THIS IS MOXIE: Tandia Walsh - Founder, Mother SPF.

December 16, 2020

Tandia Walsh- Co-founder, MOTHER SPF sunscreen | Moxie

We've all got Moxie in our own unique way, and this woman has it in SPADES! Meet Tandia Walsh, Co-founder of MOTHER SPF. We caught up (virtually!) to talk all things biz, sunscreen, life and what it means to have 'Moxie'.


MOXIE: Tell us a bit about Tandy?

TANDIA WALSH: I'm 27 and currently living in Perth. I live close to the beach with my boyfriend and in the process of begging him for a boxer (dog)… with no luck so far!

I grew up in Broome, WA. My father had a pearl farm and my mum owned a dance school, so I was either out on the pearling boat fishing, crabbing, helping dad harvest pearls or in a ballet, tap, hip hop class.

I am utterly obsessed with anything that involves health, mother nature and the ocean (makes sense with my upbringing right?!). I am extremely active, love yoga and a daily ocean dip, get weirdly excited by natural skincare ingredients and very much live for Summer. If I could never have a winter I would seriously be down for that!

M: What kind of future did you most dream about when you were growing up?

TW: I wanted to be a marine biologist, I was so obsessed with the ocean as a child. So I actually ended up following this and studied marine biology, however the career path itself wasn't as ocean based as I imagined. HA! I was also OBSESSED with 'Dancing with the Stars' and I always wanted to be the professional dancer on the show!

M: What drove your decision to start your business, MOTHER SPF?

TW: The idea for MOTHER SPF was born out of necessity when a few years back, my Mother was diagnosed with Cancer, leaving me to discover the hidden nasties lurking in a lot of the mainstream skin and SPF products.

After not being able to find a mineral sunscreen suitable for myself and also extremely disheartened by the environmental effect of the current ones, I decided to look into making my own using my science background. After partnering with the very best green cosmetic scientist and a TGA licensed manufacturer, MOTHER SPF came to life this earlier year (2020).

I was actually in finance at the time. It’s not an industry I feel you can really be passionate about (unless you're passionate about money) and I wanted to “add some good” to the world as cliché as it sounds.

Mother SPF

M: Highlight and lowlight in business so far?

TW: Highlight - Selling out of our first batch of stock much quicker than we anticipated and realising customers love MOTHER SPF just as much as you do ☺️

Lowlight - Basically the reverse of the above. As we sold out so quickly we didn’t have any stock and I was having to turn down customers/stockists - I couldn’t believe that was happening! I am a whiz now when it comes to inventory management (lesson learned!)

M: What's something you wish more people knew about sunscreen that perhaps they don't?

TW: Oh there's a lot! A few important ones that spring to mind...

  • SPF 30 VS SPF 50: There's actually only a 1% difference in terms of UV rays. SPF 30 blocks 97% UV rays and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays.
  • Chemical SPF vs Physical SPF: Chemical SPFs absorb UV rays and Physical SPF reflects them.
  • Broad Spectrum: There are 2 types of UV rays we need to worry about: UVB ('burning' rays that turn your skin red) and UVA (the ones that age you). UVB rays are only around in summer, but UVA rays really are around 365 days a year - they come out at sunrise and disappear at sunset. So the idea of wearing SPF during winter, and all year 'round, really is necessary! And, both rays can contribute towards skin cancer.
  • Australia has the strictest SPF testing conditions in the whole world so always make sure you pick a Australian SPF!

M: What five items are you carrying around in your beach bag this Summer?


  2. Stainless steel water bottle - love the Frank Green ones
  3. Earpods - love a podcast
  4. Hat and sunnies - While I like to think MOTHER is enough, our sun is too strong to rely on SPF exclusively
  5. A good novel - I am an avid reader so I am always either listening to a podcast or reading if I am not with friends.

M: The world has been super weird this year, but what has been the most positive or inspiring highlight of your year thus far?

TW: Family time! I think everyone appreciated this. My brother lived in the US pre Covid, my mum normally lives in Broome and my sister and I live in Perth. But we all ended up in Broome together in our childhood home. It’s the most time we have all spent together in years! We spent most days out crabbing like we used to do when we were children. It was super special to slow down, with less technology and more family time, cooking and exploring our own country!


M: What does having 'Moxie' mean to you?

TW: To have courage and to speak up! I think sometimes we all need a little reminder that we have a voice for a reason and if something doesn’t resonate with you, that's where your voice can come into play.

M: Who is someone in your life who epitomises your idea of Moxie, and why?

TW: Very cliche but my mum - prior to Leukemia she had a melanoma and a tumor. Her courage throughout her sickness has been remarkable. I believe it is her love for us children that kept her fighting back and I hope I have that same amount of love for my children.

Also Grace Forrest (@graceaforrest). I went to school with Grace and she is doing everything in her power to stop modern slavery. She is the perfect example of someone using her voice for the better good. What she is accomplishing is remarkable - highly recommended to follow her on social. She does great talks!

M: With self-care in mind... what's your self-care guilty pleasure?

TW: Food wise - Ice-cream. I am naturally a very healthy eater but all forms of self-control go out the window if ice-cream is around (especially an ice-cream sandwich!)

Splurge wise - Facials! I think because I tell myself it's “self-care” and therefore the cost can be justified. But I spend WAY too much money in this area.

M: What message of encouragement would you like to send your future self?

TW: Often, we are our own harshest critics - I would say, try not to be too hard on yourself and remember that your health, family and friends should always be your number one priority. The work can wait.


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