From killing it as a supermodel to founding the hugely successful skincare company KORA Organics, Miranda Kerr certainly knows how to succeed at whatever she puts her mind to. During a recent trip to Sydney, I caught up with the mother of two to chat about how she built KORA from the ground up, what she wishes everyone knew about organic products and her number one beauty tip.
What’s a day in the life of you?
It’s a juggle… being a mum and running a business, no two days are ever really the same, but I do my best to try and keep to a schedule and navigate through the day as calmly as possible.
I usually wake up around 5:30am when Evan gets up. This gives me a chance to do my meditation while he is in the shower and the kids are still asleep. Hart generally wakes up around 6am and Flynn at 6:30am.
We then have breakfast together and get Flynn’s bag and lunch packed for school. I try as best I can to schedule in work and meetings during the day while Flynn is in school so that I can I drop him off and pick him up in the afternoons.
At the moment I’m working mostly from home because Hart is only five months old and I’m still breastfeeding. I feel it’s so important to be present with him when he’s awake, and try to get work calls done while he’s napping.
Welcome home. What is the first thing you do when you arrive home in Australia?
Thank you! It’s so lovely to be back. The first thing I do when I come home is see my family. This recent trip was to bring Hart over to meet my grandparents, it was really special.
Your organic skincare line, KORA organics, has had amazing success. Did you ever imagine your brand would become so popular and successful?
Well, I initially got into the organic skincare space because I was looking for products that were certified organic and natural, but I couldn’t find anything on the market that delivered results, so I decided to create my own range as a passion project. KORA was my first baby!
I don’t think I could have ever imagined how much we were going to grow back then, because I was just focused on creating products that were safe, non-toxic and that delivered results rather than the bigger picture of expanding the business globally.
Since we launched in Australia in 2009 with David Jones, our customer base has grown rapidly year-on-year as people are starting to be much more informed and educated about organic and cruelty free products, and generally adopting a more sustainable and natural way of life. In the last financial year our online sales alone grew 900%. We don’t advertise, so it’s all word of mouth and recommendations. That’s the greatest compliment to know it’s all about the integrity and efficacy of the products.
What has been your biggest pinch me moment with your KORA business?
One of my biggest ‘pinch me’ moments would be launching into the US market last May in over 360 Sephora stores, and the incredible growth we’ve had in the past 18 months. KORA Organics has expanded from being in 300 retailers across Australia just 18 months ago, and by the end of 2018 we’ll be stocked and in more than 2,500 stores, across 25 countries. It’s a WOW moment for sure!
Tell me a bit about the new products launched in 2018?
In 2018 we launched the Noni Radiant Eye Oil. I love this product! It contains kahai oil, which is a natural retinol that helps improve elasticity and smooth fine lines. Coffee seed oil to revitalise and reduce puffiness, tomato fruit extract to brighten the eye area and of course my hero ingredient of noni fruit extract which contains over 100 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. My favourite part of the eye oil is the special rose quartz ball applicator, it’s super soothing and uplifting.
I’m really proud of the results… when we did consumer testing over a 4-week period, 90% noticed fine lines around the eye area appeared visibly softened and 93% noticed visible improvement in the eye area looking healthier and smoother.
We also recently launched a 2 in 1 Turmeric Mask. I’m obsessed with exfoliating and also face masks, so I wanted to create a product that could be used as both a physical exfoliator and a revitalising mask. I essentially wanted a product that delivered a post-spa facial glow, that can be done at home or when traveling, in one simple step and in under 10 minutes. It contains natural AHA’s from papaya enzymes and aspen bark to stimulate cell renewal, as well as rosehip seeds and quartz to polish and peppermint to control sebum production and for an invigorating tingle. You can really feel it working while it’s on! It’s honestly the best exfoliating experience I’ve ever had; I am so proud of this product!
What product could you not live without?
Agh, all of them! But the Noni Glow Face Oil is one of my must have products, I use it religiously every morning and night… so does my husband! He loves it too! I also love the balms, both the Noni Glow Face Oil and Body Balm have won beauty awards recently in the US (Allure Best of Beauty), and here in Australia (David Jones Best of Beauty), which I’m really proud of.
KORA organics only utilises certified organic and natural ingredients. Can you explain why this is so important?
It’s something I feel very passionate about because what you put on your skin soaks directly into your bloodstream. People are now so aware of eating organic and non-processed / non-GMO foods for example, but they don’t think about all the chemicals in the everyday products they are using and putting on their skin. The thought of unnecessary chemicals in my bloodstream is one of the driving factors of why I created KORA in the first place.
But it’s important for consumers to know that there is a BIG difference between products that are Certified Organic, like we are through COSMOS-Ecocert, and products that claim to be Natural or Organic or have those words on their packaging… many products claim to be organic, but actually only use one or two organic ingredients. Unless products are certified by an independent body they come with no guarantees, because using the terms Natural and or Organic on packaging or in marketing is currently unregulated.
Due to the lack of regulation within the beauty industry, manufacturers can misleadingly label their products as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ even though they contain processed, toxic and chemically enhanced ingredients – it’s just false marketing!
