My love of animals brought me to Sumatra after my zoology undergraduate in Trinity College (long before Normal People made it famous) and while in Sumatra my eyes were opened to plants, sustainability and how nature has sustained us and provided solutions to people through the millennia. I finished my doctoral research there on the Asian elephant in Sumatra and investigated human-elephant conflict as part of my fieldwork. Returning to rural Ireland brought lots of change and coupled with pregnancy it all really affected my otherwise normal skin - my skin got really tricky to manage and after not finding a satisfactory solution instores I decided to solve my own skincare problems with the knowledge that plants can provide the answer. Eight years on from starting Kinvara Skincare I’m lucky to be supported by my husband and 2 daughters who have all inputted into brand design, product testing and helped sustain me when times are challenging. I still love animals with 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 turtles.
Juggling a lot means that my biggest need regarding selfcare is actually in trying to manage my work life balance - no easy feat especially these. I like to focus on how to create space in my day, learning to be present is very helpful especially in stressful situations. For me there’s no one better at guiding you with that then Eckhardt Tolle - I listen to his wise words on YouTube regularly. I’m also part of a small, diverse group of business people, local to me, where we share our problems and support each other - I’d highly recommend a peer support group to others in business, if they can at all.
And of course, a luxurious bath with candles and bath oil is my go-to pick me up and will be till my dying day. A place and a time just for me is a real treat.
New products!! We’ve products in development that need that last push to get them over the line and that’s where so much time and effort goes - the last little bit!! Our business is really focused online and was long before covid hit us. I think if we live in a digital age it makes sense to compete in that digital world - you’ve got to keep moving and you’ve got to keep giving. Our customers are our priority so we’re all 100% focused on making sure that their experiences of Kinvara are positive from purchase through to aftercare. Plans are no good without happy, satisfied customers.
THREE WAYS TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE
Recycle - we use sugarcane plastic tubes and post consumer recycled plastic bottles (both really sound environmental packaging options) but the consumer needs to be part of the recycling solution and put them in the recycling bin. It’s easy to do!
Consider an electric car if you can - I’ve been driving an electric car since 2016 and it’s great to be able to plug into the charge point at my house every morning after it’s charged itself from night-time electricity when the grid has capacity. I know it wont suit everyone, and the cost still needs to come down but it’s important that we start to wean ourselves off putting fossil fuels into cars.
Think about your buying habits. I was shocked when my daughter educated me on the true cost of fast fashion for a project she was working on. I knew fast fashion wasn’t sustainable but I didn’t fully understand the huge demands it made on resources as well as its association with cheap labour and poorly regulated supply chains. Less really is more.