What struck me first up when I met Johanna and Christo Everingham of LEPAAR, aside from the fact that they’re both gorgeous creatures with glowing skin and grace.. was that just like their biodynamic beauty range, sun-infused and moon-charged, they are truly alive! Their wholistic brand of luxury inspired by life’s simple pleasures and created between their homes in Sydney and Kangaroo Valley is from the heart and full of spirit. True cool is apparent too, the pair created the most haute hose you’ll ever lay your hands upon.. think agricultural grade hose with a recycled rubber core, Pantone colours and brass fittings to boot. The forever hose for those of us obsessed by the garden and really great design. The LEPAAR packaging is eco-chic at its finest – minimal, hand sewn, hand-stamped in gold. And their instagrams, a worldly mix of inspiration, product, deep prose and knowledge, are two of the best you’ll find on the planet. Seriously. No detail is spared in all that these two do.. Johanna and Christo answered some questions for us, so we can delve a little deeper into the marvellous minds behind LEPAAR. With thanks. Enjoy. X
Follow their story and awesome instagrams here and here.
A selection of imagery from their gorgeous and graphic instagrams.
What matters most?
Letting go of what hinders grace. Good hearts win every time. Divine love and happiness are our only true indicators of whether how we are living is working or not.
What do you do and why do you do it?
Follow what excites – Design and produce things that support the things we love. As romantics we move towards producing modern classics. Simple things done well, with spirit. We want to remind people, that there are intrinsic forces at place within every thing, so choose that which is filled with heart. Pay more for things to pass on, age with you and are worth fixing. We do what we do to support the quality and tradition we love and be part of the beautiful process.
The Spiritual is fundamental to the Lepaar brand, our makeup and understanding of the world. Exceptional quality has a story behind it, is imbued with that story and supports all things authentic and lasting. By bringing together refinement and spirit we create sun energy-charged ‘Alive’ compositions that harmonise our physical and spiritual being every day.
Please tell us more about the biodynamic practices and principles within 24k.skin?
Our compositions are created with biodynamic principles, a ‘next level organic’ practice developed by German philosopher Rudolf Steiner, where all processing is done in sync with sun, moon and stars. My parents and grandparents were deeply involved in Steiners Anthroposophic movement, a deeply humanistic, wholistic movement that, in simple terms, gave us Steiner schools, organic and biodynamic farming and homeopathic medicine. My grandfather was an associate of the Wala-founders, the world’s first homeopathic medicine co which much later became known as Dr Hauschka. When I grew up, our bathroom was full of Wala creams and potions and my mother was forever making her own because she thought she could do them better.
Hand-stamped in gold.
Back to the biodynamic practices:
In farming of our ingredients, it means that seeds are planted following the celestial calendar, in soil that is inoculated with very specific compost and mineral compositions that take a long time to make and prepare. Everything is done with purpose and consideration for the surrounding environment, because everything is connected and harmonises with each other.
In our composition crafting, biodynamic principles refer to the biodynamic ingredients and our method of sun-infusion. The non-invasive, low temperatures of sun-infusing herbs and flowers in oil in direct sun light over 4 months, allow us to use extra virgin, antioxidant-rich Olive oil without destroying it’s heat sensitive vital nutrients. Usually, you’ll see sun-infusions done on the stove top with inferior sun-flower oil. We don’t use electric energy, low-carbon foot print is an important part of our ethos. Energetically, this process literally charges our base oil with the harmonising vibration of the sun.
Each component is mindfully chosen for their unique properties essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. Each ingredients’ dosage is masterfully adjusted according to it’s potency, benefits, performance, natural fragrance and interaction within the composition, we don’t add fragrance, allowing the natural aromatics of the oils to harmonise and sing together. Flowers, botanicals and plants are hand-picked, air-dried and sun-cured. Oils are cold pressed, botanicals non-phototoxic, minerals are certified cosmetic grade and naturally pure. We generally use certified Demeter biodynamic and organic, but happily forgo certification if the produce is exceptional and grown sustainable by people who share our ethos. Our ingredients are extremely high in naturally preserving antioxidants, no stabilizers/preservatives needed.
