Native stories: Aboriginal-owned firm Nood Australia to strengthen B2C arm with high-end skin care brand
Nood was founded by managing director Anthony Wilson, who is of Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna descent.
Wilson, who is also a South Australian National Football League player, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that he founded Nood as a platform to showcase native Australian botanicals that have been used by his people for millennia.
“Over the last five to 10 years, there’s been a lot of research on Australian native botanicals, their properties and how we use them. Now people are using them in food and drinks, wines and spirits. I think being able to incorporate that into another market like cosmetics is super important.”
Nood launched in 2019 with a range of hand hygiene products, right before the COVID-19 pandemic kicked the focus on hand hygiene into focus.
Additionally, the company also developed a B2B arm supplying guest amenities and cleaning products made with native Australian botanicals, such as quandong, Kakadu Plum and lemon myrtle.
Currently, the company is aiming to further develop its B2C business by launching a high-end skin care brand.
Wilson said the new range will consist of “a bit of everything” and is expected to debut in the third quarter of this year.
“The skin care brand will follow the same concept [as Nood] but we wanted to create something really high-end with the great properties from native plants and showcase First Nations intelligence and practices through the cosmetics industry,” said Wilson.
Wilson said he was eager to dive into the skin care sector, which he believes holds opportunities to educate about indigenous culture, through its ingredients as well as its language.
“We try to teach as much as we can about indigenous culture through the brand. We used the Kaurna language – my mother’s language – to name our hand hygiene products. With the skin care brand, I’m planning to use my dad’s – the Ngarrindjeri language. That way we can tell both sides of the story.”
While he strongly believes in native botanicals, he noted that there are a number of challenges in developing and selling First Nations products.
“Trying to source from First Nations communities is quite hard because we only make up 1% of farming across the counties. Even trying to find those communities is quite a challenge. Education and marketing as well – that’s tough – that’s one thing we need to be better at, convey our stories and the quality of the products we have developing,” said Wilson.
From Australia to the world
Despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilson is currently looking for opportunities overseas where he believes there’s more interest in native culture.
“I feel like a lot more people are interested in that globally, probably due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Also, especially now with COVID-19 and people not being able to travel, we can really tell the stories of Australia and First Nations culture to the market.”
The company believes it can tap into the interest for Australian beauty products, dubbed A-beauty, in Asian markets such as China.
“I have already spoken to people about taking the brand onto the international market, especially in China. I think there’s a really good connection between Australia and China, there’s a big market for Australian brands there in general.”