The beginning of an ongoing series of profiles and portraits behind the inspirational women and their brand that resonate with the Luxe Roses ethos.
Women have been changing the world with their charismatic energy and pure talent. These essential factors have been embodied within most successful branding strategies of powerful brands run by woman such as Kissed Earth, Peggy Sue, Tan Bomb, Lux Aestiva, Gloss and Co, Wild fox Apothecary, Botanist Aromatherapy, The Unnamed just to name a few. Sharing insights about their careers, passions and philosophy while focusing on doing what they love, they are determined to incite change, to lead, to influence and encourage progress within their fields.
There is no denying we are spoilt for choice when it comes to Australian beauty and wellness brands. CILK Beauty, founded by Stefanie Bournazos and Olivia Koennecke is a premium edible beauty and self-care essential, proudly stocked in our lifestyle store. Now more than ever, amidst a pandemic, health and wellbeing have become the new wealth. With such a large focus on self-care, it’s no wonder that CILK’s approach to beauty is at the forefront.
This nutri-cosmetics brand is always striving for a sustainable commitment to the environment. The ingredients used by CILK are deeply rooted in the science of their products with Rose extract as their signature ingredient in their CILK’s liquid elixir.
Learn more behind the brand as I chat with Stefanie below
Being your own boss is many people’s personal dream, what inspired you to make that change in your career path?
My mother was an aesthetician whilst I was growing up, so I always had a passion for beauty and wellness. Learning about new products, ingredients and how to best take care of yourself was something that was always spoken about between my mum and I.
As I got older, and met my business partner, quite simply, we were underwhelmed with products on the market. We were both brides-to-be, working together as a consultancy (pre- CILK) bringing in different products into our office and never felt impressed by a particular brand or product or found that it had made a real difference to our skin. We tried moisturisers, serums, different foods, powders, treatments… you name it. The one thing that we did gravitate more towards though, were the ingestible products. It then came down to one thing. We wanted to be able to develop products that were of the highest efficacy that actually worked and did what they said, premium in it’s packaging, as well as sustainable.
Along with the product development side of things, I also have a great interest in community and content. At CILK Beauty we know wellness can be complicated — but we know it doesn’t have to be. Not only do we educate our community on beauty trends, wellness tips, we also develop educational content around our specific products, their ingredients and break down the confusion so that you are confident in incorporating our products into your daily routine.
We often underestimate the importance of role models in business. Who would you say has inspired or influenced you in your life’s journey?
My family. My grandparents on both my mum and dad’s sides, as well as my father, came to Australia from Italy for a better life; for them, their children and their future families. The sacrifice, commitment and dedication to be able to ‘do more’ and ‘do better’ always stuck with me.
My parents are the type of people that would give the clothes off of their backs just to help someone or make someone feel welcome. They always want to help others. This also always stuck with me.
Growing up with my mum as an aesthetician, I grew up with a passion for all things beauty and wellness. Then, with all things in my life’s journey and the role models around me considered and then combined, I naturally started to follow a path in the beauty industry. Working over 10 years as a Beauty Publicist, I got to learn about exciting new product and innovation launches first, before the public. Something about learning about a product from front to back, through and through, excited me. Hence, why I now love research and development for our own products.
Once you had the idea behind CILK Beauty and you decided that this is what you wanted to do, what was the process in getting from idea to real life product like?
We brought on a team of experts in their respective field. We listened to podcasts, spoke to different successful business owners and one thing that was trending was that you cannot do it on your own.
We then worked with each person/ business that we had engaged in order to achieve the desired result. We are so fortunate to have an amazing team of experts that live all over the globe, that have worked for some other inspiring and well-known brands. We have certainly learnt a lot in the process!
In regards to product development… lots of research, conversations with aestheticians, doctors, scientists and pharmacists. We spoke to venture capital firms, angel investors and learnt alot about what we needed to do in order to take our business to the next level. Since then, we have received funding that has allowed us to develop our recently released DAILY RADIANCE Collagen and bring on more experts to be able to secure opportunities that will project the business even further.
We have learnt a lot from the processes we’ve used in the past and are constantly researching newer and improved ways to streamline R&D and the logistics around it.
One of your goals is to prove that scientifically backed and natural ingredients can go hand in hand. Why is this so important to you?
We want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, as well as the environment. Science backed product formulations are important so that we can ensure we are developing products that can actually help people with different beauty and health concerns. Natural ingredients are important to our business because we don’t want to contribute to environmental destruction through the use of harsh chemicals or fillers such as sugars, sulphates etc.
“Through our research, dealing directly with clinical and scientific studies, we know that both can work together and deliver effective results, to both people and the environment.”
Outside the business what does an ordinary day-to-day look like for you?
I’ve recently been trialing the 4.30am club. Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday’s I am up at 4.30am, drinking a quick coffee that religiously includes CILK Beauty’s DAILY RADIANCE Collagen, before heading out the door for a HIIT workout.
Then I am back home to harness up my puppy, Zayn – a French Bulldog, and take him for a 45 minute walk. We usually go to a private beach trail near my house in Sydney or to a local dog park where he can run around with his fluffy friends; and tire himself out.
Once home, I’ll shower and then have a couple of hours to complete some solid work and meetings, before Zayn will be ready for another walk. One thing I have noticed is that since having Zayn, I have been outdoors more frequently throughout the day and getting amongst nature, which I have been really enjoying and can notice the positive impact it has had on my general mood and health.
We have been working from home throughout COVID, so whilst I am on a call/meeting, I’ll be doing household duties, with my ear pods in, so that when my husband is home from work, I can be more available, step out for some fresh air together, spend our late afternoon/evenings together, cooking and talking about our days.
I’m usually in bed by 9pm as I really need a full 8 hours to be able to function the following day. One thing that you will always see me carrying around is a 2 litre bottle of water that will have 10 or so drops of CILK Beauty’s ROSE EXTRACT. It tastes lovely, so naturally makes me drink more water (water is KEY for great skin and overall improved health) and is also full of antioxidants so assist with skin cell turnover.
What advice do you have for someone in the position you were in before you started your journey where you recognised, I want to do something about this?
- Do it. But before you do, make sure you do your research. Don’t rush. Things never come easy, but the best never does.
- You can’t do it all on your own. Make sure you take this into account when you are planning and strategising.
Lastly, is there any beauty or wellness advice you would like to share with our Luxe community?
Drink more water, move your body daily and say your positive affirmations every.damn.morning!