Let’s talk skincare! With Woodsy Botanics

Woodsy Botanics is a beautiful all natural skincare range made right here in New Zealand in small batches. After years of research on the efficiency and quality of natural ingredients Woodsy Botanics was born and we had a chat to founder Gabrielle Johnson about why natural products are best and what we can do to look after our skin this Summer.


Come and check out the range at our store or check out woodsybotanics.com

How did you get into making Woodsy?

A few years ago I was studying a short course in herbal medicine at Wellpark College here in Auckland. I quickly became obsessed with learning about the therapeutic properties of plants and started mucking about with making teas and tinctures. My favourite thing was infusing parts of a plant in oil and experimenting with different concoctions. This soon led to basic skincare formulations – and when I say basic, I mean very basic. I remember turning up to friends dinner parties with these little containers of lotion that I had made and getting them all to try them and report back. I started to use all of the products I made so that I could make adjustments to improve them. It wasn’t a quick process. In fact it took a couple of years of daily research and recipe formulation to come up with the range I have now. Woodsy started off really small with a couple of local craft markets here and there and progressed to an online store and now wholesale accounts. I’m learning something new everyday about running a small business, it isn’t always an easy thing, but it’s something that is rewarding and something that has come completely from me…Woodsy is my little baby.

Where did the name Woodsy come from?

I struggled for so long trying to come up with a name. Every time I thought I had come up with something good I would immediately check the domain name – only to find that the name had been taken. One day I was out for brunch with a couple of good friends and one of them was wearing a hat he had picked up from a local op shop. The hat was very simplistic and caught my attention with a simple yellow font saying ‘Woodsy’ – and that was it, lightbulb moment, and I had my name.



What is your favourite product in the range?

Oooh this is a hard one. I have a special spot in my heart for all of my products of course, but at the moment I would have to say that the Daily Face Lotion is my favourite. It’s so lightweight and absorbs in so quickly and yet is incredibly hydrating. After a day in the sun I like to pop this little beauty into the fridge for 10 minutes then spread the goodness over my face – pure heaven.

Favourite self care ritual?

My day to day ritual is very low key and low maintenance however when I decide I’m going to treat myself I go all out. I like the idea of a good Sunday skin session. This involves scrubbing from head to toe. If I have a little time on my hands I’ll scrub my body with the coffee scrub and let it sit on my skin for 10 minutes or so to really let that caffeine goodness sink in. While that’s happening I’ll mix one of the clay masks with a little of the toner and pop that on until it’s dry and starting to crack a bit. Then I rinse the clay off, scrub my face with the exfoliator, rinse off the body scrub and while still warm pop on the body oil. There is something so satisfying about finding the time to look after yourself – add in some beautiful natural products scented with the most amazing essential oils and you’ve got yourself a wonderful experience.


What are the benefits of using a more natural skincare regime?

When I was young I put all kinds of terrible things onto my face – the worst was the acne fighting products. It was never something that really occurred to me and yet now I shudder thinking about it. I don’t think I could use anything not natural now. I think we forget that our skin is another organ on our body and it really does absorb what you put on it. Skincare products are notorious for putting cheap, synthetic ‘filler’ ingredients in to keep costs down – however these ingredients offer no beneficial therapeutic qualities and are also harmful, toxic ingredients. When you make the switch to natural products you will notice that all of the ingredients are put there for a reason. Every single one offers different vitamins, anti-oxidants and hydration for your skin without causing any harm to you. The other positive thing is knowing that you aren’t causing harm to the environment when using these products. Every time you wash with cleansers and body washes – the residue product is washed down the drain, going directly out onto the ocean. Imagine all of those nasty synthetic surfactants (cleaning agents) going into our ocean and the harm this causes on sea life. It’s when you look at the bigger picture that you realise how important it is to choose your skincare products carefully. I’ve loved learning about what goes into products and becoming more educated on what is safe and eco friendly – I think that’s one of the best things about starting Woodsy.


With the approaching hot weather coming what should we be doing to look after our skin?

Well the most obvious one has to be sunscreen – of course! Choose a natural sunscreen that doesn’t contain any of the nasties and wear that every single day. I have made the switch to mineral powder based sunscreens which contain both zinc and titanium dioxide in their pure form. It doesn’t clog my pores and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin. The next thing you should be focusing on over summer is exfoliating – making sure you are ‘shedding’ those scaly winter layers. Nothing feels better than a good scrub session. What gets me through the hot summer days the most is putting our Rose + Chamomile Toner and Daily Face Lotion in the fridge for 10 minutes or so and then spritzing the toner on followed by the moisturiser. It’s a delicious cold and refreshing treat that will hydrate and protect your skin. I carry around the toner everywhere with me over summer and spritz my face and hair whenever I need to cool down – it’s heavenly.



Have an event this Summer?

There are so many events through Spring and Summer – Christmas, weddings (my birthday is on the 6th December, feel free to send presents!) so we have curated a list of our best event appropriate dresses guaranteed to have you feeling special AND comfortable. – Emilie x


The Feature Dress – This has become a signature Maaike piece and just screams simple summer elegance. Layer a kimono or jacket over for night time.


The Fresco Dress – For a bit more coverage the Fresco Dress is a beautiful choice. The twist creates shape and drape and is available in Black, Marrakesh or the Evie Kemp Print.


