LONDON — Pharmacognosist Dr. Simon Jackson and managing director John Murray are looking to fill in the gap within personal care and are aiming to be pioneers of natural products. Jackson and Murray launched Modern Botany earlier this week in the U.K., a unisex brand that consists of natural products that are based on pharmacognosy — the study of medicines from plants and natural environments.
The duo — who are both business partners and married partners — met in 2012 while working together at Jackson’s first venture, Dr. Jackson’s Natural Products Cosmetics company. Jackson, who set up the company in 2008, left in 2016, sold his shares in 2017 and is no longer associated with the brand. Their aim was to focus on products that are science-led, plant-based natural alternatives that are aluminium and paraben-free.
“The theme behind it is making kind of 100 percent natural products so they’re ethically sourced and based ingredients,” said Murray. “But they’re of pharmaceutical grade so they’ll have therapeutic effect and really high quality and high calibre formulations that’s very important for the backdrop of the brand, and focusing really on European indigenous plants and Irish going forward as well.”
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“We want to make personal care regime that’s simplistic, stripped down people’s usage of lots of products for the same function,” Murray added. “It’s about keeping it very simple and it’s about having a multitasking functionality to the product. The product we’ll be bringing out in the future will be simple and efficacious. they’ll be affordable, we want to make them accessible, more of a mid-range price as well.”
The duo launched with Modern Botany Deodorant, which is also an antiperspirant and fragrance. Using biologically active ingredients, which contain medicinal benefits, components are sourced from around the world. Key ingredients include essential oils such as witch hazel, lemon tea tree, sandalwood, frankincense, atlantic cedar wood, eucalyptus and vetivert. Priced at 25 pounds, the deodorant will exclusively launch with Content Beauty in mid-May. Following that, the brand will sold at various pharmacies and lifestyle stores.
Jackson said they have more products in the pipeline, which will include a cleanser that you can use on your face, body and hair as well as a skin emulsifier that will be calming and soothing. The duo decline to comment on projected sales for the U.K. launch but Jackson said feedback has been “fantastic” with their soft launch in Ireland.
“With regards to sales, already we’ve quadrupled what we thought was going to sell of this product in Ireland,” Jackson said. “So it’s exceeding what we thought we were going to do already. We’re very excited to launch in the U.K. and see how the U.K. market responds.”
As a part of their rollout plan, they said they want to launch in different stores within the U.K. and aim to create a 25-ml. travel version, as well as other products.
Jackson noted that educating their audience is an important part of their ethos and noted that the web site is really key. “Obviously a lot of businesses are moving online now,” Jackson said. “We’ve got vlogs to put on our web site. Just talking about this, we’ve been doing some videos on how to use the product and how we used it, which is great to have.”
Murray pointed to the use of social media among the platforms to educate their consumers. “Twitter would be a good educational tool and going forward,” Murray said. “What Simon plans to do are tutorials and educational pieces on Twitter or videos. We’ll also do workshops as well. So these are things we’re going to plan in the next two years. We like to meet people and hear their questions and talk about the science behind the brand. I think the education is really important, it’s just people are starting to talk about parabens and aluminium and we get to explain that they can be replaced. There are alternatives that can be done and we’re leading the way in personal care market to look at really good formulations and natural alternatives.”