Today, we would like to introduce to you Lorraine Parrott, business woman extrodainaire! By day, Lorraine is a jet setting executive, but by night her alter ego comes flying out from the hive! Yes, thats correct, if you have popped into mb lately, you would have seen Lorraines beautiful bee soaps, her creations made under the label Julor Basics… We were smitten by Lorrianes gorgeous soaps, and wanted to know more about how they came in to being…we hope our chat with the Queen Bee of Julor Basics leaves you feeling as inspired as we are!…
My husband and I are passionate about enjoying the basic things in life. Our home is our haven and nothing gives us greater pleasure than digging up the latest season’s crops from our vegie patch, collecting fresh eggs from our hen house, gathering a bunch of flowers from our lush garden or simply enjoying it all with our closest friends and family.
Sourcing beautiful home wares is also a hobby of mine and local shops like Morris Brown provide a constant supply of interesting and unique items. My professional background lies in the corporate world but my dream is to establish my own business that contributes to our local community. Julor Basics enables me to combine my personal interests, my business skills and my local ideals into the one complete package. There is nothing quite like the joy of sharing with others something that you have created using your own hands and something that you are very proud of.
How did Julor Basics come into existence?
Learning to make handmade soaps began as a hobby to help balance the pressures of my daily job. Right from the beginning I loved the process of experimenting with different soap recipes and then sharing them with family and friends. Before long, Julor Basics had taken on a life of its own as it sparked my creative outlet and placed a greater focus on quality local products. They say it’s not work if you love what you do!
The name Julor Basics is a combination of what’s important to me. Julor is a blend of my husband’s name with my name and Basics keeps the focus on traditional methods and simple pleasures. In our busy modern lives there is a certain luxury in the simplicity of these products. It’s definitely about quality, not quantity.
Does your day job help you with your night job?
My dream is that one day Julor Basics will transform my weekend passion into my everyday reality. Until then, it helps bring balance to my professional life and a creative outlet to my personal life. I like to think these two very different worlds are independently helping the other’s success.
The bee soaps are so gorgeous, how did you come up with the design, and do bees have a special meaning to you?
Yes, it’s all about the bees. They are absolutely fascinating creatures who play an important role in sustaining our local ecosystem and food supply. It has been said that humans would survive no more than 4 years if bees suddenly disappeared. So it’s important that we look after our bees and promote their busy work. Healthy bees, healthy planet.
The interior of our home is filled with many bee inspired home wares and treasures. During spring our garden is also full of busy bees, my favourite time of year. I love to arrive home and see them working hard, buzzing around the lavender patch. The bee design for Julor Basics just felt so right.
All your products are natural/organic, is this of a particular passion for you?
Absolutely, how many times do you look at products only to find a long list of unrecognizable ingredients? We need to be a lot more considerate about the products that we use on ourselves and around our home.
At Julor Basics we have made it our focus to return to artisanal methods, creating luxuriously mild soaps without the long list of chemicals and preservatives that can affect the harmony of our skin’s natural oils. Ideal for cleansing and moisturising the most sensitive skin types our busy bee fragrance free soaps are based on a centuries old recipe from the Spanish region of Castile using extra virgin olive oil, buttermilk and lye. Yes, that right … just 3 basic ingredients.
The smooth and velvety texture on your skin is one of the most distinctive characteristics of olive oil soaps and simply has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. As a natural moisturiser olive oil soaps won’t leave your skin feeling dry and itchy like many commercial brands.
We all need inspiration in our lives – where do you go to be inspired?
The answer to that question is simple. The entire Yarra Valley and everything that it represents is a big inspiration for me. I have been incredibly fortunate to travel the world during my studies and now with my career. In fact, as I write these words I am on board a train travelling through the picturesque European countryside blanketed in striking autumn colours. But, as they say, “home is where the heart is” and my heart really does belong to the Yarra Valley where I have lived most of my life.
Otherwise, I love being surrounded by beautiful things. Mixing the old with the new, the simple with the decadent, the French style with the English style, treasured times with old friends and meeting new friends …
What is your favourite Yarra Valley destination, and why?
I adore visiting local restaurants for a leisurely weekend breakfast followed by stocking up on great quality bread to be devoured over the next day or so. For many years I have loved the magnificent kitchen in Bella Verdere absorbing the atmosphere and pretending it was my very own kitchen. I am thrilled to have recently discovered the newly opened Coombe Farm in Coldstream and Burnham Beaches in Sassafras. My husband works as a viticulturalist in the wine industry so for us it’s all about great food and even better wine!
We have fresh supplies of Julor Basics beautiful bees in both shops at the moment; but they won’t last long, especially with Mothers Day around around the corner! Thanks Lorraine, we wish you every success with your business and hope that your dream does come true soon!