#Tastemakers: Kelly Briese, Founder of Briese Botanicals
One woman looked to the Australian outback and saw the potential to change the skincare game forever. Briese Botanicals is turning heads with its range of completely natural, sustainable and vegan skincare products (that are as effective as its mainstream synthetic rivals), created by Kelly Briese, an environmental warrior and self-confessed natural product junkie who was unhappy with the results from her former skincare.
We sat down to pick her brain about diving into entrepreneurship and how she balances health, happiness, and business.
Where did the idea for Briese Botanicals originate?
An accident left me with an immune disorder and extremely sensitive skin, which meant I could only tolerate natural skincare products but was so frustrated with the choices available. It was impossible to find natural products that were also effective for anti-ageing and skin improvement. It made me realise that we needed to change the rules here.
So your active ingredients are all Australian native botanicals, what difference does this make to your skincare?
Australian fruits and plants have had to adapt over hundred of years to resist the extreme Australian weather, and therefore have amazing antioxidant and anti-ageing properties! Kakadu Plum for example, has the highest amount of Vitamin C found in any plant on the planet and Quandong has over 500 times more antioxidants than green tea, and 120 times more than goji berries!
You come from an environmental background, how has this influenced the brand?
Immensely. We are a completely vegan product, which means that we do not use any animal-derived ingredients. We use completely non-toxic and plant-based ingredients that are natural, organic or Ecocert approved. We are free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulphates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, petroleum products and mineral oil. Some of these ingredients have been linked to hormonal disorders and chronic illness. We also use 100 per cent recycled post-consumer containers in line with our commitment to the environment.
Amazing! How different has your life become after starting a business?
Entirely, in every single way. All my spare time and energy goes into building the business - its my baby! I'm genuinely excited for where the brand is heading. I feel like we are at the forefront of changes in the beauty industry, moving towards toxic free products. I want to educate and empower women to make safe and informed choices about their skincare.
Do you find it hard to balance health/wellness and your workload?
It's something that I need to refocus on all the time. Its difficult for women especially, I think, to balance everything that is important in their life. A lot of us have family, children, partners, a social life, and need to fit running a business somewhere in between. But, I've learnt the hard way that my health is a priority. I nourish myself with good food and I know that if I don't take care of myself nothing else will work. We need to be kinder to ourselves as women.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
I think the biggest thing that I've learnt is to recognise the uncomfortable feeling and push through it anyway. The feeling on the otherside is always amazing. The only way to ever grow is to step outside your comfort zone. Recognise it as a normal part of the process.
What are your favourite words to live by?
Be daring. Be different. Think about the difference you want to make in the world and work towards that every single day. I really love the Albert Einstein quote:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”