John Murray - above left.

How did your brand come about?

The company was set up by Dr Simon Jackson (Dr of Pharmacognosy - Natural Product Scientist) and myself (John) in 2016. Having had years of combined working knowledge and experience in scientific research and in the cosmetic/wellness industry we wanted to create a natural product company with a difference. Simon coming from a botanical science background with a focus on drug discovery from plants and having previously founded his own natural cosmetic company, we both wanted to establish a unique natural product company which was inclusive, offered high quality and high performance natural and organic elevated personal care products that are universal in their appeal and unisex. Based on the Wild Atlantic Way amid incredible seascapes and rugged and unspoilt natural beauty, Modern Botany uses our surrounding environment to be the DNA and inspiration for the brand as a ‘clean’ skincare company.

What motivates you to work hard?

I have come to understand as I go on in life that when you do something you love and do that which has meaning and purpose, then the motivation to do hard work is a natural, energising and rewarding pastime. This is how we feel about the work we do at Modern Botany in creating products that are innovative and life-enhancing for our customers. Our long-term plans are to grow most of the ingredients we use in the products and are currently growing test beds of Chamomile, Borage and Calendula. We are very excited about working with local farmers to make this dream a reality.

What are you most proud of as a brand?
The heart of our business is sustainability and we are fiercely an eco-conscious brand.

I think mostly what we are most proud of is being part of the ever-growing global natural movement, whose ethos is to encourage our tribe to step away from chemical-based products and offering them to look to nature for the best way of living. We are very proud of how we ethically and sustainably source our ingredients and look to best practice to produce formulations that are kind to skin and the planet and we are committed to giving back more than we take out of nature.

What sets you apart from other brands in your category?
The key pillar to our brand is that it is based on the principles of pharmacognosy (botanical or natural product science). We are privileged to have a Doctor of Pharmacognosy as our founder and this ensures that our formulations are designed with best results and evidence-based plant-based skin care in mind. This means the natural ingredients chosen by Simon are selected to be of high pharmacy grade which means they give therapeutic effect on the skin. This also means that we can stand up to the traceability and transparency of our ingredients.

What is your best beauty hack?

I have a few secret beauty hacks that I have learnt over time, but my number one hack is no mystery and stands the test of time, and that’s a good night sleep. There is nothing more rewarding, rejuvenating and repairing that a gloriously long and uninterrupted sleep. Good for our mental health, the gut and best skin results.

What do you do with your free time? (How do you unwind/destress)

The most exciting part of my day is getting my trainers on and doing a long walk or hike early morning or evening. We are fortunate to live in the most beautiful costal area, so my walks are never dull. A walk is definitely the best way I unwind and clear my mind of the days’ activities.

Could you pick one small change for everyone to make to live more sustainably?

I have a few but to speak of one I try to practice consistently is the preservation of water. Water is such a precious commodity and so easy to take for granted in our lives. I try to practice water-saving in small ways like turning the tap off when washing my teeth; or recycling water in cooking (i.e. using water used in cooking veg to make gravy or pasta). I also try not to shower every day, but flannel wash every couple of days to cut down on water wastage, something we used to do in the old days. I then use my Modern Botany deodorant as a body spray, set for the day ahead!

Do you have anything exciting coming up with the brand? (New launches/pr/christmas plans)
Yes, we are excited as our next phase of development will see the planning and implementation of a company rebrand which will include new products coming on line in early 2021 and building into our business plan more exciting sustainability and philanthropic project.

What is your LITTLE FIND? (Favourite product on THE FIND)

I love Bees Wrap, it’s a brilliant natural must-have in my kitchen – no more clingfilm for me. I also love Haeckels Refining Powder Facial Masque, I love all things seaweed and they make great products and we love what they stand for.

Haeckels Mask
Have you read any book lately or watched anything on tv that you think people should know about?

I absolutely loved ‘A Hidden Life’, written and directed by Terrence Malick', which tells the story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who refused to join the army during World War II. Its told so lovingly and beautifully set against the most impossible politics but incredibly captured cinematography. A must watch.

Tell us your favourite quote, mantra or best piece of advice

‘Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop then when we soar’. William Wordsworth

What do you wish you had invented?

Emm? I’m not sure…………I think I am the one who appreciates invention rather than invent!

Now, let’s have a little fun and FIND out about you...

  • Ios or Android? Android
  • What's worse, laundry or dishes? Laundry, everytime!
  • Morning person or a night owl? Morning person for sure
  • Facebook or Instagram? Instagram
  • Call or text? Call
  • Podcast or Radio? Radio
  • Live in the past of the future? Past I think but would not relive it
  • Sandwich or Salad? Salad in a sandwich


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