Briony Kennedy wears MANY hats! The Founder of Adorn Cosmetics, an eco-friendly cosmetics company that is not only natural and organic, but also cruelty free, sustainable and Australian made, a mother of 3 boys, (2 being identical twins), Ambassador and Spokeswoman for Beyond Blue and the host of a Facebook group aimed at EMPOWERING Mothers! I grabbed 10 minutes of her time for a quick chat & I think you will agree, Briony is rather amazing!…
Leigh: Why did you create ‘Adorn Cosmetics’?
Briony Kennedy: I launched the eco-luxe, cruelty free, Australian brand Adorn Cosmetics in September of 2009, after many years in business and the beauty industry and soon after the birth of my identical twin boys as I could not find a cosmetics brand that was both natural and environmentally conscious, was of professional quality and that had the luxe look and feel of a high-end brand like say ‘Chanel’.
LV: What advice do you have for any women dreaming of starting up a business of their own?
BK: DO IT! But surround yourself with as much support as you can and don’t be afraid to ASK for help. Starting a business is however not for everyone and most definitely tests you and pushes you to your limits… So be prepared for that. Also be prepared that you will at times (who am I kidding – a lot of times) get things wrong! Treat this as an opportunity to grow and always, always respect any feedback you get – even the feedback you don’t want to hear!
If you decide on starting a website business – Remember that your website is your SHOP and like a physical retail store you need to ‘dress and design’ it in such a way that will be appealing to your customer. Websites are often considered an ‘easy’ option to starting a business and whilst in some ways they are, it can be severely underestimated as to the time, effort and money that is required to design a site that is customer friendly and that drives sales. In many ways you will end up spending just as much money designing and maintaining a website as you would a physical store so bear this in mind when you start out if this is the direction you would like to take. The great aspect about website businesses are that if created well they can generate income 24 hours a day, 7 days – whilst you are sleeping!
LV: You are an Ambassador and Spokeswomen for Beyond Blue. Please tell us how this came about?
BK: After suffering the debilitating illness that is Post Natal Depression along with sever Anxiety, which had a significant impact on my family, I just had to reach out and try and share my story, no matter how raw. I knew many (as I did) thought this illness was something I had no ‘right’ to get as my life on the outside was indeed perfect – yet I still suffered profoundly at the hands of this merciless bastard! I just had to tell my story to anyone that would listen in the hope that I would help even just one person suffering this hell. I wanted to reach in particular the partners of those suffering mental illness so they could be the life line so desperately needed to get help.
I have spoken at many events in front of hundreds of people about my struggle and you may have even seen me on a poster or two on the back of a toilet loo… I think this video will explain in more depth AND I hope it helps anyone that may watch it.
LV: Among the many hats you wear, you also run a Facebook group for mums called ‘Perfectly Imperfect Mumma’. Why is this so important to you?
BK: Again because of my journey with depression and anxiety when I had my twins, judgement from society about what I should/should not be doing as a mother, harsh judgment of yourself, feelings of inadequacy and failure, feelings of isolation… All I believe impacting a lot of women. Especially more so now with social media portraying mostly ‘rose tinted glass’ versions of people’s lives – often leaving others feeling totally deflated that they are not living these ‘expectations’.
Perfectly Imperfect Mumma is a social NETWORK of dedicated women sharing the ‘ups and downs’, ‘tears and laughter’, frustrations, fears and their concerns BUT above all sharing the LOVE of Mummahood. In a society often dictated by ‘perfect ideals’ I hope the Perfectly Imperfect Mumma page and its private closed groups (Perfectly Imperfect Step Mummas, Perfectly Imperfect Mummas – Pregnancy Glows and Woes and Perfectly Imperfect Mummas – Breastfeeding and Nipple Tweaking) created more recently to be positive resources and communication tools for those Mummas wanting the support of a ‘Sisterhood‘ that is eager to listen to their instincts and what is ‘right for them’, rather than feeling the failures of not following or meeting current ‘ideals’ and ‘opinions’.
LV: What do you do to re-fuel your soul? Do you practice self-care often?
BK: Hmmm… Does a daily chocolate fix and pilates 1-2 times a week count? If so then yes. Other than that taking time out to be with people I respect and value in my life is what I feel fills my soul and I am lucky that my husband is first on that list along with my children (except at 2am… Then I want to put them out with the trash).
I do have a beef with this whole ‘having balance’ in your life that you often hear or have preached to you about… I mean who the hell has balance? Thinking balance even exists just sets people up for failure straight away. Life is about accepting that at times some things take precedence over others and your feeling of contentment around this is what is key! I do not believe you can have it ‘all’. Its Economics 101… You must forgo one thing to achieve or have another AND that is perfectly ok!
It has taken me personally many, many years of running myself into the ground (actually a deep dark hole) trying to do AND be it all! It’s just not possible – something will and does give and its often someone’s wellbeing or mental/physical health!
I focus on the ‘NOW’ – the very presence I am in, as this is truly all we can control anyway… I break it down as simply as this – ‘what do I want/need to do in this very moment’. I then focus all of my attention onto that. I admit sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me – but using this strategy pulls me back in line to focus on the MOMENT when I waiver… So, do what you can in the moment you have and dedicate your whole attention to that. Everything else will have its time with you… Be it a career, a baby, the gym or whatever it is you love doing. If you are missing out on something you love or aspire to do/have – remember you will have the time for it – maybe just not now. AND THAT’S OK! X
LV: Explain your ‘why’? Why do you do all that you do?
BK: Your why must always be BIGGER than yourself. So for me its providing a wonderful life for my family and offering my community my time, knowledge and a better way of doing things. It’s about getting up each day and giving it your best shot AND helping others flourish with you too! So my WHY really is to have the opportunity to give back.