From creating her own skincare products derived from botanical oils to becoming the founder and driving force behind the award-winning beauty brand and movement, Eye Of Horus, there is no question that Holly is making waves in the beauty industry. Join us In Conversation as we chat to Holly about her journey to Eye Of Horus, her core values in her business and the hopes for the future of the beauty industry.
Where are you from, and how did you come to be living as you are?
I was raised in Country Victoria by parents who instilled a passion for freedom and connection with nature. I spent most of my childhood on property surrounded by a lake, we were self-sufficient and grew our own fruit and vegetables and had an amazing community around us. My parents both ran their own businesses and taught me the importance of work ethic and working hard to achieve your goals.
Every year our holidays were spent in Byron Bay, it was always my intention to make Byron my home one day, and I moved here in 2014 with my business. I love the lifestyle, freedom and nature connection, as well as the community values around sustainability and care for the environment.
The upbringing that I had taught me to value nature and the land, and allowed me to foster my creativity. I’m naturally a creative person and love the process of inceptioning an idea and watching it materialise and manifest into something tangible. Seeing my parents as their own bosses, creating and building something from the ground up influenced me to start my own business. I had the intention of building an authentic brand that had a purpose, with sustainability at the forefront, as this was ingrained in me through our lifestyle.
Having your own business, although demanding at times, allows a sort of creative freedom, flexibility and satisfaction, especially when it can be a vehicle for producing something that has a positive impact on people's lives and the planet.
You have been at the forefront of Australian beauty. What led you to a career in empowered beauty, the movement you have created and how have your previous roles shaped the creative you are today?
My journey in beauty began at an early age. I'd been making my own skincare products and using botanical oils, in particular, on my skin for years. I have very sensitive skin and I would get irritations from products, so I was looking for alternatives in clean beauty that also performed. My Mum grew medicinal plants and had knowledge of their properties, making tinctures and treatments for the family to heal a cut, wound or to take internally for inner health. The connection to the healing power of plants was instilled in me at such a young age and is likely what ignited my love for botanical ingredients, beauty rituals and the plant medicine. The interest in creating and formulating for me evolved.
I knew I wanted to run my own business one day, which is why when I finished high school I enrolled in a Bachelor of Business / Marketing: it gave me a good general understanding of business and the principles of marketing. I have always been interested in health and wellness, mind, body, spirit connection and lived a healthy lifestyle, which is why I was inspired to start a clean beauty brand, while also studying Naturopathy. I felt at the time, there was little in the way of high performance makeup that embraced natural ingredients and honoured skin health, so I recognised a gap in the market; the need to solve a problem. I began working on a brand dedicated to clean makeup, in particular eye makeup, and Eye of Horus was born.
Eye of Horus strives to be more than a brand, but a movement that encourages you to celebrate your authentic expression of self and embrace your natural beauty. We aim to create an inclusive community that elevates one another and advocates for positive change. “Empowered Beauty” was envisioned from the intention of celebrating beauty in all shapes and forms. I believe there is beauty in unity by supporting and empowering each other.
Our inspiration comes from ancient beauty rituals and sacred ingredients, each product is a collection of stories, traditions and learnings that intend to empower with beauty, confidence and purpose. It is our mission and commitment to offer cosmetics that are clean, conscious and considered. To me, it was important to build a foundation of firm beliefs and core values of diversity, sustainability, organics, giving back and collaboration. Our approach to product formulation echoes our core values, and everything we do as a brand is a reflection of those values. Every decision considers that value system we have established.
Where did the inspiration behind Eye Of Horus Cosmetics stem from?
While studying Naturopathy I learnt about the origins of plant medicine and beauty. I wanted to know more about where makeup and self care originated from. I became fascinated with learning about ancient alchemy, history and the wisdom of plant healing. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use and wear makeup and practice beauty rituals, they used waxes and oils and pigments in their eye liners and were such an advanced civilization who had incredible knowledge of plant healing; they even created the first medicinal text. I loved that they valued the importance of self care and beauty rituals, making self care part of their existence and celebrated in ceremonies.
Initially, the intention for the brand was to focus on natural eye makeup products, but the product offering grew from there and is now a complete colour cosmetics brand.
What are your hopes for the beauty industry and where do you see it moving towards in the future?
There is increasing pressure to adopt environment-friendly policies and to run businesses more sustainably. I have definitely seen a shift and movement towards sustainable options from product creation to formulation development, and this trajectory is my hope for the beauty industry.
As a brand we have been working on our sustainable journey for over 3 years and we are excited to see it start to become recognised as an important element in mainstream business. We have signed the covenant for Australia’s 2025 Packaging Targets and are proud to be either replacing plastic packaging with PCR (recycled plastic) or other circular materials. Our refillable beauty options are also launching this year, which is an incredible achievement for the brand.
The future in Beauty is reflecting and righting people's concerns, that is, ensuring we, and other brands, are showcasing care and taking steps to look after the environment, people and the planet. Brands have a responsibility to educate and inspire, not only on beauty but on what they represent, which should include diversity, sustainability, ingredient, product integrity and giving back.
There's also a move towards slow beauty- we are selecting smaller artisan manufacturers who make smaller runs and use higher grade and ethically farmed ingredients. Fair Trade and how ingredients are sourced, grown and collected all form part of the ethical, clean beauty movement and it's an exciting time to be part of the industry.
If there have been any positive takeaways from the global pandemic, it is that people are evaluating and connecting to what they care about. We are seeing an unfolding of people starting to choose brands based on what they stand for- are they transparent and authentic? So, I would expect and hope to see more of that focus on sustainability and brand transparency.
Finally, where can we find your Marloe Marloe pieces?
In my home, they are also the predominant feature in our new concept store in Byron Bay Industrial estate. The design and styling reflects the ethos of the brand- less is more. The iconic pieces capture the intention of visitors and leave a lasting impression. You’ll see our Marloe Marloe selections in both Black and White in our Concept Store at 1/ 4 Boronia Place Byron Bay.