murph&murph getting together with Rohr Remedy
During these uncertain times we wanted to get together with other small businesses we love and admire and get their story.
We actually grew up with these amazing Rohr sisters. They come from a beautiful family of nine children and everyone of them is a truly good person.
I was expecting their answers to be a little more glossed over considering Rohr Remedy's polished brand... But no, the sisters say it how it is!
What inspired you to start Rohr Remedy? And what gave you the confidence to take the plunge into the skin care industry.
I was working with the Yulparitja women - we ran a painting studio in Broome, and often in the morning we would collect the plants to make bush medicines which would simmer away while everyone painted. It was the old ladies who were worried about the future generations that planted the seeds for Rohr Remedy. We wanted to support the growers in Broome. My father in law was a second generation chemist who was trained in apothecary, so his knowledge really was invaluable in being able to convert these bush plants into something that was usable in a commercial sense. I also was able to get loads of tips from Dad, a Dermatologist, who also knew some really good formulations. I didn’t really think about the skin care industry and in fact it is an industry that I cannot stand, all that botox and self obsession and lies - it is the kind of thing I really hate. We tried to be different and just wanted to make great products that work, that utilise the extraordinary farming and bush knowledge of our countrymen and women, and assist in developing industries in the bush. I also love the idea of busy women taking time out for self caring, and from that point of view I like the skin care industry, it's just there's a lot of bull___t in that world. When I see a celebrity endorsing products, I know it is rubbish, it's like McDonalds giving kids toys, they have to bribe you to buy the food, because it is really awful, with little nutrition.
What would you say has been the hardest part of starting and running your own business?
Everything… you do it all. You don’t have anyone to fall back on and you work 24/7. It's full on, and super stressful, I actually would not recommend being a small business person. I have two small businesses, and the sleepless nights are endless. I laugh when I see what public servants have, sometimes I fantasize about how good it would be to have holidays, weekends, superannuation and RDO’s it’s like a fantasy world to people who run businesses, The Big Rock Candy Mountain….
What do you love most about Rohr Remedy?
Our amazing loyal customers, we have a strong repeat customer, that send us amazing emails and messages of gratitude and love for our product. I also love love the products, nothing has worked as well on my skin. I also love using things from the Aussie bush, because my family have been here since the first fleet, so it's in the genes and one of the things I love most about life. I choose to live regionally so I can be as close as possible to the bush, and nothing soothes my soul more that smell of Australia.
If you had your time again, would you do anything differently?
Definitely – I think you are not learning if you get everything right all the time. However, the one thing I would do differently is probably be more prepared and have more of a strategy in place before jumping in. We were so keen to get it to market we did a very soft launch and in hindsight maybe we needed to have more of bang!
What's the best advice you were given along the along the way?
There are no emergencies in skin care - it's not life threatening, it's a marathon, just run through the stitches.
If you could narrow it down, what's the most important piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Talk to other business people, do the research, and point your spear. You need to be really focused, and know what outcomes you want, also keep it simple, start with one product not heaps, and build up slowly.
What is and upside and downside of working with your sister?
The downside is probably the emotional attachment, you can’t just walk away or switch off as not only do you care about the business working but you want this so badly to work for your sister and you want to help her get there. The upside is constant honesty and no matter how hard it can be we will always have each other’s back. We are so blessed to have always had an amazing relationship and communicate really well, sometimes too much!
What is your favourite Australian holiday destination?
We drive across Australia every year. So it's hard for me to limit it to one place. However, I do have to rate Far North Queensland and the Kimberley particularly Cairns and Broome, as my heart is in both towns, but for me personally I love camping in the desert… the huge sky, the ancestors, the jilas, the dingoes, the eagles, and camels and the strange desert trees that are such sanctuaries. They're all there with you and I find such comfort in this wide space, and I never feel alone out in the desert. Actually, you never are alone out there.
Do you have a favourite hotel when travelling for business?
Yes it depends on the town, I love strange quirky hotels, but because I travel so much I am a member of many groups, so often just like the best deal I can get in a central location. I do like the M collection hotels in Accor. I like the Hilton in Brisbane, because it’s so 70’s, the Stamford in Kowloon, Hong Kong is good. I like the Como in South Yarra, or the art hotels. But my favourite in Melbourne is the Windsor during the Spring art shows, that's great fun. In Cloncurry, I like the Gidji Inn, the Kimberley Hotel Halls Creek, the Wyndham port hotel in Wyndham. In Broome the Cable Beach Club, in Cairns the Riley, and I love the True North, I know it is not a hotel, but it's the ultimate in fantastic travel...
Now enough about you, what do you love about us? Hahaha
What’s not to love, two gorgeous sisters creating amazing bags! Being a mother to 3 beach obsessed children means I cannot live without my murph&murph. It holds everything, even the sneaky bottle of wine for sunset sessions. The versatility of the rug is brilliant, in our house it’s used as a yoga mat, picnic rug and even the dog prefers to sleep on it instead of her bed! It's the ultimate lifestyle collection and I have just invested in the Cove Mini and am finding I’m using it as my everyday bag, whoops! We love these bags, because they are like us, practical, honest, solid but absolutely fabulously gorgeous…. what’s not to like.