Rohr Remedy is a natural skincare company using Australian medicinal plants combined with dermatological science. We sit down with founder Emily Rohr to discover more about the brand.
What inspired you to create Rohr Remedy?
I was working with the old desert people of Yulparitja who had never met white people until 1974, they always used bush medicines and would often send me down to collect plants and boil them up. My father is a dermatologist and my father in-law started the first chemist in Broome, with his father an apothecarist. As a result, we had an old formula dating back to the 1890’s, so I started combining these traditions.
The Land Rights movement saw many of our friends attain their land, and they were looking for ways to make it generate income for them. So we started making skincare basing the formula on family recipes, and adding bush medicines from the country.
We work in partnership with traditional owners who run their own companies. We always felt the best way to go was to create awareness of the amazing potential and qualities of Australian plants, they truly are extraordinary and very unique. All the research confirms the high antioxidant content of many of these plants.
How did you establish your core values when creating Rohr Remedy?
I have worked for 20 years in regional Australia with traditional aboriginal people. We love the bush and felt strongly about working with nature, so our values are really a reflection of our personal ethics. I was one of nine children and we were always taught one golden rule “do unto others as you would do unto yourself.” It is easy to live by this, and this is what I apply to everything as a golden rule.
My values for the brand are; integrity, honesty, minimising environmental impact, products that work and are effective, have science behind them, and are elegant, so this is what we set out to make.
What was the process like when creating the products?
It has been far more complex than we realised. Thank god I had such an amazing chemist that was on hand to solve some of the more complex issues. We work with one of the best PHD natural formulators in the Southern Hemisphere, who is originally German, so he bought a lot of new knowledge of natural pharmacology to the table.
There has also been a huge interest from Australian Universities in studying many of the plants, so there is now extensive research into traditional plants that has been invaluable. We have a great team whose expertise crosses all the science involved, so we have been very fortunate and everyone is passionate about what they do.
How do you ensure ethical trading and environmentally sustainable practises for your brand?
We have worked for 20 years with Indigenous people who are very vulnerable to exploitation, our grandchildren are indigenous and much of my work has been about teaching people basic money management skills. We are meticulous in our paperwork and money business trails. We believe in transparent business relationships, that good business should be sustainable and should always be a win win.
Part of our whole motivation has been to develop sustainable futures and employment opportunities for future generations growing up in regional Australia. We always apply the ‘golden rule’ of ethics. Many of the people we work with understand sustainable farming and these practices date back 1000’s of years, so the companies we work with are indigenous owned and run, they farm according to their traditions and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
What are some of your favourite ingredients you use and why?
I love anything with Kakadu plum, only because we ate these for years in Broome, we call them Gubinge, and they really are a super food, I love that they surpass every super food in the world in terms of their extraordinary vitamin C and antioxidant properties.
I am also a massive fan of the boab. Not only are the “upside down” trees so fabulously reminiscent of the “Petit Prince” or a Dr Seuss book, they are such a great natural multi-vitamin for the skin, it is a really balanced oil with great properties. The boab has a really high vitamin C content and is one of the oldest trees on the planet. Whilst its cousin – the Baobab tree has been used extensively in Africa by people for 1000’s of years, but is relatively new to the west.
What are the basic essential products someone needs to have in their daily routine?
I never leave home without: boab oil, kakadu plum serum, gumbi gumbi lip balm and sunscreen….oh at the moment I am having a love affair with our new soaps particularly the activated charcoal and kakadu plum one…