The Triple Dress – Add a bit of shine to your next event with the Triple Dress which like the name suggests can be worn three different ways! Layer with some fitted merino and a jacket for all year round wear.


The Mekko Dress – This is such a clever design draped entirely out of one piece of fabric with the various tucks doing all the work for you. Flattering but roomy enough for a big Christmas lunch! Available in Black, Electric Blue or print


The Evie Jumpsuit – Now this is a show stopper! You’ll truly steal the show in this 70’s inspired jumpsuit and also available in black for a more understated look.


Check out all the pieces HERE and don’t forget we offer ‘lay-buy’ online so you can receive your purchase now and pay it off interest free over six weeks – no catch! Just click the icon at the checkout.



Maaike x Evie Kemp

Make sure you follow @eviekemp on instagram – best feed ever!


Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Evie, and I’m an artist, designer, and stylist who works across illustration, textiles, and interiors mostly. I really just like to apply pattern and colour to anything and everything. No boring bits.

Describe your personal style – fave designers?

My personal style is quite all over the place, but predictably quite maximalist. I love to wear colour and pattern, with a bit of a retro feel. I actually never know how to describe my own style. Designers I love are a bit old school, I love looking back at the work of Elsa Schiaparelli, Celia Birtwell, Zandra Rhodes and original Missoni (lots of pattern!) but I appreciate all types of fashion and design and will just soak it up.

Tell us a bit about how you came up with the Maaike print? Inspirations etc.

Obviously the first inspiration came from the Maaike brand and discussions with Abby & Emilie, reflecting on their history of bold, graphic prints but reimagining it. We knew it would be loosely a “floral”. In my mind I was inspired by 1970s Marimekko and Matisse-esque collages. Maaike are known for their incredible draping, and can carry a really impactful print so obviously that was a big inspiration.

How has it been seeing your art transformed into garments?

Absolutely incredible. It takes the design to a whole other level, and every new garment shows it in a new way. There is such a huge difference between a flat print, and it transformed in to clothing. What I love most about Maaike is how it is interpreted so individually by everyone. Seeing all these amazing people making it their own is just SO good, and so inspiring as both a designer, and a person who wears clothes!

Fave piece in your print?

I LOVE the Kemp Shirt Dress, and not just for the name! I love all the pieces though and their versatility, and with every drop I think I have new favourites. I still feel I’m a novice in my layering skills, but I’m obsessed with seeing how different pieces work with each other.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working mostly on some individual art pieces for a couple of group shows including the Seed Gallery Christmas exhibition. It’s nice to have some hands on art time as I’ve been doing a lot more commercial projects lately (which I also love but variety is good!). I’m also working on some fabric design concepts…for something! Ha.

You are so well known for your use of colour – what is it that draws you to it? Do you think colour can affect our moods?

100%! I’m a huge believer in the power of colour to affect our moods and influence us, however I don’t always believe that it’s a simple as “red makes us angry” or “blue is calming”. There are so many shades and tones in this world and I think we see them all differently. I just love colour and see colour inspiration everywhere and then try and file good colour combos in my head to refer back to later. I think what I love most about it is that it’s limitless – you can put pink and orange next to each other a zillion times but they can be completely different.

Your house and interior design style is all kinds of amazing is it something you have always loved?

I’ve always been so in to design, from as early as I can remember. I took my dolls house VERY seriously as a child. I found my parents house when I was 14 while trawling real estate listings, and spent $500 of hard saved call centre job money to recover my first sofa when I was 18.  My mum has always been in to interiors so I grew up in a house with a lot of colour, and never ending DIY projects happening. It all ties in with my love of collecting and vintage finds. I can’t really imagine being any different because Ive always loved it so much.



Fave area of your house?

I love my Bowie wall with the rainbow and the giant leopard print couch, it’s just feels so me and I have no urge to change it…which for me, is a big deal.


Evie with her husband Sam and two pups



Check out the current Maaike collection HERE!

Interior photos by Becks Silke from Little White Lies


Podcasts we are listening to right now



There are days when we are in the studio alone and so we constantly find ourselves listening to podcasts to alleviate the loneliness!




Jonathon van Ness is a cast member from the new Queer Eye on Netflix (if you haven’t watched it what are you doing with your life?!) He interviews all sorts of people from leading professors and scientists to Hollywood celebs. He is exceptionally smart and informed as well as hilarious.



Host Jonathon Goldstein investigates events of everyday people that changed the course of their lives. It’s funny but also thoughtful and quite beautiful.



Each episode of Song Exploder is a different musician talking about how they wrote a particular song. I’m a big Solange fan and hearing her talk in length about how she wrote Cranes in the Sky was so interesting.




If you haven’t listened to this one you aren’t living. Three friends reading and commentating a terribly written erotic novel one of their fathers wrote. It’s beyond hilarious!



About a woman who escaped and exposed a self help group NXIVM, which was a pyramid scheme and a feeding ground for the leader Keith Raniere’s sexual perversions.



A 5 episode series made in association with ‘Are We There Yet?’ the women’s suffrage and equality exhibition at the Auckland Museum. Talking to women in NZ about feminism, equality and more.




Maaike on The Project

Last week we were lucky enough to have the gorgeous (inside and out) Kanoa Lloyd wearing Maaike on The Project on TV3. Check our our favourite looks below.


The Element Jacket in stripe


The Kemp Shirt Dress


The Archive Top


The Fresco Dress in Marrakesh – also available in black and print