I'm a huge fan of That Red House and soapberries, how amazing that these berries grown on trees can replace soap and then be composted after they are all soaped out, SO cool! I was already a fan but after catching up with Talia I've developed perhaps a bit of a girl crush too.
HOW DID YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS JOURNEY BEGIN?
My personal journey began in 2006 when my husband was diagnosed with cancer
(for the second time). I was 35 weeks pregnant with our first baby, and it was truly
the biggest challenge we have faced both individually and as a couple. We decided
then and there to change everything from the food we ate, to the general chemicals
we were exposing ourselves to on a daily basis. I scrutinized every single aspect of
our lives, and I was truly shocked at what I learned.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THAT RED HOUSE?
After making some pretty radical changes in the way we lived, we embarked on
another challenge, and decided to build an eco house and garden in order to live
sustainably and organically. I wanted to have control over what went into our bodies,
and having the ability to grow our own food was a crucial component of the process.
But I discovered a hurdle when attempting to find a laundry detergent that was both
suitable for greywater use, and able to tackle the filthy washing created by my
children! (by that time I had gone on to have 3 little boys!)
I learned that even the ‘eco’ detergents on the market were still unsuitable to pump
out on to my veggie garden, and I was not willing to then ingest the residue left by
them in our food. I was determined to find a detergent that would fit the bill…. But it
was not easy at all. It took time, and a great deal of research. But eventually I found
my little berries and after using them for a couple of years myself, I built up the
courage to risk it all – career, financial security, time and give it a go! The product
was too good not to share with the rest of the world… I really believe that every bag
of berries that we sell… we are making a difference on so many levels.
WHAT SETS THAT RED HOUSE APART FROM OTHER BRANDS?
We are completely natural and certified organic. There is one ingredient only, and at
no time are any other ingredients, chemicals or processes used in the production of
our berries. They are packed, dried in the sun and packed… That’s it! It does not get
any more natural than that.
We have also made the logistically difficult transition to become 100% waste free.
And this was no easy task…We audited every aspect of the harvest, transportation
and eventual packaging of our product, and have ensured that all materials are
compostable and biodegradable, and leave no footprint at all. This was an interesting
task when communicating our desires to our Nepalese partners, but they have
embraced the concept, and we are very excited to move forward into a waste free
Our customers know exactly what they are getting, and that they are contributing to a
bigger picture… not only environmentally, but socially. The sale of our berries
financially support the small Nepalese communities in the far Western region, and
we are now teaming up with a charity which focuses on supporting the health of
women across Nepal… it’s a truly exciting time for us, and we feel that our
customers want to be a part of this!
TELL US ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS USED IN YOUR FORMULAS
This is one of the best parts of our product. We literally have 1 ingredient! Our
berries are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree, and they are simply picked,
dried in the sun, deseeded and packed ready for use! It does not get more simple
than that! The berries contain a natural substance called ‘saponin’ which is a natural
soap. They are antibacterial, antifungal and 100% organic.
BEING UP AGAINST MAINSTREAM BRANDS WITH SEEMINGLY ENDLESS MARKETING BUDGETS IS TOUGH, WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP GOING?
It really doesn’t bother me to be honest. This company was founded out of a general
desire to protect our precious children, and stop harming our planet.
I wanted to provide people with an option that was organic, 100% natural and
ensured fair working conditions for those involved in the production. Guaranteed. We
are growing faster than I ever imagined, and as we grow, I will always ensure that
our profits are spent on giving back to the communities that rely on us. We will
always remain true to the product, and true to our customers. Our soapberries speak
for themselves, and consumers are smarter than the big companies give them credit
for! Endless marketing budgets are not essential to guarantee growth. A fabulous
product and an honest set of ethical standards are the most important guidelines for
a successful business. The rest will follow.
WHERE ARE YOUR SOAPBERRIES MADE?
We source our products from the stunning Himalayan region in Nepal. Our harvest
areas are almost inaccessible, and during a recent trip to meet our harvesting
communities, we were able to see first hand, the beauty and harsh reality of both the
terrain and culture.
Our berries are wild harvested, and are sourced from the highest altitude areas,
ensuring a higher saponin (natural soap) content, and overall quality.
We have all our products not only harvested, but packed in Nepal, thus ensuring
employment for hundreds of Nepalese people across several communities. We are
also in the process of establishing an initiative to provide adequate health care for
the women involved in our harvest areas.
More details to come!!!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Interestingly… we have had an extract drawn from our berries, and we are in the
process of formulating a range of complimentary cleaning products which are pure,
certified organic and most importantly effective! Our customers are loving our
berries… and are wanting more! We have sooooo much in the pipeline, I am
struggling to keep a lid on it! In addition to our charitable pursuits with That Red
House, we will be working as fast as we can to get this cleaning range up and
running asap. Stay tuned…
YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO RELAX:
I relax by switching off the computer and spending time with my 4 kids. I am guilty of
being a bit of a workaholic, so it's important for me to separate the two parts of my
life, and make sure I set aside time for the family. My boys are sports mad, so our
weekends are generally a mix of running from one sport to another, and squeezing in
some quality time together. I also do yoga, and spend time dancing with my two year
old, who is convinced she is a ballerina. But the one way I achieve true relaxation is
in my organic garden. It gives me great peace and allows me to become grounded. I
kick off my shoes and get out there every day. Even if it is just to pick some of our
amazing produce… It is important for me to earth myself and have some stillness. It
is a daily ritual which I adore, and I have worked so hard for my children to
experience too. It is so important for them to know about where our food comes
from, so they have a true appreciation for our environment and how truly blessed we
YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO EXERCISE:
I must admit I am a bit of a gym junkie! I love popping the headphones in, and
getting into it! But I am also lucky enough to live in the stunning Adelaide hills, and I
run regularly through my surrounding areas of an evening. I discover new trails, and
become immersed in the sheer beauty of this place!
YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD:
I love Asian food. My father lived in Hong Kong for many years, and I developed a
love of dumplings and yum cha. But since becoming involved in the Nepalese
culture, I must admit… curry may eventually take the cake!
But nothing beats heading out into the garden and picking something fresh off the
tree or bush, and eating it! There is nothing more satisfying.
WOW how amazing is Talia and That Rad House!? I'm in awe of companies like this, paving the way for us and future generations to live low tox lives... just so fantastic. I cannot wait to check out the new products!
Check out the range here.