Emily Rohr Interview
Emily Rohr is the founder and creator at Rohr Remedy. She sat down recently to talk about her journey, and we would love to share some of the insights.
In one or two sentences, what is Rohr Remedy about – ethically, morally, fundamentally, and commercially?
Rohr Remedy is a family business committed to operating in an ethically responsible and environmentally sustainable way. Our company was founded thanks to the shared knowledge and skills of the Yulparitja women and men of Bidyadanga, Western Australia. As a result, we now collaborate with different communities and small farmers who share our passion for sustainability and ethically sourced, wild-grown, and organic uniquely Australian raw ingredients.
No other company embraces ancient wisdom and integrates bush medicine quite like yourselves. Why is the use of native Australian plants and knowledge of the Australian indigenous people central to Rohr Remedy and how do you think this differentiates you from the rest of the market?
For the past 23 years, we have worked with Indigenous countrymen and women in regional Australia. We love the Australian bush and have a strong connection to the living nature of country. Many brands use the Australian natives, but most are city-born who have no real working knowledge, they are just buying it from distributors and including it because of its benefits, for us, it is the basis of the brand it is integral to what we are about.
Unlike other natural skincare manufacturers, Rohr Remedy uses the entire plant – not just the active ingredients. What is the benefit of this approach?
We have a long history of isolating actives and just taking what is deemed the important nutrient in plants, we see this with the vitamin industry as well as the cosmetic industry. I have always believed that we underestimate excipients and derivatives. The classic example is the cassava plant which is a key part of a huge number of people’s diet around the world, it is like the rice of the pacific. It was deemed a filler or just a carb that helped ease hunger, recently however they discovered that it is extremely high in vitamin B 16 a known anti-cancer active, and the whole thinking around this simple vegetable has changed. We are limited to our research and I think, there is so much that we do not know about our plants. We like to keep things whole because mother nature has taken millions of years to develop these plants and we like to honour that hard work. This also means the key actives are supported to prevent degradation and oxidization and enables better absorption.
Do you see virtue in the wild harvest of native plants vs. agricultural cultivation?
Wild harvesting has a higher yield of actives than plantation grown plants. When you collect bush medicines with the old women, they always look at the surrounding plants, the most potent ones are usually next to bushes. For them, the whole surrounding ecosystem is important. Indigenous farming techniques are very interesting, they tend to work with the natural environment rather than obliterating it. I think we can learn so much from our countrymen and women, and I feel so passionate about developing these industries in regional Australia, that are owned and operated by the TO’s.
What is the power-house ingredient/s that features often in Rohr Remedy products and why do you choose to use it/them?
Every one of our products focus’ on special ingredients they all do different but important things. Kakadu plum is a stand-out for me and the Boab nut. The Boab has an amazing amino acid profile, which is for me the most exciting part of this plant. It is what I call the multivitamin of oils, so not only does it contain vitamin C, A, E, F, B, it also contains high levels of calcium and magnesium and other minerals, these are all well and good, but it is the amino acids that provide its pharmacological benefits. Basically, these are the pre-cursors that play a vital role in doing things like converting vitamin A into retinol, producing collagen, and provide cell regeneration. I think it is such a fabulous ingredient and I get such a glow when I use this oil, I even put it in my hair.
How do your products adapt for your customer’s changing needs and lifestyles, and why was a one-size-fits-all approach inadequate?
We love the fact that no two days are really exactly the same and no two people even identical twins are 100% the same, so we wanted people to take control of their own skin care regime and so developed a tightly curated range, that firmly puts the control into the hands of each individual. By using the whole of the plant our extracts work synergistically with the skin, so each person will draw down on what they require, making it suitable for all skin types. We have the serum which is oil-free for humid days or for people with more oily skin, then we have the oil for a richer moisturisation, and then the everyday Lilly Pilly moisturiser and they are all interchangeable. We know that your skin is a living organ (the bodies largest) and as such is mutable, and your skin care regime needs to reflect that.