When I first started looking at the actual ingredients in my cleaning products... I was horrified. I could not even pronounce a lot of what was in them! Then when I started researching what each of them were, well... the next stop on google was 'natural cleaning products'. Murchison-Hume was one of the first natural cleaning products I came across online, not only were their ingredients pure but the packaging was too. I was in total heaven ! When I received my package at home I was totally in love not only with the job they got done, but also the smell... and I love displaying them at home, they look so good. We caught up with founder, Max in LA before she headed back to Sydney for the holidays... take a peak below!
Tell us a bit about your background - what was life before Murchison Hume ?
In my former life, I was a Fashion and Beauty Editor for 12 years in the US and Asia. I absolutely loved it but retired to have children. The constant traveling for Fashion Weeks is fun, but brutal. Very hard to do with a family. On the plus side, the years of travel and styling honed my eye and gave me a sense of proportion which I use now for Murchison-Hume. It helped to shape our whole aesthetic!
What inspired you to start murchison hume ?
Have you ever really looked at the ingredients and packaging of common household cleaners? Terrible! Peter thinks it was my disdain for ordinary cleaning product packaging that started me on the path to creating my own products, but really it was out of necessity: Our youngest son Charlie was allergic to them.
The brand's aesthetic and ethos appeals to the modern city home-maker and has its roots in ingredients that are friendly for the earth - how have you seen the market evolve where more city-living people are purchasing more earth-friendly products?
Of course! I think consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their purchases and everything they bring into their own homes. Every dollar you spend is a vote for how you want the world to be. Our customers get that and are voting for a safer, cleaner home.
What are the top 5 toxic products you would remove from your home immediately ?
Tablets. Pretty much anything mass-market in "pod" or tablet form is a no-no. They are super caustic and the worst offenders.
• Dishwashing tablets
• Detergent tablets
• Anything with ammonia
• Anything that off-gasses for a long time (like new carpeting, drapes and those foam mattresses and pillows).
And what would you replace them with ?
Natural, plant-based versions of all of the above. There is a safe option for almost everything now. You have to look a bit harder to find it, but it is worth it!
You have lived between Australia & the US - what are some of your favourite conscious places to visit in both countries ?
Oh, I think we are all spoiled for choice in both Sydney and Los Angeles. Practically every restaurant and cafe has a healthy/vegan option. When we're in Sydney, our first stop is Thomas Dux for fresh veg and About Life for pantry staples. Here in the states, I'm super excited about the new online Thrive Market (basically a Costco meets Wholefoods online). For everyday, I love Pressed Juicery and Moon Juice in Venice. My Husband and I both like Crossroads Cafe and Cafe Gratitude in Larchmont Village for a Vegan/Healthy dinner. We have to go alone, though because the boys are more into pizza! In LA, we hike Treepeople or Franklin Canyon almost every weekend with the dogs and spend every Christmas back home in Australia at the Kater family beach house in Blueys.
What was the first MH product you ever made & why was that particular product the first ?
We started big: I wanted to provide my girl with a complete set to keep everything clean in the house. And a bamboo caddy because she wants it to look together under the sink. We launched with plant based cleaners for Glass, Floors, Stainless, Furniture & Upholstery, a Multi-Surface Counter spray and of course, our now iconic Boy's Bathroom Cleaner! I made sure that all of our cleaners were safe, looked (and smelled) great and worked just as well as the toxic stuff from the supermarkets. Our Classic Six Boxed set is the "Super Mom" gift of choice all year round for a reason: It ticks all the boxes and protects the house and all of it's inhabitants beautifully.
What are the future plans for MH?
Oh, we've got some really exciting projects coming up next year. The best part about living between Sydney and Los Angeles is the access we have to some of the best people in the industry. We have a really important collaboration launching next year. Our first foray into the beauty pool.