“It demands a higher level of consciousness and a force of will to garden at this level,” said Joscha Huter, 40, who cultivates the plants and flowers used to make the popular, expensive line of German natural cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka. “There’s a point where gardening becomes an art.”
Het schakelt vervolgens snel over naar Hollywood:
‘Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Richard Gere and Robert Downey Jr. are among the celebrities who have publicly extolled Dr. Hauschka’s skin care products. While the stars may not express themselves like 19th-century German philosophers, their devotion has helped to win Dr. Hauschka a cultlike following from Beverly Hills to the Upper East Side.’
Om uit te komen bij de financiën:
‘Sales of WALA Heilmittel, the maker of Dr. Hauschka, have more than doubled in the last five years, to nearly $150 million, about 8 percent of that from the United States, where it also sells herbal remedies. The 73-year-old company, which labored for decades in obscurity, now finds itself in the sweet spot of a booming market for green cosmetics.’
Maar ook de geschiedenis wordt niet vergeten:
‘The company’s roots are in herbal medicine. WALA was founded in 1935 by Rudolf Hauschka, a Viennese chemist who sought to develop remedies using only natural ingredients. In 1967, it added the skin care line, named after the founder, who died two years later. The company’s name — an acronym that stands for Warmth and Ashes, Light and Ashes — suggests a crystals-and-karma sensibility more suited to Northern California than southern Germany.’
En de bron:
‘But WALA is based on a school of early 20th-century European philosophy known as anthroposophy. Developed by the Austrian theorist Rudolf Steiner, the philosophy is predicated on the existence of a spiritual world that can be accessed by the human intellect. Mr. Steiner’s thinking was also influential in more down-to-earth matters. He championed biodynamic agriculture, a rigorous form of organic farming that shuns pesticides and uses no fertilizers that were not already present in the garden.
An acolyte of Mr. Steiner, Rudolf Hauschka planted a biodynamic garden in this town, 28 miles west of Stuttgart, in 1955. There, a team of eight gardeners cultivates more than 150 plants, flowers and trees, ranging from Echinacea to monk’s hood. They are harvested by hand, then crushed and dried. Extracts are taken with water, never alcohol.’
Prachtige taal, dat Engels. Een genot om te lezen. – De marketing is een verhaal apart:
‘Dr. Hauschka’s success in the United States owes much to Susan West Kurz, a beauty expert and author who transformed a tiny import business into a franchise. The key was introducing Hollywood makeup artists to the products, which she did with the help of her first husband, the character actor J. T. Walsh.’
(Van dezelfde Susan West Kurz is onlangs een boek in het Nederlands verschenen: ‘Pure schoonheid’.)
Evenals de eigendomsverhoudingen:
‘Perhaps the fullest expression of WALA’s philosophy is its unorthodox ownership structure. The original owners gave up their stakes in 1986, creating a foundation that is legally owned by the German public, and hence cannot be sold. A similar legal arrangement in the United States makes it impossible to sell the American distribution rights.
Many suitors have tried. In 1997, Estée Lauder paid $300 million for Aveda, a maker of natural beauty products, while L’Oréal paid $1.1 billion for the Body Shop in 2006.’