Supermodel Miranda Kerr spends most of her time overseeing her skin-care line, Kora Organics.
Launching exclusively in her native Australia with David Jones in 2009, Kerr has expanded Kora Organics’ reach significantly in the last 18 months with retailers like Net-a-Porter and also Sephora, where she sells in over 300 doors. By the end of 2018, her certified organic skin-care products will be in over 2,500 stores in 25 countries.
“I was talking to a friend of mine, and I said, ‘It’s so hard to find certified organic skin care,’” she said, of creating the line in 2006. “I’m very much into health and wellness; I grew up on a farm in Australia and I understood the importance of organic living. I was looking for a certified organic skin-care line, and I wasn’t able to find it.”
In our inaugural episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, which each week will feature conversations with leaders in the industry, Kerr discussed how she made the move from a model to a CEO, why she only recently decided to scale Kora Organics internationally, and what it means to have integrity as the beauty and wellness industries become more intertwined. Below are excerpts from the conversation, edited for clarity.
On the move to modeling to beauty CEO
“I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. I always thought modeling would be a short-lived job, so I was very conscious and saved my money and worked like crazy. I had this intense schedule, and if I didn’t know how to take care of myself, I wouldn’t have been able to have that schedule. Growing up, I had been very health conscious — my grandma started me on noni juice, which is the key ingredient in Kora Organics. I used to travel around with this big glass bottle of noni, and it helped me with jet lag and energy, and with my skin. Being in the industry and being exposed to all different kinds of products, that was incredible for me. Even though they weren’t organic or certified organic, I got to try a lot of textures and formulations, and see what works.”
Preparing Kora Organics for prime time
“Up until a year and a half ago, we were just in Australia because I was very focused on making sure this company was mine, and I wouldn’t take it on a larger scale until I was ready and could put the time and effort into it that I needed to. I was so busy with other modeling jobs — and then we had a meeting with Sephora, and they were like, ‘We would love to have you in store, can you do this?’ Because we are certified organic, I had to buy everything up front, and I had to self-fund that. I was a little hesitant at first to make that investment because it’s a risk.”
Maintaining the Kora Organics’ point of view as beauty and wellness become intertwined
“I’m very happy that this clean movement has started, but at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword. There’s a little frustration there because I think it’s important for people to be educated about what they are putting on their skin. To be honest, Kora Organics is ten steps ahead of the clean beauty movement, because it is not just clean beauty, it’s certified organic. We have really strict rules, and if you look at the back of our packaging, it will show you exactly what you are getting. When a brand is certified organic, consumers know the brand has that integrity.”