In conversation

Hannah Jack

In conversation

Meet Hannah Jack, the inspiring creator behind Country Kitchen; the organic skincare range that harnesses the beauty, and medicinal properties of over 100 organic flowers and herbs — all grown and wild-harvested from her Kaukapakapa farm home, and its surrounding fields.

Hannah has built her business around her principles of sustainability, and a conscious connection to nature — an ethos that radiates through her whole way of life, on the homestead where she is raising her young family.

We sat down with Hannah to explore her intimate connection to the seasons, the power of making with her hands, and the place of sustainability in all she does.

Can you tell us a little about your background, and what brought to where you are now?

I was a young Mum — I had Theo who’s 8 when I was 19, and now I have George who is 4. I worked at Monday’s Wholefoods in town which I loved. One day, they were like, “Hannah! You’re on a farm. Grow us some medicinal, beautiful garnishes for the kitchen, and for the food.” I was like, “OK!” I’ve always grown big vegetable gardens, so I started putting flowers in there. I went op-shopping and bought all these beautiful herbal remedy books. I became absolutely obsessed, and the whole garden literally became this big flower garden. It hasn’t stopped, it’s just grown from there.

What part does sustainability play in your work?

It’s huge. We have a huge ethos surrounding sustainability. Everything in our products comes from the farm or is wild harvested. We’re planting our own olive groves now, so that we can start pressing our own oils as well! Our future goal is for everything to come off the farm — to make our little sustainable circle.

How does your relationship to sustainability inform the rest of your lifestyle?

It doesn’t stop at my business. It’s carried throughout my home as well. Like I said we are very sustainable in the way eat; vegetables are from the farm, and so are the chicken’s eggs, and meat. It’s a big cycle, like a homestead. We’ve got the animals, and the manure; the gardens, and the compost. Everything has a purpose for the farm.

My home is all wood and filled with ceramics — I just love it! I can’t do bright colours or light. I can only do colours that are soft. I’m loving dried flowers all hung up in the studio, they take on this softness. I love that softness, and it’s carried throughout the whole household.

Can you tell me about your personal style, and how it’s influenced by your lifestyle?

It’s the same as my house. If you were to walk into my wardrobe, you’d see it’s very minimal. There’s a lot of linens, texture is my thing – I love texture. You’ll see I carry that through my products too, simplicity and texture, soft hues. I love soft colours and florals, there’s not a bright object in my wardrobe!

Hannah Jack

Can you tell me more about the importance of working with the seasons?

Our ethos with our business is seasonal — “once it’s out of stock, it’s out of stock.” We can only grow what we can grow, and once it’s gone it’s gone. It’s quite a shock to people in a world of “Now”.

We’re so disconnected until we start working with the seasons. My work with flowers is so seasonal. There are shifts, and it’s not until you realise this, that you realise the seasons could be the reason we’re often so out of sync. I always used to wonder why I completely shut down in winter. I have my hands in the soil during Spring planting, then i’m harvesting through Summer and Autumn. Come Winter I just completely shut down. I go inwards. I’ve realised I am totally connected with the seasons and how important they are.

What does creating with your hands mean to you?

It comes back to energy again. Anything I do with my hands — especially with the products I make — somebody will be taking the energy of that finished product. It has to remain pure, potent and beautiful. A beautiful energy is really important.

I love seeing how women are shifting more to creating and doing with their hands, something we’ve done for generations.

I feel like you’ve answered my final question in a multitude of ways! But I’ll ask it anyway; what inspires you each day?

Nature, it really does. And the other beautiful inspiring souls who are doing the same kind of thing as me.

You know Instagram, it has its pros and its cons. Its pros are that you get so inspired by people across the world. To be able to follow people from across the world and see what they’re doing is just amazing.

The seasons inspire me too, they teach me to listen — that it’s OK if I don’t want to work through winter, or be on Instagram, or just want to shut down. It’s OK, it’s what the plants are doing; they’re hibernating! The energy is sinking down into the earth. Whilst in spring you really bloom open again, and revive, and carry on. It’s very inspiring.

Photography by

Sara Orme

Words by

KM Marks

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