Meet The Maker - Raquel Bouris
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what are some of the cornerstones in your journey that make you the woman you are today?
I am 27 years old, a mother & a wife, I grew up & currently live in Cronulla NSW, a beach town in South Sydney, Australia (roughly 45 minutes from Bondi Beach) Prior to launching who is elijah, I worked as an Executive Assistant in the corporate world! In my past career I learnt a lot about business, how to run one & how not to, and little things that I thought I had forgotten however I find myself adapting and implementing my past experiences into my everyday life of running WIE.
Dreamt up in California, and bottled in-house at your Sydney studio. Tell us about the parts between, making your dream a reality, and what point did you step-back to take note of the power of what you have built?
I first thought of the idea for who is elijah on a Californian trip I took with my closest friends & now husband back in 2017 & I came home with the idea for my signature HIS|HER fragrance in the back of my mind.
When I returned home from the California trip, I knew there was more I wanted to soak up before launching my own brand so I kept my day job and hustled on my business plan at night. In retrospect, this was the best decision I could have made because working so closely with the executives & and colleagues at the level I was gave me a front row seat to see what it really takes to run a business. It was a great way for me to learn what works and what to avoid when I eventually took the leap and turned who is elijah into my full time passion.
It was when I started to secure stockists & my first department store, David Jones, that I really sat back to reflect on what who is elijah had become in such a short period of time.
The market presence and business growth of who is elijah parallels some long established luxury fragrance lines, and yet your business is just 4 years old. Congratulations! What does the momentum mean to you? And what are you working toward now?
Thank you! It truly means the world to me – I have pinch me moments weekly, and never take any opportunity for granted. It’s the little wins that happen daily that I love most, receiving customer feedback about how much they love my creations is still so wild.
We are working on two new fragrances at the moment, this years was a funny one and it effected our product development, but we are coming back with two beautiful fragrances that I know everyone will love. We are also in formulation stage of our first candles!
The integrity and grounding philosophies are remarkably different to other leaders in the fragrance and beauty industry. Who is elijah is grounded by a cruelty-free, ethical and gender-neutral approach, (just a few of the things we love about w.i.e) Can you share more about your business philosophies with us?
I never started who is elijah with financial gains at the forefront of my mind. It truly was a hobby turned side hustle turned full time passion.
Creating Gender fluid fragrances was a no brainer, and honestly was something that I put no thought into, to me, I love wearing more masculine fragrances myself, and I started to create only fragrances that I would wear. My collection is still small, but I look at each fragrances as pieces of my personality in each bottle.
We are strict with a no-plastic rule for our packaging, and this will never change!
Ingredients are always at the forefront of my mind when creating. Each WIE fragrance is made with a blend of natural and synthetic materials, and we always source ingredients locally when we can. Synthetics can get a bad rap in the fragrance world but I’m really passionate about educating people on the benefits of using non-toxic synthetics to help create a well-rounded scent profile.
We’re constantly learning and improving on our processes. The blend we have now allows all the wonderful top and heart notes shine through while being safe for skin and the planet
As the business founder, we know how much you embody the brand, so how do these ideals spill into your daily life; are there any key mantras you live by?
I really do live & breath who is elijah! I am constantly looking for inspiration on creative, things to implement to grow our company – what is happening overseas ect. EVERYTHING! I am only now slowly starting to have time to breath and have been lucky to be able to grow our team so I can hand over some of my tasks (yay!)
And on motherhood. Congratulations on the pending arrival of your baby-girl! A sibling for George, such magic. How are you feeling, and what are you most looking forward to?
Thank you, my husband and I are super excited to meet our little girl, Ella. George is the sweetest boy, I can’t wait to see him meet his sister.
I am feeling really good, I am due at the end of December which is perfect timing to have some time off work (hopefully 2 months!) I am excited to have a little girl, my husband Adam was really hoping to have a girl, so I think I am most excited to see him meet his little princess – I can already see how spoilt Ella is going to be!
We believe that ‘balance’ between work and mothering is a fallacy, rather you have to surrender to the ebb and flow. What is your approach to the juggle?
To be honest, majority of this year my work has taken up a lot of my time as we experienced our biggest growth. However, the past 2 months or so I have made it a daily ritual to spend quality time with George in the afternoons (no phones / emails allowed) and to just be present. I am lucky to have an amazing husband who now works full time at who is elijah and we make it work a lot smoother. Bring on baby no.2!
We love having w.i.e in our product offering, the final layer in our beauty regimen. Perfect finishing touch to empower or enchant our day. What is your personal approach to beauty?
My skin reacts best to simple skincare, so a simple face wash and mask each evening is what I do.
Do you alternate between your fragrance wardrobe? Or have one key signature? If so, what’s your go-to and why?
I do! I would say my most worn WIE fragrance is MUSE. I adore it. HAZE was my go to this winter. At the office I am surrounded by all of my creations, and usually end up wearing a bit of everything most days.
When I am creating new fragrances, I will only wear these during the testing stage – currently wearing NOMAD that we are launching hopefully in November. Stay tuned!
What inspired each scent?
HIS | HER.
Inspired by the unbelievable clarity of driving with the top down on Californian road trips, the thrill of meeting someone new, and lifelong memories in the making.
HER | HER.
Inspired by the life affirming journey of becoming a mother, the strength in embracing the divine femininity we each possess, and the blissful feeling that these carefree days could go on forever.
Inspired by the hedonism of the 1970s, impossibly elegant disco heroines, smoky back rooms and the mischief you find there.
Inspired by the quiet confidence that comes with embracing your true self, by the empowering feeling of owning your sex appeal and embracing your sophisticated side.