Homewares & Interiors

Two Minutes With Kirsten Walker From Palm Beach Collection

By Ellie Schneider
16th Nov 2014

Here at The Urban List we're a tad obsessed with candles. So when we stumbled upon Palm Beach Collection we were instantly smitten. Inspired by the picturesque surrounds of their childhood home in Palm Beach, brother sister duo Mike Grey and Kirsten Walker launched Palm Beach Collection back in 2009. Today, the brand offers a gorgeous selection of eco-friendly candles and oil diffusers, designed to compliment the Australian lifestyle aesthetic.

Here, we chat with Kirsten about creating new scents, what it's like working with her bro, and uncover her favourite haunts on the Northern Beaches.

TUL: Can you tell us about the philosophy behind Palm Beach Collection?  
Kirsten: We wanted to create a range that was luxurious yet affordable. Being candle and fragrance addicts we knew there was a big gap in the market for great quality Australian candles. We always wanted to work together and be our own bosses. In 2009 the timing was right, we took the plunge and quit our jobs and the rest is history!

TUL: What do you love most about your job and what has been the biggest highlight so far?
Kirsten: I love discovering new fragrances. Mixing them up and finding something new! I love the flexibility of working for myself. It has given me the ability to be able to work while my kids are little and feel like I haven't missed out on anything.

TUL: What's it like working with your brother?
Kirsten: Great! We really complement each other in terms of personality and skills.

TUL: What does a typical day involve?     
Kirsten: After an early morning wake up call with two kids, it's kindy drop offs and then straight to the office. Normally a meeting with our sales team in the morning to catch up on how things are tracking in the market place. We see our fragrance suppliers regularly to off load our latest ideas. We try and visit stores as much as we can. A lot of my work is also projecting sales and managing targets (the boring stuff).

TUL: Where do you find your inspiration for each new scent?
Kirsten: We travel to find the latest fragrance trends and take our own Australian spin on them.

TUL: How do you go about creating a new fragrance?  
Kirsten: There is a lot of hit and miss when creating the perfect fragrance. Sometimes the smallest ingredient can make a massive impact on it. It's about making sure that the top, mid and bottom notes are balanced perfectly.

TUL: How many candles are in the complete collection?
Kirsten: We have 12 fragrances in the core of our range. Then we normally have two to four limited editions per year.

TUL: Can you tell us about your newest products?
Kirsten: We have just released an organic body bar in eight fragrances. Its super soft and doesn't dry your skin out.

TUL: What are the best sellers?
Kirsten: Our best sellers would have to be Coconut & Lime, White Rose & Jasmine, French Vanilla & Vintage Gardenia . . . All the classics that you never tire of.

TUL: And do you have a personal favourite? If so, why?
Kirsten: I absolutely love Quince. It's such a strong, punchy fragrance that brings back good memories and happy times. It's very different to the rest of the range.

TUL: Growing up in Palm Beach, where are your favourite places to drink and dine in Sydney's northern beaches?
Kirsten: There are too many favourites . . . I love The Boathouse for brekkie, lunch at Barrenjoey House, drinks and snacks at Cranky Fins and dinner at Jonah's at Whale Beach.

TUL: Lastly, what's next for Palm Beach Collection?
Kirsten: We have our Christmas candle launching late October. It's our best so far. We also have some really exciting collaborations next year . . . So watch this space!

Palm Beach Collection is available online and in boutiques across Sydney.

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