AFTER EIGHT CONVERSATIONS: Maddy Dixon, Model and Founder, Flora Remedia.
By Fleur Wood.
A Model with entrepreneurial spirit and creativity at her core, Maddy Dixon has made caring for people and the planet part of her everyday via her beauty brand, Flora Remedia.
Her mission: to reconnect women with the natural world and have them feeling and looking their very best, without impacting the planet.
With an influence from her parents and other female leaders in business, Maddy was determined to remain authentic in this ever changing world.
‘I love seeing people live from their truth and come from a place of authenticity, she says.’
Her experience in the Fashion industry exposed her to just how harmful fast fashion is to our planet and this has had a huge influence on what she buys and wears.
With Australian made and sustainability at the forefront of her mind when buying clothes, her vintage Levis jeans and knitwear are her favourite go-to pieces. And with a love for active wear her Nike’s made from recycled plastic are on high rotation.
We were lucky enough at After Eight to have her as our Model for our first photo shoot and it was an absolute pleasure to sit down and find out more about her career and inspiration behind her successful business.
Me: Who would you say has been influential in your life and how have they helped shape the Woman you are today?
Maddy: There’s so many! I think that for all of us – whether we like it or not, we are influenced by our parents. I can certainly say that my independence and determination is something I inherited from my parents. I’ve also always loved reading about female business leaders. I just finished Anita Roddick’s (founder of The Body Shop) book, Business As Unusual, and find her journey very inspiring. Jane Goodall is another inspiration because of her work with animals and the environment. I love seeing people live from their truth and come from a place of authenticity.
Me: Did your experience as a Model help you to then break into the beauty industry as an entrepreneur with Flora Remedia?
Maddy: Yes, definitely. In lots of different ways. It certainly helped that I could be the Model in front of the camera instead of having to hire someone else. When you start your own business, like you and Em would know with After Eight, you wear a whole bunch of different hats, from marketing manager, accountant, to product development specialist, the list goes on. I’d say that I certainly had a wide range of knowledge about beauty products from modelling everyday so I saw a gap in the market and jumped on it.
Me: Where did the idea for Flora Remedia come from? Was there a lightbulb moment or were you contemplating launching your own business for a while.
Maddy: I played with the idea of having my own business for a while before I launched. Don’t ask me why – perhaps I was just used to working for myself and the freedom that came through travel as a Model? Maybe I thought the idea of ‘full control’ sounded appealing? Or maybe it’s my star sign – I’m a Leo! I must say that the idea of creative freedom is very appealing. To make something in your head appear in your hands exactly as you’d imagined it is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I remember coming to a point when I did decide to start Flora where I just knew if I didn’t start now, I never would. That’s when I dipped into the savings account.
Me: How has the fashion industry changed, in your view, since you started modelling?
Maddy: Both modelling and fashion have evolved so much since I started in the industry. In many ways, it’s for the best but there are some times when you miss “the good old days“. There were a lot of super creative photoshoots for magazines when I started modelling. The whole editorial sector has changed as magazines started to collapse. Budgets aren’t what they used to be, so travel for shoots is no longer a common thing, nor is the full pay rate. One thing I do notice is how much emphasis is placed on social media followings. I’ve heard models get turned down from jobs because they didn’t have enough followers. It’s crazy. Another thing to feel ‘not good enough about. It makes me worry about the younger generation of models. Even more so because there are so many models now and the amount of work has not increased to match this influx.
In terms of fashion itself – I can for sure see how some beautiful new sustainable minded brands are starting up. I look forward to the day that this is the norm. The truth is – I regularly go to e-comm shoots where there are hundreds of outfits that change every few weeks. It’s astounding how much ‘stuff’ we go through and how much gets made off-shore. I really wonder about the labour conditions in these factories. I have been on shoots where fashion executives in charge of massive brands admit that excess stock is burned. They don’t donate it or turn it into new clothing, it literally gets burned. I’m not exactly sure why but I think it costs more to warehouse it than burn it. I’ve heard they also don’t want to have styles copied. Fast fashion is particularly unsustainable and has devastating environmental impacts, from the carbon footprint, down to the little plastic particles that flush into our oceans when we wash our clothes.
Me: Let’s talk about designers who, in your opinion, are setting a high standard and leading the charge for ethical fashion?
Maddy: You [After Eight] introduced me to BONDI BORN. I looked into this label and can really back up their sustainability claims. For jewels – Released from Love – reconstituted jewellery. It’s one of those genius ideas that makes you wonder why nobody had tried it before.
I love what RE/DONE does with jeans, they are my cool/casual go-to label.
I think we can all agree that for a large label – Patagonia leads the change in sustainability. I love how they fix damaged goods for you and encourage you to buy quality, not quantity – something I know After Eight stand for. It’s the antithesis of fast fashion.
Me: What are the top five favourite pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t live without?
- Altered vintage Levi jeans. I have 2 colours and live in them.
- Nike runners made from recycled plastic.
- Bamboo undies! So comfy.
- My wool jumpers. I love a big chunky knit. I have one my nan knitted for me 10 years ago and I still wear it.
- I am one of those weird people that wear activewear regardless of whether I am active or not, so I have a few pairs of tights. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pair. I’d love to say I’ve found the best sustainable ones but I haven’t. If I can’t go sustainable and Australian owned or made, I opt for Australian made.
Me: When the clock strikes After Eight, what are the things you gravitate towards?
Maddy: It really depends on the night. If I feel like a glass of wine I’ll have one, although that’s not often. Chocolate on the other hand is a nightly occurrence (aka addiction). I am a big fan of herbal tea too. After my nightly shower, usually after eight, I apply my Flora Remedia face oil and body oil. I also LOVE essential oils and often make up my own concoctions. I’d love to say I meditate for two hours and don’t look at my phone after 7 pm but that wouldn’t be true. I do meditate regularly but I still check my email and instagram one last time before sleep.