How Battling Cancer Motivated This Woman To Open Her Own Spa With A Point Of Difference

Located in the beach-side suburb of Cottesloe, WA, a heavenly hybrid of Indian sandalwood, clean beauty brands, and wellbeing experiences combined into the sanctuary known as Heartwood, founded by Alex Wilson.

Heartwood is a beauty and wellness destination created to deliver transformative calm through signature facial and massage treatments, customised fragrances, and a breadth of niche clean beauty brand selections. The luxury concept store retails a curated edit of over 80 natural beauty brands, including their own, ‘Heartwood’, alongside a luxury wellbeing treatment offering.

Inspired by Indian Sandalwood

Indian sandalwood is at the heart of Heartwood’s namesake skincare brand and unique in-store experiences and treatments. Sustainably grown, harvested, and distilled by Heartwood for Heartwood, Indian sandalwood is integral to their identity.

The interiors of Heartwood are deeply influenced by the scent and aesthetic of Indian sandalwood, embracing a warm, inviting, yet clean aesthetic using honey-toned timber and trowelled earth plastering, which not only beautifies the space but also purifies the air. This natural palette perfectly complements their sandalwood concept.

The unique Heartwood experience

What sets Heartwood apart is its exclusivity as the only Indian sandalwood retailer in the world. Their commitment to sustainability is unwavering, sourcing Indian sandalwood from one of the few sustainable sources globally. This dedication is crucial as native populations in India have faced reckless harvesting, pushing Indian sandalwood to the brink of extinction in the wild.

Heartwood is designed to be an experiential space, offering more than just transactions. Visitors can enjoy tea on comfortable couches, explore fragrance creation at the Eau de Parfum bar, or indulge in a makeup application or facial massage. Every visit to Heartwood is a journey into the luxurious world of Indian sandalwood.

A vision birthed from adversity

The Heartwood luxury treatment menu has been conceptualised by leading skin therapist Nikki O’Dwyer and her team to ensure each treatment combines traditional Ayurvedic healing with the latest skin science to deliver a tailored experience with visible results.

Alex Wilson’s vision for Heartwood was birthed from her own personal battle with cancer. Her journey through illness inspired her to create a sanctuary where others could find peace, healing, and rejuvenation. This personal connection infuses Heartwood with a unique sense of purpose and dedication.

We spoke to Heartwood founder Alex Wilson about her personal and professional journey.

What led to the decision to create Heartwood?

Heartwood exists because of my love for Indian sandalwood, which my family grow, harvest and distil in the far north of Australia. I have always been surrounded by this mysterious and fragrant wood, and since I was a young girl I have dreamed of bringing its many benefits for mind and skin to life.

Heartwood is a contemporary expression of what the ancients have known for thousands of years about the calming and medicinal properties of Indian sandalwood. 

Why Indian Sandalwood? What is so significant or unique about it?

Of all the varieties of sandalwood, Indian sandalwood is the most prized as it has the highest volume of sesquiterpenes, alpha and beta santalols, which are the compounds within the sandalwood oil that house all of the therapeutic and topical benefits.

Because of the abundance of santalols in Indian sandalwood, it has unique benefits within fine fragrance, aromatherapy, skincare and spiritual practices. 

What are some of the most in demand treatments you have? Could you walk us through the steps of what the client experiences?

The most popular treatments at Heartwood continue to be the Heartwood Signature Facial and the Liquid Lift Facial Massage. 

The signature facial is the optimal expression of skincare and relaxation – offering a bespoke sequence of products and facial massage for the unique needs of each client. We use a combination of our most powerful clean skincare products and Indian sandalwood facial oils to take the client on a journey that consists of deep cleansing and resurfacing, together with potent doses of antioxidants, hydration and lymphatic drainage to leave the skin and mind in their optimal state.

The Liquid Lift Facial Massage is performed in our dedicated Facial Massage Space and as the name suggests, is like Pilates for the face. This deep tissue massage is designed to lift, sculpt, tone, and contour the face from within, manually work the 40+ muscles of the face to refresh and revitalise the skin. 

Read the latest issue of SPA+CLINIC below:

There are 5 ways you can catch up with SPA+CLINIC

  1. Our quarterly print magazine, delivered to your door. Subscribe here.
  2. Our website, which is updated daily with its own completely unique content and breaking news.
  3. Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
  4. Our digital magazine – click here to view previous issues.
  5. Our social media – see daily updates on our InstagramFacebook Linkedin

Recommended Articles