I was so excited to ask Louella to be part of Meet the Makers. I knew she would say a massive YES! The reason I knew this, Louella is one extremely bubbly, passionate and positive maker. I admire that Louella puts herself out there to promote her growing business.
I should take you back to how we met. I had flown into Sydney for the day to attend Finders Keepers with my friend. There were two makers I wanted to meet, Louella and Jumana from Herbs and Heart (stay tuned for her interview!).
Louella had the cutest little stall, but had maximised her space so she had the right amount of room to do a demo of the products. I was hooked, I knew I had to have the Rose Omega Face Balm, but I ended up walking off with about 4 other products. I simply fell in love with them, from how Louella spoke about them.
Some exciting news this week for Louella, she was nominated in the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards! You can vote for Louella here under the “Making a Difference Award – Business” #77. Best of luck Louella!!!
R. Yay, I am so excited to have you join Meet the Makers – and grateful! Can you start by letting us know a little more about Kiss Ready Lips and what makes it unique?
L. Kiss Ready is a range of artisanal, small-batch natural skincare made from mostly locally sourced and food-grade ingredients. My products are enriched with Australian grown Chia Seed oil, a nutrient-dense ingredient high in omega 3, 6 and 9. It’s a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and proven to be exceptionally beneficial to skin nourishment and hydration.
R. I love chia seeds, especially in smoothies, yoghurt, salads and now in my skincare! What lead you to starting Kiss Ready Lips?
L. I’ve always had an interest in the healing power of plants. I grew up in a barrio in the Philippines and I remember my fascination with my grandmother’s herbal remedies. Instinctively I knew then, as a child, that I would love to make natural products!
When I migrated to New Zealand, I was fortunate to work in the healthcare industry. It helped me understand and appreciate the science behind product formulation.
In 2012, I moved to Australia and worked for the Australian growers of chia seeds. At that time, an internationally respected medical school looked into the efficacy of chia seed oil when used by their patients with deteriorating skin conditions. The clinical study showed that chia oil can help improve skin health within eight weeks of daily use. I was so impressed with the results, I started making all sorts of balms and potions with cold pressed chia seed oil at home. My employer was focused on agriculture and health foods, but was very supportive of my side hustle. I enrolled in additional courses on natural skincare formulation, aromatherapy and essential oils. To this day, I still use and source Australian grown chia to support our farming community in Western Australia.
R. I find you incredibly inspiring, especially your positivity – it is a ray of sunshine! However we all know, sometimes business can be tough. What do you find is the biggest challenge in your business?
L. Kiss Ready was a passion project before it was a business. I do everything myself, from formulation and production to sales and order fulfilment. As I don’t have any financial backing, marketing has been my biggest challenge. Unlike mainstream brands, I don’t have huge marketing dollars to spend on advertising and promotions. I’m very, very lucky as my customers (like you Renee!) are loyal and they are helping me spread the Kiss Ready love with their family and friends.
R. Apart from hopefully visiting me in Melbourne (ha!) are you working on anything new or exciting for Kiss Ready Lips?
L. I’ve recently completed a course on cosmetic chemistry. The most exciting part for me was using natural pigments to create textures and colours. I’ve been looking at tinted lip glosses, lipsticks, creams and make up, and I would love to have more time to devote to formulating my own natural make up range. So, watch this space!
R. Oh Louella, that is so exciting! Congratulations on completing your studies. If you need a human tester, you know where to find me! Do you have any tips for those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty?
L. When I started formulating my natural products, I also found out I was pregnant! Many of my products were developed out of necessity. I wanted to use (and love) products which were safe, nourishing and effective. Kiss Ready Mama and Kiss Ready Baby are products especially formulated for expecting and new mums and their little cuddly, squishy little ones.
If you would like to explore natural skincare, I suggest starting with two staples – your lip balm and natural deodorant. These are products which we use all the time. Sadly, there is insufficient research on the long-term effects of synthetic ingredients. Until there is enough longitudinal data on every ingredient’s use and safety, I would personally choose skincare products with simple and natural but effective ingredients. Switching to natural products may minimise your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.
Fortunately, the growing interest in natural skincare means there is a plethora of products to choose from. I recommend trying as many products and brands as you can; you’d be surprised at the range and quality of products available in Australia today.
R. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, I feel people think green beauty has to be expensive but in reality it isn’t. There are some amazing brands out there with great natural ingredients that are affordable. Just the other day, I learnt I could use Jojoba oil to remove my eye make up, rather than a harmful cleanser! Amazing!
What is your favourite part of the day?
L. My favourite part of the day is my morning walk with my two year old. I’m fortunate to share these moments with him. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to appreciate nature together. I try to instil in him a spirit of adventure. He’s a lot more talkative and interactive now, so most days he gets to pick where we’re going – the playground, our local park and gardens or the library. It’s amazing how quickly he is growing up!
R. Your bubba is just the cutest, I love the photos of your adventures together!
How do you practice gratitude?
L. I enjoy walking and will walk when I can. I find it quiets my mind, and I’m most receptive to positive emotions when I’m walking. I practise mindfulness walking – it’s opening yourself up to the elements around you – whether it’s a gentle breeze, or the scent of flowers or freshly cut grass, the birds chirping around me; it’s being grateful for the beauty of nature. Try it one time – let go of the ‘everyday noise’ which usually clouds our minds, and just enjoy nature.
R. How good does freshly cut grass smell, you know you can actually buy a perfume that has been made to replicate the smell of it! How about self-care, any tips?
L. Here’s an unusual one – I make at least one phone call either to a family member or a friend during the week. I’m online all the time and can easily email or message them, but nothing beats real time conversations with the people we love. My family and many of my friends are based overseas, so I really make an effort catching up with them. It makes me feel more grounded and connected. Self care means we take time out and do something which makes us feel good – and these phone calls make me feel so blessed to have loving and caring people in my life.
R. Thank you again Louella, for such an amazing and insightful interview. It has been absolutely wonderful hearing a little more about you and your passion for Kiss Ready Lips!
I’m often talking about my love of the Omega Rose Face Balm, and Louella is spreading the love to you by offering $10 off your first purchase of the 60g Balm! Simply use code HAPPYBALM10 at check out.