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The Interview: Aneta Mortlock, Managing Director, John Masters Organics

Sadiyah Ismailjee
28 October 2020

Combining the power of organic and natural ingredients, John Masters Organics creates high-performing hair, skin and body products that are clean, cruelty-free and sustainable.

In 1994, John Masters, a leading stylist in New York City, had a simple but radical idea. He believed that nature is the best source for clean beauty. His personal passion for healthy, holistic living became a professional calling, drawing him away from the world of New York salons to pursue a better, gentler way to care for hair.

John began working with the best organic ingredients available and seeing clients out of his tiny Manhattan apartment. Soon he opened the world’s first “clean air” salon in Soho. It was a revolutionary salon concept that used no damaging colorants and no chemical treatments.

Today, John’s singular vision has become a global brand that continues to transform the organic and natural beauty industry. Decades of expertise and innovation have evolved a few handmade products crafted with care over a kitchen sink into a full line of haircare, skincare, body care, and aromatherapy.

Aneta Mortlock, Managing Director at John Masters Organics tells's The Beauty Edit more:

When did John Masters Organics UK Launch and what was the response like?

We launched in UK over 14 years ago, and our main aim was to educate with regards to organic/natural products and ingredients, sustainability, and to convince our clients that organic products do in fact work and deliver their desired results.

Our start as a brand was slow and we grow organically! Now - due to the evolution of green beauty, buying organic is no longer 'niche', it appeals to the masses! Our clients are increasably informed and know what they are looking for in products.

What is the brand’s core philosophy?

A personal passion for healthy, holistic living became a professional calling, drawing John Masters, a leading stylist, away from the world of high end New York hair salons to pursue a better, gentler way to care for hair and skin. Perfectly Natural Beauty is the duality of looking and feeling your very best using poorest of ingredients from nature which is all around us.

Today, this vision has been transformed into a global brand that is at the forefront of both organic and natural beauty.

What sets John Masters Organics from the other skincare/haircare lines?

Our products contain a minimum 70% organic ingredients, and must perform to a high standard in the professional setting of hair and beauty salons. Our core philosophy is that the use of organic ingredients cannot, and does not, effect the performance of our products, and I believe this sets us apart as a brand. We work tirelessly to achieve our fabric perfection in a way that is profoundly personal and absolutely effortless.

What is your current route to market?

Our market is across all routes; retail, professional hair and beauty salons, and online, which has proved a good strategy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Who is your target audience?

Our audience has changed over the years and has become less specific. People come to our brand from all walks of life, as John Masters Organics is designed for everyone to be able to benefit from and feel satisfied with organic products. We have been especially embraced by those wanting to not only responsibly care for their hair and skin, but also the planet so being mindful about products we are buying is a natural next step.

Today a number of beauty and skincare brands are organic, what is your definition of organic and what makes John Masters Organics products organic?

Organic beauty relates to products that are formulated with organically grown ingredients – this is often considered the gold standard with better quality than conventionally grown ingredients.

In general, this means that ingredients are grown using organic farming methods, without the use of artificial herbicides, synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Our products contain ingredients that are from 70 to 100% organic, across the brand, which is very difficult to achieve, especially in the haircare category.

How do you come up with formulas and ingredients for your products?

Like everyone else, we carefully look at trends in the market and what new ingredients are available. However, our main inspiration when creating new products is the feedback we receive from our clients with regards to the next item they are looking for.

We always look forward to innovation in the beauty industry, and as soon as new ingredients become available we consider adding them to our existing formulations  if we believe it will improve the performance of the product.

What do you think have been the most important skincare/haircare trends of 2020 so far?

Scalp care has finally arrived and is here to stay. Our Scalp Scrub was the biggest launch for hair care in last 2 years and all products directed at scalp issues are performing exceptionally well.

Finally, the message, conveying the importance of looking after your scalp to achieve healthy locks, has been acknowledged, and will stay through 2021. On skincare, overnight treatments/masks have been a big trend this year. Our new overnight mask is performing above our expectations and we are thrilled with the results.

What should consumers look out for when choosing skincare products?

When buying skincare please consider your skin type and age, don’t go just for trends. Take into consideration your skins needs. Listen to you body and advice from professionals who look after your hair or skin.

Sustainability is becoming a crucial focus for the skincare and beauty industry, in what ways is John Masters Organics incorporating sustainability into its business model and brand identity?

Sustainability is no longer a trend but a must for all of us. We are perusing sustainability not only in our products but in all aspects of our business. We use recycled unbleached paper for our boxes, soya ink for printing, as well as having eco friendly warehouses and offices.

And that's just to name a few of the things we do! For our products, our skin care range comes in glass bottles and haircare in recyclable plastic, and we are just now releasing our first product in a sugar cane bio-resin tube. We are all perusing an informed, cleaner journey, that benefits the whole world.

What are your top 3 John Masters Organics product recommendations?

Our best seller must be the Scalp Scrub. It's NEW and great for detoxifying your scalp when needed, especially after the summer!

My second favourite is the Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment spray. I use it after every wash or when my hair needs a boost as it is great for feeding follicles but at the same time gives you that freshness and volume we all love.

And last but not least, as I am using every day, is our NEW Vit C serum. I use this as a base for my make up and at night under my overnight mask. Just love it!

How has John Masters Organics been adjusting to such uncertain and challenging times?

We had to adapt and change the way we work, and I believe we have become a better company for it. Both during the lockdown and after, we have kept in contact with our clients and met everyone's different requirements. Some needed delivery as soon as possible to meet demand, whereas others needed to push back their payment terms. We have developed our existing and new digital platforms as well as skills.  We managed well and I have our fantastic team to thank for that.

Where is the skincare market heading?

The innovation within the skin care market is fantastic, with personalised skincare and at home treatments moving to the forefront. 2021/22 has a lot in store for clean beauty. There is a very strong trend with customers looking for organic, nourishing products which is great news for us!

What are your greatest achievements to date?

If you had asked me a few months ago my answer would be completely different, but today I am pleased how we managing through the COVID-19 crises.

What is next for John Masters Organics?

We have so many ideas and new product launches! Through our high-performing and organically indulgent products we aim to become an organic lifestyle brand that our clients know they can trust and can fulfil all they needs and the needs of loved ones and home.

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