Miranda Kerr: The veteran supermodel on founding one of the first celebrity beauty brands

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Celebrity beauty brands are a dime a dozen these days: Hailey Bieber’s Rhode, Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics, Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills… They’re now practically a rite of passage for the rich and famous – to the point that it has become necessary to do your research to sort the authentic, passion project wheat from the cynical, quick buck chaff.

It wasn’t always like this. When Miranda Kerr, now 40, started her skincare brand, Kora Organics, she was something of a trailblazer. There was no influencer-to-businessperson pipeline back then; the Aussie native forged her own path.

Kerr’s was a time before the Instagram ‘It Girl’ – she began modelling when a friend entered her into a teen mag competition at 13. Kerr was busy riding motorbikes around her family’s farm in Gunnedah, New South Wales, and didn’t dream that this would start her on a path to global superstardom.

She became a household name in 2007, when she was recruited to Victoria’s Secret’s roster of Angels. Kerr’s heart-shaped face and doe-eyed looks booked her job after job; as well as VS, she walked for Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel and Christian Dior and appeared on the cover of practically every major fashion title. Kerr married Orlando Bloom in 2010, cementing her place in the cultural landscape of the decade.

miranda kerr kora organics

Kerr was right out of the gate with Kora Organics, launching the line in the early days of her career. In 2009, to be precise – almost a decade before Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty heralded a global stampede of celebrity labels. The longevity of the project speaks for itself; Kerr has been navigating life as a model slash businesswoman-entrepreneur-philanthropist multi-hyphenate ever since.

The success of Kora Organics, in my humble opinion, lies in its authenticity. Kerr has been preoccupied with what we put into our bodies since the age of 16, when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Although her path took her into the world of catwalks and photographers, she also got her health coach certification and self-funded a 100 per cent organic skincare line.

Kerr is also a wellness junkie who swears by everything from yoga and meditation to affirmations and crystal healing. This helps her, she says, to juggle dual roles as a mogul and a mother (she shares a child with Bloom, and has a further two with her now-husband, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel). Kora Organics is about communicating this lifestyle of holistic health and happiness.

So what does it take to keep one’s head above water in an industry increasingly saturated by brands that skrimp on science and splash out on marketing their famous founders? And what does a day in the life look like for a veteran supermodel-turned-beauty businesswoman? Kerr reveals all below.

Kora’s ethos is to ‘encourage people to be the healthiest version of themselves’. How do you ensure that you are the healthiest version of yourself?

To me, health is wealth – the connection of the mind, body and spirit is so powerful. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so it’s important to try and slow down, feed your mind with positive affirmations, and take the time to fill your cup. Do things that bring you happiness every day, and spend quality time with those you love and who make you laugh. Laughter can sometimes be the best medicine!

What works for one person may not work for another, but I find it’s really important that I take time to exercise, spend time with my family and close friends, meditate, eat healthy food that fuels my body, read books that uplift me, and do my skincare rituals morning and night.

Crystals, aromatherapy, mindfulness and positive affirmations have helped me so much. When you can train your mind to choose a more positive thought, it can help transform your whole day. I meditate for 15-20 minutes every morning to set my intentions for the day.

What makes an ingredient organic, and why is it important to use them?

Organic ingredients are free of unnecessary chemicals and toxins. The soil that the organic ingredients are grown in is not only free from pesticides and herbicides, it must also be nutrient-dense and not depleted from continual growth and harvesting over and over. Organic ingredients have been found to contain 60 per cent more antioxidants than non-certified organic ingredients, which is why they deliver such powerful results.

How do you ensure that an ingredient or product is clean and safe?

All our products are ‘certified organic’ by COSMOS/Ecocert, which means each product goes through a very intense and lengthy review process on all raw materials in the formula. This ensures environment-friendly production, green chemistry, use of naturally-derived resources, and absence of questionable or harmful chemicals (this includes over 1,300 chemicals banned or restricted in cosmetic products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by COSMOS and Kora Organics found to be of concern).

Organic farming eliminates the use of genetically-modified seed, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers. The certification process includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers, handlers and all processing and manufacturing along the way are meeting the strict standards.

Celebrity skincare brands have exploded in recent years. How do you set yourself apar

When I first started Kora Organics, no one else was doing certified organic skincare that was results-driven, so I knew that I was on to something. Back then, ‘clean beauty’ wasn’t a thing like it is today. Being certified organic is what sets us apart – there are a lot of brands that claim to be clean or natural when in fact they might only be using one natural ingredient amongst many toxic ingredients.