We wanted to create a next level luxury skincare range aligned with our wholistic ethos. Not just another skincare made with organic ingredients, but rather elemental body and soul food for true inside and out, graceful beauty. Alive wholistic compositions that honour the skin as our largest organ and nurture not only our body but also harmonise the spiritual beings we are. Regardless of our sex and age.
This is the reason we power-charge every 24k SKIN compositions with the sacred trinity of Gold Frankincense and Myrrh. Apart from their collagen-boosting and cell-renewing properties, this powerful trinity brings every molecule of our physical and spiritual being into alignment. The legendary offerings of the three wise kings are not simply rare and valuable essences, but companion gifts, meant to guide us through our lives, anchor our soul within our body, ground our intentions, inspire purpose and connect our whole being to the wisdom of nature and forces of the universe. Wholistic and luxurious.
Tell us your beauty rituals.
C: As a bloke, pretty basic – get up drink a litre or so of good water with chlorophil and magnesiuam chloride. Breath work, green smoothie, shower under filtered water and a lathering of 24k precious body and face oil cause I can.
J: Morning: Shower with filtered water in our city apartment or under spring water on our kangaroo valley property, always finish with a cold shower, massage my body with 24k body oil quite vigorously to get circulation going and do a more gentle face massage with 24k face oil. I am creating and testing new compositions at the moment, so I might spritz on some rose/tulsi hydrofoil or rub on some sacred beauty balm. I always finish with a dab of my 24k sacred trinity beauty balm on my third eye, inside my wrists and on my heart space to anchor myself to earth and connect my spiritual being to the universe. Evening: Shower and clean my face with filtered/spring water and tone with my honey/himalayan crystal salt/chamomile tonic. I usually don’t wear oil at night, but when my skin feels wanting, I’ll feed it some 24k precious face oil, why not.
What are your five fave places to see, eat, retreat, meet and just be when you’re in Sydney?
Mckenzies Bay as a place to swim. North Bondi Beach for a perve. A picnic at Strickland house in front of that boarded up deserted mansion with sweeping harbour views. No-one’s ever there! A day out on the harbour with friends on the boat. 10 William st for our love of natural wine and a European feel. Home in Vaucluse listening to our beautiful Hifi. We are analogue. Randwick Ritz for a sneaky just-us-in-the-theater midday movie.
It’s an exciting time to be a creative. There is a global push, a transformation.. Make comment.
Yes there has been more of an interest in consumers wanting to be part of a story of an object which in part supports our interests. Bespoke, the unique, handmade has come into vogue for sure, leading to a burgeoning of the craft movement once more.
I find the dichotomy of the Chinese mass-produced throw away culture and small batch quality culture happening at this one time quite interesting. Why are people in droves buying the throw away culture. Can’t afford to buy quality? I say too hooked into consumer culture to save up and buy the thing you love not the thing that satiates an itch. We need a paradigm shift to collect the things we love. Back to classics. Do Sydney-siders lack the refinement to see beauty and quality, or are we just cheap or brand junkies?
Real life hero? Who inspired you on this creative path?
C: Not just one person. A flaneur’s life spent sauntering through the worlds cultural wonders, sponging the shapes, colours, patterns and people has been our inspiration for this life path. People who speak their truth, show their colours, pose questions, look for the alive, divine and distinguished.
J: I’ll follow Christo here, my hero and inspirations are a big collection of contemporaries, experiences and long dead people. But both my dad and mum have been incredible way-pointers for me in terms of busting out my own moves, developing my skincare and feeling safe in considering myself part of the greater matrix of the universe. I remember my dad, when visiting me from Germany once being denied entrance somewhere with the security guard telling him it was for ‘members only’. I never forget my dad’s simple answer: I’m a member of the human race’. I wish I’d told that little story at his funeral, but it wouldn’t have sounded the same in German.
How do you work through rough spots, anxiety or blockages in your creative practice?
