First of all, how has 2020 been treating you?
It’s been an interesting year for everyone. And definitely, a challenging year for everyone—so many mixed emotions, for sure. There’s been a lot of turmoil and sadness, and of course, the pandemic. But also, so many opportunities to be grateful for our family and our health. And I think it’s definitely been a mixed emotions year for everyone. I feel like it’s really put the focus on what’s the most important. I’ve always felt like health is wealth and now more than ever, everyone else is understanding that too.
What have been your favourite forms of self-care recently?
I’ve really enjoyed doing a little bit of self massage with gua sha. We have the rose quartz gua sha, and rose quartz is so good to give yourself a little massage on your pressure points, on your neck and face as well.
How have you found a work-life balance between running KORA Organics, enjoying alone-time and spending time with your loved ones?
It’s pretty busy with two [children] under two! My two-year-old and my one-year-old and then my nine-year-old in homeschooling—it’s definitely a full house, there’s never a dull moment. There’s a lot of washing to be done, always. My two-year-old wants to press the buttons on the washing machine all the time. And I’m like ‘No! Don’t press that button yet!’ [laughs]. But he’s good at actually pulling the washing out, he’s trying to be helpful. And my nine-year-old helps me fold the washing, so that’s good. So you know, we get to do that together! [laughs].
With KORA Organics now available at MYER from this month, how does it feel to see your brand in one of Australia’s most historic department stores?
I just feel so happy that KORA's available in 60 Myer stores now—and online. And making our products more accessible to people across Australia is great, because we’re obviously still available in Sephora and David Jones.
Having funded the start of KORA Organics on your own, how did you feel taking such a huge risk like starting a business?
It was definitely a leap of faith but something that I was so passionate about from the beginning. At that point when I started KORA, there really wasn’t anything out there that was available for everyone and gave them healthier alternatives. It was definitely a risk and something people didn’t understand when I launched back in 2009 but they understand so much more, now more than ever, on the importance of clean beauty. And they’re educating themselves on a lot more and realising that what they put on their skin sinks in.
KORA Organics is so much more than just clean beauty, it’s certified organic beauty. There have been studies from Cambridge that show that there are up to 60% more antioxidants in certified organic ingredients than in non-certified organic ingredients. So, not only does [KORA Organics] not have the nasty chemicals in there, but it's also using powerful ingredients that are full of antioxidants and that’s why people are getting such good results.
Do you think that’s why it’s so important for us to incorporate organic products into our skincare routines?
I just think it's important for people to make an educated decision on what they’d like to do with their skin and what they’re willing to sacrifice, you know? Are they willing to sacrifice using this product—that’s full of chemicals—that might in large doses be carcinogenic? Or are they wanting to use a healthier alternative like KORA Organics that’s just as powerful and can give them the results they need for their skin? And at the end of the day, it’s really up to them. It’s just about being educated, I think that’s important.
And for young entrepreneurs looking to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you offer them?
I’d say just realise that it’s a lot of work when you have your own company [laughs]. Make sure that you have a clear vision and write down your goals. Be diligent and when things don’t go as planned. You need to go with the flow. I try to tell my team to be like a willow tree, not an oak tree. A willow tree is more flexible in a storm whereas an oak tree is more rigid. Trust your intuition, your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask people for help.
As a trailblazer for the ‘clean beauty’ movement, what does ‘clean beauty’ mean to you?
Because there’s no standard regulation around what is 'clean', and every company has their own version of what they claim to be 'clean', I feel like it's not just about not having the nasty chemicals, but it’s about being more than 'clean'. And that’s why I’m so about the certified organic ingredients, because they don’t just not have the nasty chemicals in there, but they also have the more antioxidant rich ingredients in there which therefore produces the more potent results for your skin.
Following the launch of your ‘Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum’ earlier this year, what are your most-used products from your range?
My morning and skincare routine—you know, I cleanse, mist, serum, face oil, eye oil—religiously, and then every night I do the same thing but with the night serum. So in the morning, [I use] the vitamin C and in the night, the Noni Night and the sleeping mask. And then the turmeric scrub, I keep it in the shower, it’s amazing. I use that like every second day, it just exfoliates the skin.
The peppermint aroma therapy is so good! The Noni Night is so amazing because it helps so much because it's got the AHAs and BHAs ferments and it helps with resurfacing the skin and increasing that cellular turnover. People really notice a difference with their pores being smaller and the dark spots are minimised.
