Emma Reid took over MUSQ in 2013 after buying the business from a friend and her friend’s mother, and, with her own mother Susanne, relaunched it in October 2022 as MUSQ Farmceuticals, a skincare range inspired by life on their family farm.
Reid divides her time between Adelaide and the farm in the Southern Riverina region of New South Wales where her mother lives.
Being the great-great-great granddaughter of South Australian furniture company magnate Malcolm Reid, Emma said she wanted to ensure the products were sold from the state.
“Being from SA myself, it is an important area for me to connect with,” she said.
“Coming from a family who was in retail with a well-known South Aussie brand, Malcolm Reid furniture, I feel a real connection to the state and am inspired to show what South Australians can bring to the table in terms of branding and products.”
Malcolm Reid furniture began in Adelaide in 1892 and the façade of the Malcolm Reid Emporium can still be seen on Rundle St.
“I feel we produce some amazing brands here and they need to be seen,” Reid said.
She said they wanted to find a way to nurture their skin after work on the farm and also wanted to incorporate the ingredients they found themselves working with.
“From being in the harsh sun all day to being wind beaten out on the motorbikes and covered in dust in the sheep yards, our skin showed the signs of being in these harsh conditions each day,” she said.
Reid landed on lanolin, hemp, and honey as the base ingredients for her skincare line, which includes moisturisers, balms, toners and cleansers.
“Initially, we became intrigued by lanolin after sorting wool in the shearing sheds and noticing how soft our hands were at the end of the day,” she said.
“After speaking with our shearers about how they found their hands felt after a long day, and then researching the benefits of lanolin, we quickly realised that this ingredient is an amazing hydrator and barrier protector.”
Reid said that hemp seed oil “is an excellent emollient that strengthens the skin’s surface against moisture loss.”
“This plant also helped to create biodiversity and improve the soil condition on our farm along with being a fully used crop (from its stalk to its seed) with so many uses from helping to build houses, fibre for clothing to making oil for food and skincare along with being a food source for the birds and bees on our property,” she said.
Reid said “honey was a no brainer as it was important for pollination of the crops”.
They launched with a small first production run because they were unsure of how the relaunch would be received, but the reaction has been good.
The skincare range is currently only sold online but Reid said they have plans to sell through retail stores.