BERTIE BODY – A clear mind can only take you so far. Exhausted of the hustle and endless parade of city life, Roberta Schmidt of bertie body found that after a long day bathing rituals and balneotherapy reinvigorated her and gave her the ultimate source of solace and recharge. “It’s really been a passion of mine for a long time and originally I became aware of the transformative power of baths whilst living in London.”
Moving back to Australia she found herself starting her own project infusing superfoods and plant medicine into the bathing process. She mentioned a daunting thought, “Being the largest organ, our skin and dermal layers intake and uptake so many vitamins and nutrients.” With a range that includes four products including The Witches Brew (Pink), The Detox Cutis Cleanse (Green), The Biome Balancing Probiotic (White), The Youth Tonic (Blue). The range spans ingredients including CBD and probiotics. We took up the chance to ask her about this range that is at once soothing, holistic, as well as aesthetically aligned to the current tapestry of psychedelia through the ages.
What was your sampling process in getting the right ingredients together as well as the scent range?
My sampling process was simply in my own bath time. This is a project which was really born out of love, and the need for the bathing ritual so I just started playing around with different flowers and oils. I was also sick of buying sub-par products in all honesty and thought people could benefit from the product. In terms of exact oils, I have my favorite scents and it was intuitive when picking one with different properties for each of the 4 types. It really helps to know what benefits each different oil or plant are imbued with in order to place things together in a recipe. For example, the anti-inflammatory effects of Frankincense.
Has moving back to Australia informed the type of ingredients, did you source locally or get any inspiration from Asian bathing culture like in Japan?
Great question BJ. I have always looked to other cultures for bathing and sauna inspiration, as I really feel drawn to the way other cultures integrate these rituals into their practices. Not only are the spaces such as Turkish Ottoman hammams and Japanese Onsens visually beautiful, but they serve such a great purpose to society. In terms of the ingredients, they are not limited to Australia, such as butterfly pea flowers which are predominantly south-east asian; but on a broader level my love of nature and natural therapies really does stem back to growing up around a lot of nature and really feeling connected to the plants and animals around me here. Growing up that way really helps you feel a familiarity and connection to these things.
Your imagery is so potent I feel often times many brands avoid to confront the city life and instead go into an escapist route, how did these images come together?
Thank you. The black and white shots of me in the bath were my first official BB imagery, and were shot by my talented friend Natalia Parsonson. The rest are all taken by myself. I feel like I just create potent and honest photos, it’s a projection of who I am. Why pretend to be a certain way, stick to a ‘trend’ or play small? I want people as a society to get real and stop the masquerade.. It’s more fun and it’s a life ethos for me. I want real people with real thoughts, feelings and emotions in my orbit and I want to encourage this beauty in the world. That’s what the bertie body brand is. Unpretentious, real and potent. Anything but conformist or projecting something inauthentic.
The colors are a wonderful detail which set your salts apart from the neutral colors in the market, how did you decide to take this route in the brand identity?
I actually don’t explicitly remember, it just seemed intuitive to do it this way. Aesthetics are important for me and I think realistically for contemporary society as a whole. All things should be beautiful and functional! I hope to continue on my colourful escapades in the next range too.
The use of marine collagen is so fascinating, what is it exactly and how did you discover it for your line?
Collagen aids everything from your digestion and gut healing, to your joints and ligaments, as well as skin rejuvenation and anti-wrinkle benefits. Collagen is the fibrous protein constituent of bones, cartilage tendons and connective tissue. While you can eat plant based foods which may help ‘boost’ collagen production, you cannot find ‘vegan’ collagen products. The Marine Collagen I use is a pure form of hypoallergenic protein produced from krill. Typically, marine derived products such as Krill, fish skins or bones remaining from food production are thoroughly washed, then hydrolyzed by an acid and a food grade enzyme to yield marine collagen peptides, which have a low molecular weight for easy digestion and absorption.
Chances are, any of the collagen products you have in your cupboard are either bovine or fish derived, however although not vegan these products are sustainable in the sense that they allow for the use of the entire animal. I actually discovered collagen a long time ago through drinking broths. My mother was a consistent fountain of wealth when it came to nutritional knowledge and a huge advocate for brain and skin food, funnelling benefits and uses of everything we ate into my brain from a young age. I guess this is most of the reason I find nutrition & wellness so intuitive.
Photographs Courtesy of bertie body
For more on bertie body visit http://bertiebody.co/