March 26, 2015

Introducing: Vilda Växter

Wild harvested in the mountains and forests of North Sweden, Vilda Växter fragrances, soaps and salves are carefully crafted from nature. Moss, bark, pine resin, wild flowers, plant sap, juniper, grasses and forest berries are all used with ancient techniques such as sun-infusion, tincturing and enfleurage, their products capture the freshness and fragrance of the wilderness. Meet the creators, an inspiring duo behind the latest exciting addition we are honoured to have in our store!

We would love to find out more about how you started Vilda Vaxter?
We officially created Vilda Vaxter in the fall of 2014. Before then we have been obsessed with infusing and tincturing plants to see what fragrances and natural colors we could extract. When we made our first pine salve we were captivated by the fragrance. It smelled wild and fresh, like stepping into a forest wilderness. From that moment on, we began experimenting with Swedish wildflowers and berries like mullein, red clover and yarrow, juniper and lingon, to make balms for friends and family. With such positive responses, we were inspired to make wildcrafted bar soaps and eventually perfumes and colognes.

You collect raw materials from the Swedish mountains and forests – could you tell us a little more about wildcrafting?
We didn't know what it was called when we first started doing it. The wilderness here in Sweden is lush with plants, trees and in some parts a thick blanket of moss that covers the forest floor. Wearing rain boots on morning hikes through the forest we find dense patches of trees with pine pitch oozing from the bark. From sitting on each other's shoulders harvesting hard-to-reach pine resin to crawling on the ground through three foot deep moss pillows, we realize wildharvesting, or wildcrafting, is closest to giving a name to what we do. We love being in the wilderness.

What first made you interested in making your own balms and perfumes?
Our inspiration comes from the fresh fragrances of plants and how we can transport them in a bottle, jar or bar of soap. The challenge of capturing these fragrances and the reward of being able to recall a place in the wilderness no matter where you are; I think that rests at the core of why we do what we do. Not to mention that most generic soaps, lotions and salves smell synthetic and stuffy. We wanted something real and fresh and we used our do-it-yourself ethic to get it done. Everything we do from designing our hand-drawn labels and logos to creating recipes from wildharvested plants, is done from the heart.

Did you teach yourselves or have a mentor to learn the techniques of creating scents and balms from wild plants?
As hikers and backpackers we are self-taught in the ways of wilderness exploration. Crushing cypress shoots in between our fingers and breathing in that citrusy, sweet fragrance; those things come naturally to us. The soapmaking required remembering a little high school chemistry and some trial and error to get it right. A lot of what we do is about experimentation at first: we are constantly creating new recipes and building on the best of what came before that.

What are your favourite areas for sourcing ingredients?
During the peak of summer you will find us wildharvesting in the mountains of Jämtland. Nature in the north is rugged and wildlife such as elk, lynx and bears roam free. The forests and mountains here are more isolated and untouched. We live in a modest 100-year-old log house overlooking glacial lakes and pine trees. In Jämtland we have the space and enough raw plant material to experiment with small-batch steam distillation and on-site tincturing and infusing of more delicate fragrances. In Skåne (the south of Sweden) the climate is warmer and spring comes earlier. Here we harvest spring birch leaves for soap and wildharvested tea. In Västra Götaland (outside Gothenburg), we harvest kåda (pine pitch) and a cornucopia of pine shoots, wildflowers, mushrooms and berries. The whole Scandinavian peninsula is our playground!

What did you both do before you decided to wild harvest full time?
Kerstin Wennberg is a certified Shiatsu therapist and Pax Chmara travelled the world working odd jobs. We never thought it was possible to make wildharvesting a full time business. In fact it is very early days still and we can't believe we're doing it! Without the support of intuitive and independent thinkers such as you all at The Future Kept, it just wouldn't be possible. Thank you!

View the full Vilda Växter collection here. 

January 12, 2015

Photo Journal ›

Photo Journal: Winter On The Coast

We spent the last days of 2014 exploring our local coastline and taking in the wonder and inspiration that can be found right on our doorstep. From Beachy Head, through Botany Bay and then on down to Margate, a few days spent in the crisp winter air by the sea was a perfect way to reflect on quite the year, whilst looking forward to what this new year might bring.
October 14, 2014

Welcome to The Future Kept.

Our corner of the world where we hope to inspire a curiosity and desire within people to make more sustainable and ethical choices through the items they choose to live with in their life.  

Why are we doing this, and how are we different? We wrote our mission statement for our founding principles, the first thing that we created to guide us when making decisions on what to champion and celebrate in our store.  At The Future Kept we create and carefully source inspiring Home Decor & Lifestyle products, it began with a fascination and desire that we've both had for a long time, to seek out beautiful and useful items for life and the home that are made with love, thoughtfulness and detail. Items with timeless qualities created by people with a passion for what they do, and a care for the future of the world we live in.

Our primary goal is to hopefully lead and inspire more people to think about and carefully choose the items they have in their lives, by putting together a collection of best in class products all with a story to tell.

Along the way this journal will act as a source of information and hopefully inspiration, a place where you can meet the makers behind our products, learn more about the history of the items they produce, the techniques and materials they use.

Our offering is starting out small, focusing on product and makers who share our beliefs, and as this grows organically we hope to be able to bring you the finest collection of beautiful, sustainable and thoughtfully designed goods possible. 

You can read more About Us here, and connect via our Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook pages. We would love to hear from you with any feedback or questions, and do hope you enjoy browsing!! - Jeska & Dean.