We are big believers in shopping with independent brands and making sustainable, ethical choices every day. We also believe in transparency, which is why this week’s blog goes behind the scenes at Oilixia to give a glimpse into our world. Warning: our interview with brand founder Alexandra may give you some serious wanderlust!
Oilixia Team: How many countries have you been to and which was the very first place you visited outside your home country of Australia?
Alexandra: At last count it was about 55, not including going to the same country multiple times, which I seem to have started making a habit of! My first overseas trip was when I was 21, to Thailand with a small group of my friends. I had such a great time exploring a different country and culture and that was when the international travel bug surely bit! Before that, I’d travelled a lot domestically in Australia but hadn’t made the journey overseas.
OT: Tell us about the top five places that stand out to you and why?
A: This is such a difficult one! My top five places, in no particular order, are:
- Norway. The Fjords are a hiker’s paradise with stunning scenery and such fresh air! The country is also very long, so the diversity from north to south is fascinating.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is such a beautiful city. I love the fusion of city and beach life, surrounded by the mountains dropping down into the ocean.
- Budapest, Hungary. Two words: thermal baths!
- Fraser Island, Australia. I went here with my family when I was quite young. Considering it is a sand island, the diversity was impressive – from long beaches and big dunes to tropical oases and rainforest. The constant threat of being eaten by a dingo also adds a terrifying thrill.
- Bath, UK. The sandstone buildings are beautiful, the cathedral is impressive. And … baths!
OT: Have you always been an adventurer?
A: I loved being outdoors and exploring when I was younger. As a family, we spent a lot of holidays camping in the semi-outback of Australia with very limited ‘amenities’ – if you get my drift! Those holidays were always the most fun. I love the idea of being able to rely on nature’s resources to survive, such as fire for cooking, a fresh running river for drinking and being able to wake up very early and go to bed with the sun. As a result, I can roll a tight sleeping bag and put up a tent in the rain – you never know when you might need those skills again!
OT: How have you found the experience living on the other side of the world and away from your family?
A: The hardest thing about being on the other side of the world is missing little occasions that you can’t always fly back for – birthdays, dinners, mini celebrations and seeing babies grow up. Skype and FaceTime has definitely helped bridge the gap between visits though!
OT: What do you love the most about living in London?
A: I live in East London and my favourite part is the focus on independent and small businesses. There are hardly any big ‘chain’ stores and I love that the environment is supportive of people that want to get up and do something that they are passionate about, while serving the community.
OT: Oilixia is obviously inspired by your love for travel with the products taking ingredients from different locations. Where were you in the world when you decided to launch the brand?
A: Looking back on it, the development of the brand was quite an evolution, but the final lightbulb moment and decision to launch a beauty brand came when I was in London. I had just finished a three-month trip traversing Asia and Europe (from China through Mongolia, Russia and into eastern Europe). During that time, I kept a personal blog where I wrote about treatments, local products and ingredients that I found in each country I visited. This formed the beginning of the idea for Oilixia. I love the spa and wellness culture that countries like Russia, Finland and Hungary in particular have – I could happily spend hours in a sauna and be very content!
OT: What’s your dream destination?
A: I have so many places on my bucket list! The top three are:
- A road trip down the west coast of the USA
- A safari in South Africa and Botswana
- Camping in the Scottish Highlands