Together with Jurlique
This week we take a trip to the unspoiled hills of South Australia to explore the farm where Jurlique’s products originate. Founded by a horticulturalist and a botanist specialised in growing healing herbs, we are proud to sit down and catch up with Farm Production Manager, Cherie Hutchinson.
Claiming that she has the best job in the world, Cherie who believes that the farm is connected to all parts of the land and the production process, shares the way she is able to connect with nature through living an organic and healthy life. Not only are all of Jurlique’s products natural, they also give back to the local ecosystem. We couldn’t wait to hear more about the beauty brand’s secrets to its attractive formulas, and about Cherie’s connection with nature and the land itself, so keep reading for our one on one with her.
AG: To start, we would love to know more about the birth of Jurlique and how the founders came up with their vision of creating natural based skin care products?
CH: Our founders, Ulrike and Jurgen Klein, shared a vision of high performing, natural-based skin care, combining Nature’s transformative powers with state of the art skin science. Using their deep knowledge of horticulture/botany (Ulrike) and biochemistry (Jurgen), they wanted to connect people to the natural world in ways not possible with products manufactured solely in a laboratory. The Kleins forged the uncompromising path we still follow; from the seed we plant, to the product that reaches your skin.
AG: Could you tell us a bit more about your role as Farm Manager and how your adventure with Jurlique started? Did you always dream about working in such a unique location or would you say it all happened somewhat by chance?
CH: My background is in Human Resources and initially I was recruiting for Jurlique. As soon as I entered the facility I knew the business had a very unique vibe and culture, I absolutely loved it. I then noticed an opportunity within the production facility and really, Jurlique took a chance on me, where I started as the Filling Production Leader in 2012.
Then in 2014, I had the opportunity to take on the Farm Manager role, I have since completed my diploma in Horticulture and never looked back. I often say I have the best job in the world, the Jurlique Farm is breath-taking and the team is my work family and I strive each day to ensure their work is appreciated and supported along the way. I also have a deep ancestry connection to this land as my ancestors settled in the Adelaide Hills and were some of the founders of Hahndorf in 1836.
We know that Jurlique undergoes a unique process to create various natural formulas which we absolutely admire. We’re curious, can you tell us more about this process and how the company works together as a whole? How exactly is the work split between the 14 different members of the Jurlique family?
CH: The farm team are connected to every part of the land, plant and extractions. From collection of the seed, to propagation, land preparation, compost production, planting, weeding, harvesting, drying and extraction. It is truly remarkable that such a small team produce so much. Every team member has a unique connection to the process and play a vital role in contributing to our products.
We have Pam Cherry who collects seed, propagates, does some parts of extraction and is also our bee keeper. Wilma Hauesler who is our field coordinator, she is our muscle and leads the team that does all our planting, weeding and harvesting. Karen Colotti who manages the drying shed ensuring our harvest is processed and stored correctly. The Maintenance team who ensure all our equipment is working, land preparation and also feed our plants. Irrigation Technician, Leon Crosby who ensures all our plants are irrigated throughout the seasons and especially our hot summers. Then Rosslyn and Luke who ensure all our dried herbs are extracted and processed with precision and care.
AG: We’re big supporters of sustainability here at TWC and adore the way Jurlique focuses solely on nature-based ingredients, but we also assume there is much more to it than meets the eye in terms of keeping up with the overall organisation on the property itself. What would you say is the biggest hardship when working on a farm in terms of technology, weather and structure?
CH: Sustainability is always front of mind and the farm team is extremely proud to be able to say that we haven’t sent any waste to landfill since 2016. We have been looking at ways to reduce our water usage over years and have reduced it by 18%. Moisture probes are used within our fields ensuring our plants get just the right amount of water, which is pivotal in our harsh summer months.
We reuse our hay production as mulch, helping with evaporation issues and also our high organic matter in our top soil retains any rain we may receive, reducing the risk of runoff. Small things are always interesting to know too, like our food scraps from lunch are used to feed our composting worms, including coffee grinds, paper hand towels and tea bags. All our weeding, cuttings and left over dried herbs are returned back into our compost production, ensuring nothing is wasted.
AG: How vital are organic products to you in regards to your well-being and skincare? What would be your biggest argument when trying to convince someone to use more biodynamic skincare products?
CH: Nature has a way of providing all that we need, so when it comes to putting something on your skin, I think it’s really important to look for natural products. I suffer from psoriasis particularly when I was pregnant, I found our Calendula cream not only helped soothed my skin but also healed it. Nature sure has a way!
AG: Do you live a sustainable life yourself on a day-to-day basis? And if so, could you talk us through some of your daily routines when it comes to living an organic-focused lifestyle?
CH: I live a very clean and simple life, taking all I need for myself and my children, always looking at organic produce, in particular what is grown in the local region, if not growing in my backyard. I look for fresh fruit and vegetable that’s in season and take advantage of pumpkin soup in winter and the beautiful stoned fruits in summer. Eating my way through the seasons and connecting that way is actually a lovely way to live.
AG And finally, we’re dreaming to visit you on the gorgeous farm up on the hills of South Australia. Tell us, how long have you worked there and would you say that the location was more or less the inspiration behind the brand itself?
CH: I’ve been told that our founders travelled all over the world to start Jurlique and they selected the Adelaide Hills. I’m lucky enough to be a local already, so it’s in my DNA. My gosh, I’m lucky and when you do come, the first moment your feet touch the ground, you know you’re somewhere special. It truly is the heart of our brand and something we’re all incredibly proud to be part of.
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Featured images via Jurlique
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