Welcome to our second instalment of Behind the Bag with founder of Koala Eco, Jessica Bragdon. Jessica is an inspiration - a business woman, dedicated to creating a brand that supports the environment and mum of boys. We're so excited to bring this interview to you!
B: Who are you and what do you do?
JB: I am the co-founder of Koala Eco and the mother of two young boys aged 7 and 9. I was born raised and educated in the USA, and met my Australian husband Paul Davidson in NYC while I was finishing my graduate degree in Organisational Psychology at Columbia University.

 

Two years ago Paul and I started Koala Eco, a line of home cleaning products that are plant based using Australian botanicals and toxic free, so they won’t harm people, pets, or the planet. We use only 100 percent pure Australian essential oils, never synthetic fragrance.

For the sake of a healthy future for everyone’s children everywhere, we’re passionate about supporting environmental conservation. We take the .eco part of our name very seriously, because for us it just isn’t enough to make products that are environmentally friendly; we also want to do something constructive to support the efforts of charities and organisations that are actively fighting for the wellbeing of the planet. That’s why for every Koala Eco product sold, we make a donation to the charity One Percent for the Planet. Koala Eco packaging is created using only 100% recycled and recyclable bottles. We hope to teach our boys a mindfulness that actions have consequences, and just a few simple choices can end up making a difference. Yes, the planet is at risk and it may feel a bit futile when you are one individual seeking not to cause further harm to it; but the world is made up of individuals. I’d like our sons to grow up as independent thinkers, and become compassionate men.

B: What is the most beautiful thing you own?
JB: I love many beautiful things however my grandmother’s gold wedding band would be my favourite. I spent quite a bit of time with her as a child and we were quite close. Wearing the ring makes me feel a connection with her. She would take me and my twin sister on long hikes through the forests around her New England home, pointing out the flora and fauna along the way. She passed on her passion for natural things to our mother, who likewise is an avid plant and garden enthusiast. Family outings invariably meant visits to historic gardens, plant nurseries and flower shows. I’ve always loved anything to do with the natural world.

B: What is the most practical thing you own?  
JB: My calendar, I would be lost without it.

B: What must you have in your bag before you leave home?
JB: The usual phone, keys, wallet, I love my Florence bag in Caramel because it goes with any outfit and holds these essentials plus a few extras which you always get with kids.

B: Which travel destination is next on your bucket list?
JB: I have travelled a lot across Europe; North and South America and my favourite places are always near a beautiful ocean. I have never been to the Galápagos Islands and I have only been to Bogotá in Columbia so I would love to visit the Andes and rainforests of Columbia. Western Australia’s south west coast is one of my favourite places as is Martha’s Vineyard in the US that has many family memories. I am a skier so discovering new mountains is always on my list.

B: What is your favourite trend at the moment - fashion, homewares or beauty?
JB: I am not really a trendy person. When I find something, I like I tend to stick with it… however I am loving the movement towards non-toxic and clean beauty. Companies including Rohr Remedy, Ere Perez, Mokosh and Mukti are some of my favourites.

B: What are you reading, watching or listening to?
JB: If it were only up to me, I wouldn’t even own a tv … the kids and Paul would disagree with me on this. I read every night and it’s something I really look forward to. I always have a pile of parenting and psychology books near my bedside table (which take me ages to get through) as well as novels (which I finish quickly). On my bedside table at the moment is Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham, Boy Swallows Universe which I have finished but it is so good I can’t put it away on the bookshelf yet…Trent Dalton is a brilliant up and coming author. I love Tim Winton and have re-read all of his books… I like them that much. I used to read them when I lived in NYC and I missed all the nuances of the Australian language, so I enjoy reading them as an Australian as it’s a different experience. I have just started The WorldThat We Knew by Alice Hoffman.

B: Which bag would you reach for - the classic black leather or the statement metallic gold?
JB: I usually reach for the black bags… but I love bags .. so having a bag with the metallic gold would be pretty nice.

B: Which is your favourite bag from the Bahru collection and why?
JB: They are all beautiful but I especially love the shape of the Paris bag, it holds everything but still feels soft and comfortable. I also use my Florence bag all the time as it’s just so easy to throw on and makes any outfit look a bit more polished.

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