C: Go to nature, be still with trees, dive deep in meditation. Let go of trying.
J: Gosh, I get those moment a lot and am always so grateful that Christo is by my side. We get in the car and drive down to Kangaroo Valley. The minute we pass that elastic highly strung threshold of Sydney, just about after the M5 tunnel, I feel my shoulders and mind harmonise and once I step into our little house surrounded by tall cedars and majestic gum trees, everything moves into balance. Also I do use my 24k sacred trinity beauty serum. It’s based around ancient anointment oil, composed to calm, protect and centre.
You’ve just made the move to the country? How does country life measure up? Do you find new rituals are enabled outside of city living?
Having such a secluded place so steeped in natural beauty so close to the city has changed, enriched and shifted our processes considerably. We have always had a very slow organic view of how our business should grow, not too much pushing, more allowing. Half out time in the Valley has given space for more perspective, vision and clarity. We feel more attuned to inspiration. We move between the two places with ease and excitement, for this city has so much that we love. To be embedded in the sanctity of nature is such a blessing.
Haute hose available in 10 and 20 metres.
C: Barefoot on the grass amongst trees and distant hills. Align/breath/stretch.
J: I’m an early be-up-watch-the-sunrise sorta person, I wake up and literally jump out of bed, make a cup of dandelion root tea, sit down for a short meditation some days, yoga, walk or swim on others. Shower with filtered water in our city apartment or under spring water on our kangaroo valley property. in the valley, I sometimes get straight into planting a tree, or weeding the garden. In the city I’ll get into checking emails and stuff way too quickly, working on it..
Food from the gods?
C: To cook daily on an open fire in an outdoor kitchen puts a smile on our faces. I’m partial to game birds.
J: I’d have to say papaya, raspberries, pomegranate, finger limes, fermented garlic, truffle oil, hazelnuts, buckwheat and orange peel. I never think to eat meat or fish, but Christo and Sienna adore it, so I do enjoy it very much and actually LOVE cooking meat dishes. I am an alchemist, so my cooking is always a meditation on developing flavours and textures, combining ingredients that harmonise, intrigue and balance. It’s like blending my 24k skin compositions, essentially an alchemy of intrinsic knowledge, intuition and passion for creating something exquisite, somethings that is alive and nurtures not just our body but also our soul, mind and spirit.
C: Natural low intervention wine of an evening.
LOCO LOVE chocolates (all of them) and Orchard St Chocolate mylk. Binge watching ‘mozart in the jungle’ with sound through Christo’s stereo. I LOVE classical music, I used to be a violinist in another (German) life.
Early bird or Night owl?
C: Catch the morning Ki with the rising Sun. Glimpse the stars unfurl then to bed early.
J: Early bird. I love hearing night owl stories, lucky I have many friends I can live vicariously through. My sister Marie’s late night seedy bar photos are always a fab morning coffee entertainment.
C: Listening to Yosi Horikawa. Aaron Embry. Henri Texier. Fairport Convention. Jacob Bellens.. and always plenty of classical.
J: German singer ‘Schnipo Shranke‘ is pretty awesome and a little weird. And I love ‘Gisbert zu Knyphausen’, his lyrics are like Christo is. Only makes sense if you know German. ;-). Sibelius Violin Concerto No 3, Bach’s Double Concerto for 2 Violins. Schumann’s ‘Kinderscenen’. Schuberts ‘Winterreise. Chopin’s waltzes and piano concertos. Gosh, classical music. I love classical music. My dad was a musician and collected instruments. We didn’t have a stereo growing up, the rule in our house was, there are instruments, make your own music. Seriously. We all played multiple instruments and there was a lot of singing. A real anthro-hippie-alternative upbringing. Looking back, I love it.
You’re a multi-talented pair creating a whole series of products under the umbrella of LEPAAR? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
A move towards shops in our favourite cities where we can work with local makers on projects that arise within and around us. Basically create our products with local ingredients with the help of local people in whichever country we’ll set up shop.
All images from said awesome instagrams. X