Minimalist, organic, stylish – blended in small batches on Wellington’s bohemian Cuba Street, new artisanal skincare range Martina Organics ticks all the right boxes.
Named for founder Marta Maria Camara’s childhood nickname, the line is based on botanical oils from New Zealand and more exotic locales like Morocco, Japan, Africa and Israel.
Taking the business international is the logical next step for Camara, who's originally from Portugal, especially as there are already orders coming in from overseas.
In the meantime, though, she's focusing on getting Martina Organics into more boutique stores around the country and expanding the range to include moisturisers, masks, and exfoliators.
It's rare to find skincare that's 100 percent organic, she says.
"What a lot of people out there don't know is that marketers get away with claiming products are organic if they have one organic ingredient in the product, so people automatically assume that the product is all organic."
Camara's ethos is evident in the design and packaging of Martina Organics. The gender-neutral range is housed in unassuming glass bottles with minimal labeling, which can be easily peeled off so the bottle can be re-used for something else. The boxes are made from recycled paper, designed by Becca O'Shea.
"I love collecting beautiful vintage glass bottles, so I really wanted beautiful bottles with minimal branding so that its not intrusive in your bathroom or bedroom," she explains.
"I'm really not into pink fluffy overly girly things, and I find that a lot of skincare packaging out there isn't that visually appealing and lack any real style of edge."
Camara's training as a beauty therapist led her down this path. While working at Nature Unplugged in the early 2000s, she learned about ingredients such as camellia oil, argan oil, marula oil, and hemp seed oil.
Today, she also works one-on-one with customers to produce blends specific to their individual tastes and needs.
"We all have to think about the planet people, ignorance is not bliss. So I think that the demand is increasing and more people want to do their bit to help, and of course feel healthier and happy at the same time."