You, me and the rest of the world know I love trying new beauty products. I love playing with lotions and potions, cosmetics, you name it. I am a willing guinea pig. Except for that one time I went for a bikini wax at a cosmetics training school - I almost screamed at the girl and walked away sporting a whole bunch of bruises for the cheap experience of having her rip the wax the wrong way. Never went back there!
So this week I talk to an Australian beauty pro, Marie Jenkins of Kosmea. The natural skincare products are not only beautiful to use, they smell good enough to eat (trust me, this cleanser I want to squirt in my mouth every time I use it) and give natural benefits to balance the skin. Winning!
Marie lives and breathes her products, which is testament to how much passion and research goes into the range. Let's talk to Marie!
PMM: You founded Kosmea - how did that come about?
MJ: As a teenager I always made my own skin care products, natural skin care products. One day I was making up a recipe for a mask and the mask called for rosehips so I decided to go for a drive to the local rose nursery. They gave me a copy of an article on rosehip oil and from that moment on - I think I'd call it my entrepreneurial seizure - I thought, "Wow, what a fantastic product." So I forgot all about picking my rosehips and decided to go home and research into the rosehip oil and find out where you could get it from. And then I convinced my husband at the time to sell the family car and to buy the first drum of rosehip oil.
When business first started, your whole family was involved. A few years down the track - how have things changed?
My children have all worked in the business from the first shipment of oil arrived. But I have always encouraged my children to go after their dreams and their passions and so my two older children are pursuing their own creative endeavours, one with photography and the other in fashion design. My youngest daughter Olivia is very much like me and has a natural entrepreneurial spirit. She has joined me in the business for the past three years.
In the early days, your son was 5 when Kosmea began, and your daughter was 18 months - how did you manage the juggle of parenting with forging a new brand?
My daughter was 10, my son five and my youngest 18 months old so with great difficulty at times, it was never an easy road as often something had to give. I think my children gained so much from being a part of the business from such an early age; seeing me work hard and pursuing my passion has in a sense rubbed off on all of them making them very hard working, passionate advocates of natural skincare and the environment. They have also their own unique talents and I encourage them to go out into the world and pursue their dreams! The most important thing for me has always been learning to switch off from my business because I live and breathe Kosmea and it’s not really work as I love what I do and I am passionate about it.
I struggle with taking time out to look after myself as a working mum, got any tips to share with me?
You have to make sure you nourish your body from the inside out through a largely organic diet and exercise; you should always find time to nourish your soul, whether that be a yoga class, a walk on the beach, meditation or reading a book. Kosmea is the ancient Greek word for bringing into balance and harmony, so for me it has always been important to ensure my life is balanced through a holistic approach.
I'm a busy mum, you're a busy mum, how can Kosmea change my beauty regime?
Kosmea’s Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil is the one must have product for everyone regardless of your stage in life. Bursting with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, rose hip oil is a healing oil that has the unique ability to deeply nourish and balance all skin types. It has such a wide range of usages, for every skin concern such as lines, wrinkles, acne and burns and even soothing eczema and rosacea, it can be used all over the face including the eye area.
The philosophy of Kosmea is 'beauty as nature intended' - how does this carry over into your everyday life?
As I mentioned above nourishing the body and the soul is a lifestyle and something that is just a natural part of my everyday life.
State of mind is also very important and to know why things happen to you and just go with them. Meditation and the yoga way of life is a very big part of who I am and that just goes hand in hand with beauty as nature intended. You tend to see the beauty in everything when you practice this in your everyday life.
What's your favourite part of your working day?
Kosmea will be 20 years this September and every day is as diverse and exciting as it was in the early days. I have a wonderful team of people around me so coming in to the office and being met by people who share my passion and energy is probably my favourite part of the working day. What makes me get out of bed in the morning is having a chosen career that I love. What I especially love is that I have impacted and touched so many peoples skin with our fantastic natural and organic skincare products based on rose hip oil.
Saying goodbye to a team member that has been a valuable part of the Kosmea team. So when people leave or when I have to tell someone that they do not fit the team is another one. Also disciplining team members is a pet hate of mine.
What's your favourite product from Kosmea?
Our Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil will always be near and dear to my heart but I simply adore the Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost as anti-oxidant rich elixir!
How do your children influence your business now?
Olivia the youngest plays an integral role in the Kosmea business, she will one day in the very near future run the company, but for now she heads up the marketing and sales side of the business. Even though Josh and Carla are now following their own dreams they still have some input to the business as they have grown up with the brand.
Can you share any secret beauty tips? (ie how can I get rid of these vertical frown lines??)
Yes sure! First of all try to keep frowning to a bare minimum, second apply the rosehip oil/Radiance 24/7 twice a day and follow with the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising serum daily is a good start. Also keep an eye on your water intake, diet, lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, plenty of sleep and limit your stress levels.
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This is the ninth interview in my Yo Mama! series. Interviews with creative working mamas. Look out for them weekly.