Kora Organics is still the only brand that Sephora carries worldwide that manufactures only certified organic products. There are a couple other brands that only carry a few certified organic products because of how heavily regulated and expensive the process is to be certified by Ecocert/COSMOS.

And finally, there has always been a misconception that I’m just the face of the brand, but I built Kora from the ground up, with my own money – I created it out of my love for health and wellness. This is not a licensing deal, I’m across all the day-to-day runnings of the business. I’m the founder and CEO. It’s my vision, my passion… and an extension of my life!

miranda kerr kora organics

Your mother’s cancer diagnosis prompted you to start taking a closer look at what you put in and on your body. How can the products we use impact our health?

When my mum was diagnosed with cancerous tumours in her spleen it encouraged my family to look more closely into what we were putting into and on our bodies. Through that process we learned that a lot of the everyday products we were using contained chemicals that were potentially detrimental to our health. We were truly shocked to see how toxic and potentially carcinogenic certain products that were readily available on the market can be.

I learned so much from this experience – you could say my mum’s illness was the turning point in my life when I was encouraged to embrace the importance of caring for my body holistically. I’ve also been lucky to be surrounded by those who inspire me to live a 360 approach to health and wellness. My grandmother was always showing us natural ways to support our health through the power of plants.

How did growing up in rural Australia shape who you are today?

I was born and grew up on a farm in Gunnedah, a small town north of Sydney. Most of my childhood was spent climbing trees, swimming in the river and riding dirt bikes and horses. Living in a small town, there was a real sense of community, where everyone knew everyone and it felt like one big, extended family. I had a simple childhood, as far away from the world of fashion as you could possibly imagine

I learned so much growing up in the country. My parents bought the cheapest house in town – they married when mum was 18 and dad was 21, so they had nothing and they started from nowhere, but that was normal to me. My dad’s a builder, and I used to go to work with him sometimes. It taught me that, at the end of the day, luxury is nice but it’s not necessary for happiness. As long as you have a roof over your head, clean water, and loving friends and family, you’re fine. If I didn’t have that, then I wouldn’t appreciate all that I have now.

kora organics

Tell me a little more about the women who influenced your life.

My mother is a fearless, strong, loving woman. She taught me the importance of balancing a strong work ethic with being a loving wife and mother. She also taught me that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and do it with your whole heart. She was an accountant by trade and she always said to me, “you never know how long your modelling career is going to last, so save every penny” – that’s how I was able to start Kora Organics.

My grandma has been my greatest inspiration. At her house, the door was always open to anyone. She loved cooking and baking for us all. These are memories I will always cherish. It was actually my grandmother who introduced me to holistic health and wellness from an early age – including noni fruit, which is the hero ingredient in my skincare range.

What is your number one beauty hack?

Always wash your face before bed. My mum taught me this when I was young and it’s stuck with me.

What does a typical morning look like for you?

I wake up between 5 and 5.30am every morning, which gives me an hour or so to get in a quick workout, meditate and do my morning self-care routine before the kids wake up around 7am.

I drink a litre of cold pressed celery juice on an empty stomach every morning. I buy organic celery bunches, rinse it really well, and then put it through my cold pressed juicer. It’s been really transformational for my health and wellbeing.

Once I finish my celery juice, I’ll have a heavy metal detox smoothie, adding the Kora Organics Noni Glow Skinfood powder – it’s full of superfoods to help with energy levels and digestive function, and it makes your skin glow. I also take probiotics: lemon balm, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and nadovim supplements every day.

At about 7am, my boys wake up and we do their morning routines and get them ready for school. After I drop them at school, I start work for the day.

kora organics

How do you practice self-care?

My wellbeing rituals consist of a well-balanced diet, daily exercise, meditation, and my skincare routines. Being consistent with each of these things makes such a huge difference to how I feel from the inside out. Like most mothers and business owners, every day is different, and there are times where I can’t fit everything in. But I try to take a moment for myself each day – even if I only manage a 10-20 minute meditation, this really helps me set my intentions for the day.

Once a week I love to have a bath and put a rose-quartz crystal at the base of the tub, adding a few pumps of my Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil. I make a cup of lemon balm tea with honey, tie my hair up, dim the lights, light a few candles, burn palo santo to clear the space, and play some relaxing music (I love Snatam Kaur). It’s a great way to let go of the day and unwind for a restful sleep.

What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday night?

A home-cooked meal with my husband and three boys.

What is your signature dish?

I love to cook! I have a slow cooked turmeric chicken recipe that I love to cook for my family. I actually made this for my husband on our wedding day.

What is your favourite place in the world?

Wherever my family is. Being with my husband and boys is my favourite place in the whole world.

Visit koraorganics.com

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