By Gisela Williams
October 23, 2015
Beach People / Gisela Williams
Credit: Courtesy of The Beach People

In 2013, after a year of product-testing, Australian sisters Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie rolled out their round towel design (the "Roundie") in five beautiful prints. Their towels, sold with a leather carrying strap and a stylish wooden beach cart, sold out in three weeks.

The women, of Byron Bay, Australia, wanted to create the kinds of beach essentials that they themselves would use. “Our favorite beach is a bit of a trek and we were always trying to carry so much—surfboards and bags and babies—so we thought it would be cute to make a beach cart,” said Henderson. And the company name? “Not very original,” she added, “But one morning Victoria woke up and knocked on my door and said, The Beach People.”

The towels have garnered a devoted following since their debut. “We realized then that we were on to something,” said Emma. The office at the time was just a shed in Victoria’s backyard. Now they have a real office in the town of Tweed Heads with a staff that has grown from four to fourteen. Many of their customers are from California, so they opened a small office in Los Angeles, and hired a CEO. Next month they launch five more “Roundie” towel designs and, in 2016, they are launching several new products including a beautiful, indigo-blue surfboard, which they designed in collaboration with local surf legend Bob McTavish.

The Beach People's Picks for In and Around Byron Bay

Beaches: “Our favorite beach is Dreamtime in Fingal Heads. Blue, blue water surrounded by huge black rocks. It's a beautiful walk through the bush. We designed the beach cart for that beach. There are never too many people and it is protected from wind. A close second favorite is Wadegos in Byron Bay. From the lighthouse above you can watch the whales.”

Hotels: “We love the Atlantic at Byron. It's one of our favorites. The newly opened Halcyon House on Cabarita Beach is beautiful too. It's pretty special.”

Shops: “There is an amazing and quirky antiques center in Chinderah that we call Ray's Place but it's official name is the Chinderah Bay Antiques & Mueum of the Sea. It's just jammed with nautical antiques. Ray, the owner, sells these amazing crab pots and sharks heads and old lifesaving rings. We bought a bunch of seafaring charts that we sometimes use to wrap orders in. Often Ray just can't part with something and so he says it's for his 'museum.'”

Cafes: “Henna Coffee Bar in Pottsville serves up tasty Middle Eastern inspired food and good coffee. We love Japanese food so we often go to Izakaya Potts, also in Pottville, a delicious authentic Japanese spot.”