Torquay couple’s message in a bottle
Beach lovers Andy Fenech and Patt Kaewjorhor are pouring their passion for natural products into their new business venture, Pure Coastal Australia.
The Torquay-based husband and wife team launched the sustainable beauty and personal care range last month after a year spent perfecting their formulations, messaging and packaging.
Andy, a carpenter by trade, says there were a few motivating factors which led to them creating Pure Coastal.
The first was bringing to life an uncomplicated, quality product which used the best ingredients sourced from the Australian coastline, ocean and bushland.
The second was a desire to create a brand which was firmly aligned with, and approved by, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) – a cause close to their hearts as Australia’s only national charity dedicated exclusively to protecting ocean wildlife and their habitat.
Another reason was Andy’s dad, Ricky, a mechanical engineer who happens to own a natural formulations business, Evergreen Formulations.
Finally, prioritising family was important to Andy who found his hectic working week as a tradie was leaving little time to spend with children Taya, 4, and Mason, 2.
“We wanted more family time because me working six or seven days a week takes a toll on the family,” he says.
“We also love our coast where we live here in Torquay and we wanted to put that passion into Pure Coastal.”
The Pure Coastal range is certified allergy free, cruelty free, toxin free and vegan, with all packaging made from 100 per cent recycled plastics.
The launch range includes a hand sanitiser, hand wash, shower scrub and after sun gel.
There are three scents with enticing combinations of ingredients including ‘coconut, kelp and sea minerals’, ‘lemon myrtle and Kakadu plum’ and ‘bush mint, grapefruit, cucumber and aloe vera’.
The latter, Andy says, is proving particularly popular with their male customers.
“The main thing we wanted to achieve was minimal ingredients with maximum benefits,” he says of the carefully considered formulations.
“We are both learning a lot and, as we learn, we are starting to get even more passionate about what we are doing which is great.
“It took a long time to get our products right, to get everything tested and certified.
“For example, our hand sanitiser which is alcohol and ethanol free, that’s been tested and proven to kill 99.99 of germs naturally.”
There are future plans to expand the product range, with a sunscreen already on the horizon.
Andy says it is important to them the brand delivers an important environmental message rather than being just another beauty product and they are using their social media platforms to ensure that message gets across loud and clear to their online community.
“We don’t just want to sell natural products but we also want to spread awareness as well – we want it to be about more than the product,” he says.
“We are really trying to support our marine life and spread the awareness.
“We don’t just want to sell products, we really want to help spread information that can encourage people to protect our oceans, marine life and coastline.”
Their commitment includes making monthly donations to the AMCS from sale proceeds, as well as one-off pledges such as he $8,441 they raised, with help from customers, to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8.
To help get the word out about Pure Coastal the couple also enlisted the help of surfer and influencer Pacha Light who has put her face to the brand in stunning imagery captured by Anglesea-based photographer Zoe Strapp.
“Pacha is really passionate about the environment so we approached her to see if she was happy to be part of it and she has been great,” Andy says.
Pure Coastal is being sold online Australia-wide and through local stockists in Torquay including Salty Dog Cafe on The Esplanade and From Around Here in Gilbert Street.
Andy and Patt are proud of their new venture and hope it is embraced by customers who value its natural ingredients, eco appeal and the values that come with it being a burgeoning family business.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” Andy says.
“There were so many hurdles and hoops to go through, and so much work went into the process of getting everything ready for launch.
“We are really proud of how far we’ve come so far.
“And we are definitely excited to see what comes in the future.”
Follow on Instagram @pure_coastal or visit the website purecoastal.com.au.