Well, there you have it—clean beauty is the way to go! Speaking of, you’ve previously spoken about your use of crystals—particularly rose quartz—when creating your products, what drew you to discover crystal work?
So, when I was growing up in Australia, my grandfather was a house mover. So in the process of moving those houses, he would find these big geodes and bring them home for my grandma. I became quite fascinated with them, and they became treasures of mine. And it wasn't until I was about 13 that I was on a family holiday in Byron Bay and there was a crystal store there with all these different crystals with different meanings and different uses. But I was drawn to rose quartz.
What I love about the rose quartz is that it’s all about nurturing self-love and acceptance and in a really humble, gentle way. And kind of bringing about that loving energy into your life. I feel like as human beings, we're always the most critical with ourselves. So it's really important to be more kind and gentle with ourselves. And this stone helps bring a bit of that magic into your life. Every KORA product, all the ingredients in the manufacturing process are touched with Rose quartz to energise that vibration of the product, and it’s a little added touch that's personal to me.
With your KORA Cares initiative, and speaking about doing things to feel good and make others feel good, why do you think it’s so important that we give back?
It's really important to give to those in need and that might be different people at different times. I just think that giving back is so important for everyone and anyone and every little bit helps. And if we can all give a little, it can make a big difference to so many.
In your 2010 book Treasure Yourself, you spoke about the power of positive affirmation. Given how 2020 has affected so many, what are some ways that you suggest we practice positive affirmations?
Self talk is so important—what we say to each other and how we perceive things around us. We're constantly talking to ourselves—whether we know it or not—every day or making a judgement. And we can choose at that moment to look at things in a positive way, a negative way or a neutral way.
We could choose throughout the day to be like, ‘You know, I'm just, I'm so grateful today that it’s sunny, the sun feels so good on my skin’ or we could be like, ‘Uh, I can't believe it's so hot today. What a drag.’ You know, that’s just one little example. Or we could look at it as if like, ‘Oh, wow. We really needed that rain, I’m so grateful.’
So there's just those little shifts that help. And with every positive, there's a negative, and with every negative there’s a positive and that's just the laws of life. So if you can understand and see both sides, it creates a more of a neutral attitude and a balanced attitude, that's not negative. Because the negative, it just creates more of that in your life.
And when it comes to your favourite beauty rituals, which do you do daily to help you feel your most beautiful?
Dry body brushing is something that's so simple and can be incorporated into so many people's lives. It gets the circulation going, it stimulates blood flow and that's amazing. In the shower, followed by the foaming cleanser, I use the turmeric mask, and I love to use it as an exfoliant.
I just keep it on while I wash my hair and then rinse it off. It just feels so invigorating and so uplifting. It helps me like get ready for the day.
And when you’ve done that, do you feel ready to go?
Yeah, I do feel ready to go. And then obviously misting my face with the Energising Citrus Mist, the vitamin C, and the Noni glow face oil. It just helps kind of prepare myself for the day. I feel that my skin is feeling nurtured and nourished. Oh, and obviously the Noni Eye Oil as well—the rose quartz roller ball is great!
To finish up, I just have some fun, rapid-fire questions for you! What’s been your favourite TV show to watch during quarantine?
Oh my God, we don't watch TV! I think because we're so exhausted from the kids. I wish I could watch TV! I think once my kids get a bit older, I’ll probably have enough time. It's like between running my business, you know, gotta give time to my husband and, and obviously taking care of the kids, our head hits the pillow [laughs].
What are three things you absolutely can’t live without?
My family, I'm obsessed with my celery juice every morning, and obviously my KORA.
How long have you been having a celery juice in the morning for?
It’s been a while now? Like probably two years.
I've heard that having that as your very first drink in the morning is a great detox for the body.
Yeah, I just celery and it’s amazing! I do 32 ounces, but just not with a glass. Just start with 16.
Almond butter or peanutbutter?
Oh, Almond butter.
Yoga or Pilates?
I love both! But if I had to choose, I'd probably do Kundalini yoga because it's so relaxing.
Cooking at home or dining out?
I love cooking at home! Put some good music on.
What’s your favourite thing to cook at the moment?
I’m loving my air fryer at the moment, even air frying potatoes is so good. They taste really good and they're a lot healthier for you.
I’ve seen a lot of people using them and loving it because you don’t use any oil?
Yeah, just pop them in. It’s almost like a dehydrator, it makes them really crispy!
Lounging by the ocean or by the pool?
And lastly, what are you currently missing most about Australia?
Pretty much everything! My family and my friends and just the Australian attitude—I love it. And, you know, the accents [laughs].