Certified Organic is the most heavily regulated ingredient system and only Certified Organic guarantees no toxic synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals are used in production of ingredients. Organic producers and manufacturers also are subject to rigorous certification inspections by third-party inspectors such to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products in a manner you and your family can trust.
Our products are officially certified by the world’s leading international certification body COSMOS-standard AISBL/Ecocert.
Where do you foresee KORA organics to be in five years time?
My dream is for KORA Organics to become a household name that provides, safe, clean, Certified Organic products that deliver effective results and uplift our customers. My focus will also be on continuing to cement our position as the leader in the clean beauty industry. I also want to continue to focus on growing our range.
What is your number one beauty and skincare tip?
Less is best! Don’t camouflage your natural beauty with layers of make up, instead focus on achieving healthy, radiant skin. Healthy skin is the most beautiful skin! Our skin is our largest organ and it supports the life of all our other body parts. It plays a vital role in maintaining our immune system and works 24/7 to take care of us, protect us and keep us healthy. It makes sense to look after our skin with products that replenish it and fill it with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
I believe that the health of our skin is also connected to our mind and body – for example when we are stressed or tired, or eating unhealthily it shows on our skin. We try to encourage our customers to look after and nurture their mind and body, as well as their skin for best results. Our brand philosophy is to “feed your mind, with positive affirmations and self-love”; “feed your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best”; and “feed your skin with products to help detoxify, nourish and revitalise”.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy, Hart. How have you been juggling your career with a newborn baby?
Thank you! He’s gorgeous and we’re all in love and doing really well. I find it really important to prioritise and organise my schedule around both Hart and Flynn so things run as smoothly as possible and thankfully I have a wonderful support team around me.
What is it like to be a mum a second time around?
I absolutely love being a mum and having a newborn, although it is very different this time around as I have to balance my time with both of my children. It’s really important to me to be able to make sure I am spending enough quality time with both of them, as a newborn is so dependent on you I am so conscious of meeting Flynn’s needs too.
Have you taken time out from work since having Hart?
Although I have remained actively involved in my business, KORA Organics, I did take some time off right after Hart was born to really enjoy this special time and bond as a family as I believe it is so important.
You keep your personal life pretty private, why is this important to you?
I have chosen a career in the public eye, but I believe my children deserve the right to choose whether they would like that or not. It is important to me to respect their privacy and freedom of choice until they are old enough to make these decisions themselves.
What’s something that people don’t know about you and would be surprised to find out?
I’m obsessed with cleaning and organising!
What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
People often think that I am just the face of KORA Organics, they don’t realise that it’s my own company that I built from the ground up.
There are so many brands out there these days that are fronted and promoted by celebrities. It’s important to know that KORA Organics isn’t fronted by me, it’s owned by me. I self-fund it, invested all my savings into it and I’m across the day-to-day operations from product development, marketing, packaging and customer service. Actually, I even see every online sale because I get an alert on my phone, I see the full transaction – what they’re buying, if they’re return customers and where they’re shipping to!
What has been the best advice that you’ve ever been given?
It came from my husband! When I was first approached by Sephora in the US for them to stock KORA Organics, I sat with my team and did the numbers…. and it was going to be a substantial upfront investment for the raw ingredients, packaging and additional staff. I had already invested a considerable amount of money and my savings into the business (still to this day haven’t taken a cent out – I just keep reinvesting), and I was worried if I should self-fund the expansion or look for an investor, but he gave me the confidence to take the risk. It’s the best decision in business I have made as it’s also provided a platform for me to expand globally into stores and my vision isn’t diluted by having outside investors.
What are your go-tos for being a stylish mum?
I like to keep it simple; a great pair of jeans that flatter the figure (I prefer a high waist and slim leg), white t-shirt, tailored blazer and white sneakers… but to update this look from school drop off to a lunch I’d swap out the sneakers for a great embellished pump to dress it up. I like to be classic and comfortable.
For a busy, tired mum what is your go-to pick-me-up?
I add my KORA Organics Noni Glow Skinfood Supplement to water and shake for a delicious and nutritious drink. It contains noni extract and also many of my other favourite plant foods for healthy skin and general wellbeing such as: acai, blueberry, mangosteen, pomegranate, matcha green tea, rosehip, chlorella and elderberry flower. It comes in convenient single serve sachets that are easy to use on the go, providing me with beauty and wellness benefits from the inside out!
Do you have a personal trainer?
I like to mix up my exercise routine so I do have a few different trainers that I do yoga, reformer pilates and ballet workouts with. But to be honest, I’ve been taking it easy after having Hart so that my body can heal which means and just doing light workouts and a lot of walking these past few months. It’s important to be kind to yourself and your body and give it the time to it needs to rest and recover after birth. I’m ready to get back to the grind though so I’ve just started scheduling some more intense exercise regimes for the coming weeks! Cardio on the bike, swimming and reformer pilates will be my go-to.
What’s the number one thing you wish someone had told you about parenthood?
Be kind to yourself and try not to put any pressure or expectations on yourself. Each pregnancy, birth and baby is different. It’s exhausting, but the most rewarding experience of your life.
Photography: Blask Design