into our product philosophy and formulations.”
“Desert Glow Brightening Gel-Crème. We are the first skincare brand in the world to formulate with native tomato from the central desert regions of Australia. It’s lightweight, super hydrating, giving an instant glow. And with consistent use, reduces the signs of sun damage and pigmentation.”
“The most important thing is to start a business with people who 'do' rather than 'talk'. Find the right co-founder(s) and just start.”