Jo Wood Organics Plotting Face Care
LOS ANGELES — Now that Jo Wood has got the body covered, she’s going for the face.

Wood, the wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, was here last week as part of her husband’s concert tour, and she took the opportunity to promote her bath and body care brand, called Jo Wood Organics, with a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.

Jo Wood plans to take the brand, which now consists of nine bath and body products carried in highly limited U.S. and international distribution, into the face care category. While an exact time frame has not been set in stone, a full facial line, including lip balm, will bow at the end of next year or in early 2008.

“I have to get back in the lab again,” said Jo Wood, citing her husband’s exhaustive tour schedule. In the meantime, Jo Wood will introduce an essential oil-based body spray, called Usiku Organic Body Dew, in late April. The spray, which contains cardamom and vitamin E, will retail for $85 for 100 ml.

Being a rock star’s wife for more than two decades finally convinced Wood to try her hand at starting her own business. As an ardent believer in all things organic, especially after a health scare compelled her to trade junk food for an organic lifestyle — Wood was told she had Crohn’s disease in the early Nineties, a misdiagnosis of a perforated appendix — she was convinced that all the natural products on the market were either “too Mother Nature, or too scientific.

“I started it three years ago,” she said of her beauty business. “My kids were all grown up, and I was standing in my kitchen thinking that all I was doing was making dinner. She met with a French cosmetologist in London and then spent the next several months “smelling different scents,” she said. “I just picked what I liked.”

Wood and her husband frequently vacation in Kenya, so she chose Swahili names for the collection. For instance, Amka means “to wake,” and the products in that part of the line combine ingredients like Iranian rose otto, Egyptian jasmine, green mandarin and bergamot. Usiku, which means “sleep,” represents the more calming formulas, which are made from rosemary, cardamom, hot ginger and Moroccan cedar wood.

This story first appeared in the March 13, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Wood also opted to use a highly filtered form of orange juice, and she scoured suppliers for ingredients as rare as arctic bilberry. Gingko and echinacea are employed for their healing properties.

Once Wood had completed the initial development phase of the line, she showed it to buyers at Harvey Nichols in London, who took it on immediately.

Just as the business was starting to grow, her husband told her about the start of the Stones’ current U.S. tour three years ago. Taking the advice of her son, she decided to use the opportunity to show the products to U.S. retailers.

Wood said Barneys New York, Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman were all interested in it, and she ultimately decided to enter into an exclusive distribution deal with Bergdorf Goodman two years ago. In the U.S., the line is also carried in Neiman Marcus. Internationally, Jo Wood Organics is carried at Harvey Nichols in the U.K. and in Dubai, and at a specialty store in Russia. “I don’t want it to be in every single store in the world,” she said.

The products feature chocolate brown packaging with gold lettering. The formulations are housed in clear glass bottles. The assortment, which includes bath and body oils, lotions and soaps, ranges in price from $25 to $110.
Kavita Daswani

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