The first thing you notice when you pick up an Inner States product is the packaging – sleek, earthy and gender-neutral designs that wouldn't look out of place in a '70s surf shack or fancy day spa. Founder Lucy Wilson explains that the branding is inspired by the nostalgic mid-century style of Joshua Tree, equal parts laid-back and luxe.
It's no surprise that Lucy has a background in fashion and marketing, given her eye for design. She studied fashion after school but admits to being an "impatient sewer", so quickly moved into branding and marketing, working for international labels including Puma and Wrangler.
Lucy practised yoga to counteract the churn and burn of a corporate lifestyle, and in 2019, she decided to enrol in a teacher training course on a whim. It was a split decision that turned out to be a game-changer.
"Whilst training in Bali, I realised that my brand and my passion were not going to be in fashion. I felt drawn to the more subtle and sustainable practices of holistic health and wellbeing," she explains.
Returning home to Melbourne, Lucy left her job and began working in a local wholefoods store. She would spend her days teaching yoga, batching up organic teas and learning about the therapeutic properties of essential oils and Ayurvedic herbs. The slower pace allowed her to carve out more time for creativity and play, and she started experimenting with alternative therapies and natural remedies.
Teaching yoga at studios across Melbourne, she quickly learned the importance of setting the mood and connecting with the senses before class. She began researching natural scents and was shocked to discover a largely unregulated industry. Many overseas products contained lead and paint, creating toxic smoke when burned. She saw a gap in the market to develop a design-led range for studios made from 100% essential oils, with none of the hidden nasties.
Lucy worked with a botanical perfumer to formulate four signature states based on her classes; meditate, yin, yang and flow. Each is soft, subtle, and unique, balancing masculine and feminine and reflecting different energetic states in the body. Yin and meditate incense are calming and grounding scents made with Australian harvested sandalwood, whilst agarwood incense creates a sense of energy and expansion for yang and flow. Though she doesn’t pick favourites, yang is often burning in the studio. With notes of white cypress and eucalyptus – “it smells just like the Aussie bush”.
Sharing tea after class is a time-honoured tradition in yogic circles, and Lucy was keen to include this sacred ritual as part of her offering. She connected with an Ayurvedic practitioner and Naturopath to create a series of herbal tea blends to connect with the scents. Each blend combines powerful botanical herbs and spices, creating a comforting brew when served hot and a soothing tonic over ice.
In November 2020, Lucy launched Inner States with a thoughtful range of handmade incense, diffuser oils, space mists and teas. The products were an instant hit with the health-conscious yogis that frequented her classes, and studio owners that appreciated Lucy’s considered approach.
These days, you can find Lucy running Inner States from her studio in Mornington, working alongside her husband Josh and their two frenchies, Oakie and Lola. The online store has expanded to include a beautiful and eclectic range of ritual tools, including bundles of white sage, ceramic incense holders, heat packs, natural soaps, bath soaks, books, crystals and vintage homewares.
A permanent setup at Dromana Indoor Market provides an opportunity to touch, feel and smell the products before purchasing, or to restock your goodies in a pinch. You'll also find Inner States in a range of local stockists, including Marci Wellness in Red Hill, Luup (formerly Plover Wellbeing) in Mornington and used at Higher Ground Yoga in Red Hill during practice.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or relatively new to wellbeing rituals, Inner States can help guide you to a state of inner (and outer) bliss.