Dear Commodity Family,
My name is Gabriela, and I’m Head of Creative Advertising here at Commodity Fragrances. I’m stepping out from behind the scenes today to honor a familiar face, Orla Baxendale. You may recognize her as the stunning copper-haired dancer featured on our website, social channels, and advertisements.
Last week I received the terrible news that Orla had passed: a tragic accident involving a mislabeled food product, a severe allergy, and an ineffective Epipen. I couldn’t believe it when I heard—we had been in the middle of planning a get-together. And now suddenly, she’s gone.
I had the pleasure of hiring Orla for one of the first shoots I ever did with Commodity. We were looking for people who were movement experts and she was a star candidate. Her eye-catching hair was another perfect match for the brand: the ever-shifting copper colors reflect our Bold fragrance line.
Beyond the on-paper qualifications, I knew I liked her from the first casting call. Even over Zoom, her energy was infectious. She had an easy-going nature that somehow simultaneously felt like a jolt of caffeine and sparkles all mixed together. I looked forward to meeting her on set. She did not disappoint.
Orla and I would keep in touch on Instagram. We’d celebrate each others’ wins: from having work—and hands!—featured on Times Square Billboards to being cast in MOMIX’s Alice production. We’d laugh at cute videos of baby bears. We’d repeatedly try and fail to set up a Pilates class to contribute to her teacher training. Normal, lovely, silly things. Any time her name popped up in my feed, I couldn’t help but smile.
There is a current outpouring of love for Orla and the Baxendale family from each of the communities she was a part of. It’s easy to understand why.
I’m thankful to have experienced even just a little bit of the light she brought to this earth, and I’m glad to continue sharing it with our Commodity family through this letter.
Cheers to you Orla: you will be dearly missed but never forgotten.