Linden Leaves Founder Awarded Order of Merit
On April 29 this year, the founder and Managing Director of the New Zealand natural skincare company Linden Leaves, was invested with a New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Business in Wellington. Brigit attended the ceremony with her husband David Blair and mother, Barbara Blackie, who at 91 this year still enjoys actively participating in some of the trips to pick wild apples which appear in one of the company’s best-selling body oil lines.
Starting from a humble garage operation at home in Christchurch, the team at luxury skin and bodycare company Linden Leaves still hold a hands-on approach close to their hearts, despite having grown into an internationally successful brand.
The Christchurch and Auckland based company now sells over 200 skincare and lifestyle products which focus on bringing ‘affordable daily luxury” experience into customers lives via thousands of stores in markets all over the world, as well as via its own network of recently relaunched Linden Leaves webshops.
Linden Leaves products are naturally based and have won numerous awards for quality and during their 15 years in business from industry and magazine critics including winning the USA New Beauty Magazine overall reader choice award for the best cream, two awards in Singapore Cleo magazine’s ‘Beauty Hall of Fame’ 2009 and was voted in the top 10 natural products for men by GQ Magazine Germany 2009.
Determined to build the brand around her own personal philosophy of product quality as absolute key priority, Managing Director Brigit Blair favours a team based hands-on approach to management and is often found lending a hand to packing orders or picking the fresh ingredients that make up many of the skincare lines, alongside the strategic management of the growing international brand.
Linden Leaves is earning growing recognition and success and has earned business and export accolades which recognize the effort and progress the brand has achieved in its first 15 years in business.
Despite the many milestones already achieved, including the HerBusiness New Zealand Business Woman of the Year 2004, Brigit and her daughter Juliet believe there are larger goals ahead and are focused on strategically developing the business in the Australasian and Asian markets for the next two years.
“We are extremely passionate about our products and perfectionist about the details”, comments Juliet Blair, the brand’s Creative Director. While standard practice for fashion brands, it still is quite unusual for skincare brands to have a Creative Director on staff, but the mother and daughter team feel that this is part of what sets their range apart from the multitudes of other natural brands on offer in the international market.“People respond to the genuineness of what we are doing and love that. Our products create an emotive response as well as a physical cleansing or nourishing effect for the skin”, says Juliet Blair.
This week the company is opening up an online forum via their Facebook page to give their customers a direct way to comment on what they love, what they want to see more of, and what they don’t find so appealing. “It is a brave thing in business to open yourself up to criticism” says Brigit Blair ‘but is the best way to learn, direct from the source.”
In terms of future direction the mother and daughter team are excited about extending their natural and organic skincare offering during the year, based on constant requests from fans of their existing lines. “We feel there is a public appreciation for the quality of expensive organic ingredients which simply didn’t exist when we started out 15 years ago” says Brigit.
“We have always had a strong focus on natural quality but we have recently extended that into organic ingredients, such as our beautiful aromatherapy body oils. Customers are telling us they love seeing our new developments happening and are happy to try our new lines because they are from a brand they know and trust. It’s a pretty humbling feeling to have that kind of fan.” Brigit concludes.