Beauty exec shares his ambitious plans for his and Andrew Goetz’ new Chatham property.

by Isabel Hochman

Matthew Malin and his life and business partner Andrew Goetz, founders of apothecary-inspired brand MALIN+GOETZ, recently sold their house in Hudson and purchased a stunning historic Greek Revival home and dairy farm in Chatham, which they’re busily renovating. A passionate gardener, Malin’s skincare, fragrance and candle products are largely derived from natural ingredients and medicinal properties that originate in gardens. And he’s got big plans for his.

 

What advice would you give to friends looking to start a garden?

First, minimize the amount of work and labor that’s involved. I’d choose native plants that are drought-tolerant, right for your soil and the sun. Don’t buy something exotic and don’t be overly ambitious! At our new property, we’re planting drought-tolerant perennials around the house that we don’t plan to manage in any way shape or form! There’ll also be a 7,000 square-foot vegetable garden. All our berries, fruit trees, vegetables, our cutting garden—it’ll all be in one, fenced-in space. That way, we can manage and take care of it and make sure it’s irrigated properly.

What are some of the easiest plants to maintain in our region? 

Any dry garden plants, such as nepeta and lavender, as they’re hardy and not difficult here. I’ve become a real specialist in thyme. I think I might propagate thyme here and potentially even look to sell it. I know the kind of soil it prefers, where it likes to live and the fact that it’s really dense cuts down on the weeding. Also, thyme’s beautiful; it smells great when you walk on it, and you can eat from it. Everything about it amazes me!

How do you come up with a winning garden design? 

When planning it out, we think about how it’ll be appropriate for our lives and lifestyle. Start around the house, because that’s what you’ll look at every day and what you’ll be able to take care of first. Then you make your way out from there, depending on how much time, money and energy you have for it. We’ve been lucky to work with a landscape architect, Jamie Purinton, who’s based in Ancram, both in Hudson and now here in Chatham. 

How has your garden inspired your beauty products? 

So many things have come from the garden. Our whole brand is based on these tried, true and trusted natural ingredients you’d have found in apothecaries hundreds of years ago that came from gardens and from propagating these kinds of medicinal plants.

A couple of years ago, we launched a fragrance called Stem. The idea behind it was that if you spend a day out in the garden, everyone focuses on the blooms or the fruit that’s coming off a plant.  

Our candle called Tomato, which we’ve just reissued because it’s been so successful, was based on how we’re such avid tomato growers. We can buy a bazillion different kinds of tomatoes here in Columbia County, but there’s nothing like picking your own and having tomato salad every day for the month of August. 

Our newest fragrance, Strawberry, was also inspired by one of the most difficult fruits that we’ve had to grow here, and one thing we probably will not replicate on this property just because it’s so much trouble with the birds, squirrels and mice. When you grow your own strawberries—and pick them—nothing tastes better.

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