Kat is a Photographer, Co-Founder, and Creative Director at BEING Skincare and Mother to two-year-old son Jax. We sat down with her to discuss her skincare brand BEING, local favourites, and daily rituals.
Hi Kat! tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a photographer, co-founder, and creative director at Being Skincare and Mother to my two-year-old son Jax. My partner and I recently made the move from Sydney's Bondi Beach to Northern NSW. We are currently living and working from a studio that is nestled amongst the rainforest in the hinterland outside of Byron Bay.
You founded your skincare brand BEING with your friend Justina Edwards, can you share the story behind your friendship and starting a business together?
I actually met Jussie through my photography work, she was the Producer on a campaign shoot we were working on together. Our friendship began whilst driving an old Volvo—that was a prop for the shoot—from Sydney to Kangaroo Valley. We were pretty much strangers when we got into the car and by the time we arrived at the location—I think we both knew that we were going to be friends for a very long time.
Around two years or so later, we both fell pregnant and embarked on the wild and wonderful journey into motherhood together. Jussie and I have always been super passionate about skincare, we both have a somewhat weird addiction to things that smell nice and we love everything about the healing properties found in plants. In fact, Jussie is pretty much a walking encyclopedia when it comes to plant species and the amazing things they do for your skin. When my little boy Jax came into the world, I was having an incredibly hard time breastfeeding, so Jussie made me a little pot of nipple balm that worked absolute wonders for me. I remember saying to her that ‘every breastfeeding mother needs this pot of goodness in their lives’.
And so came the lightbulb moment where we decided that every mother was, in fact, going to get that little pot of magical balm. We decided to combine my passion and experience in photography, creative direction and branding with Jussie’s incredible knowledge and experience in natural skincare formulation to launch BEING into the world.
Containing active botanical extracts and natural plant oils your products are organic where possible, with no synthetic additives and preservatives. What does your sourcing process look like and what considerations are taken when choosing ingredients?
All our ingredients are meticulously researched and chosen based on their individual qualities and how they benefit and transform the skin. When formulating, we use a traditional herbal method for infusing plant oils with herbs to create a truly potent formula. One of our biggest considerations is to source high-quality plant-based ingredients that are not only gentle on the skin but also ensure effective results. We also place a priority on sourcing organically grown ingredients from local suppliers where possible, which means that most of our products are made from organically grown plants. Another important factor is that we want people to be able to read the ingredients list on our label and know exactly what they are putting on their skin.
BEING is a small collection of natural skincare essentials designed to be a simple, yet purposeful addition to any skincare ritual. Can you tell us more about each product?
Jussie and I both have relatively simple skincare routines and we love the idea of being able to create a product that replaces the need for a step-by-step skincare routine. We take the 'less is more' approach when formulating our products. On one hand, it creates less packaging waste and is better for the environment, and on the other hand, it helps to simplify the approach to the way we care for our skin. We wanted to create something that we can use each day and know that it is packed with nothing else but skin-loving nutrients that benefit the skin greatly.
The mother and baby range consists of two balms specifically created to support mothers during their journey into and throughout motherhood. The Boobie Balm soothes and nourishes sore and overworked nipples and the Bootie Balm is an all-purpose balm that can be used on the baby’s skin for a number of minor skin concerns such as nappy rash, scratches, insect bites and other little lumps and bumps that babies and toddlers seem to get.
When it comes to our women’s range, we have three products that have been created with the sole intention to bring the skin back to its optimal condition. The Winter and Summer Face Oils have been created around the seasons to nourish and protect the skin against the elements, and our Being Balm is an all-purpose balm that can be used on any part of the body that needs extra care and nourishment.
We love the look and feel of your packaging. What is the philosophy behind the design?
When we were in the research phase, we noticed that there was, in fact, a lack of well-designed skincare products out there that we would actually use ourselves (particularly in the mother and baby space). I am a true believer of the theory that well-considered design has the ability to improve our lives and I believe that well-considered design and wellbeing go hand-in-hand. I also believe that when something is designed with intention, it’s not only beautiful in its aesthetic, it’s also beautiful in the positive experience it evokes on your wellbeing when using it. So, in terms of the design process, it was important for us to come up with something that was minimalistic in nature, aesthetically pleasing and the overall look and feel of the product becomes just as important as the actual self-care ritual itself. Therefore, we wanted to create something around the idea that we ourselves would proudly display on our dresser, alongside our favourite bottle of perfume and use it daily with intention.
Tell us about your neighbourhood, where are your favourite places to eat, drink and shop?
I consider myself very lucky to live in this beautiful area. We have honestly got the best of everything surrounding us. There are green rolling hills in the hinterland and an abundance of beautiful places to swim and surf along the coastline. We are also lucky enough to have some of the best fresh food and delicious coffee options all within a short drive in every direction. Below are some of my favourite places to eat, drink and shop where I’m currently living.
I absolutely love this little town. It’s like stepping back in time and you can’t really go past without stopping in at Harvest Newrybar. It has such delicious food, coffee, and baked goods and there is even a vegetable garden to sit and have your coffee in. Then over the road, there is Newrybar Merchants which is a collective of local artisans and brands selling homewares, clothing and beautiful kids stuff.
This is one of my favourite places! There is a little creative precinct area on Station Street that is definitely one of my favourite places to go and catch up with friends. The food and coffee at Woods Bangalow is fresh, super healthy and delicious. There is also an art gallery and an array of retail shops to check out like Assembly Label and Rowie.
The Eltham Hotel
I only recently went here for the first time and it was so good. Great food, drinks and live music on a sunny afternoon.
Shelter in Lennox Head
A coffee with a view and super friendly staff.
What are you reading, watching and listening to this summer?
Currently Reading: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Currently Watching: I just started watching a movie on Netflix called The Big Short
Currently Listening: Best of Reverberation Radio playlist on Spotify
What are your go-to essentials for everyday wear?
A good comfy pair of high waisted jeans are my absolute go-to essential item. Although the weather up here has been super hot, so I’ve been living in the Assembly Label Drawn Dress – I think I pretty much own it in every colour!
How do you like to start the day?
I love to start the day by moving my body some way or another. I usually get up before Jax wakes and start the day by doing a 15-minute twist and align yoga session on an App called Yoga Studio (best App ever). After that, I have a coffee with my partner, we have breakfast as a family and then get stuck into the workday.
And end it?
With a cup of chamomile tea.
Shop BEING Skincare here or in store at Byron & Bangalow.
*Images feature BEING Skincare at home with Elisha Kennedy & her son Ossie.