From a sparkling career in PR to founder of a company producing ‘the world’s best lip balm’, find out how this beauty industry boss made it big
Messing about on a farm doesn’t at first seem like the most glamorous, glossy source of inspiration, but Australian Kirsten Carriol got her business idea, not to mention main product ingredient, from doing just that.
Having been a devoted user of all-natural lanolin since she was younger, thanks to her farming heritage, Kirsten came to appreciate that nothing soothed or protected her skin quite like the balmy substance found on sheep’s wool. After 15 years running her own PR agency, she decided to bring her childhood moisturiser to the masses by launching Lanolips . From incredibly effective lip balms to skin quenching body creams, the cruelty free company has since gone from strength to strength, with the likes of makeup legend Val Garland relying on the multipurpose lip sheens backstage at fashion shows and on shoots. We quizzed Kirsten on how she manages the globally successful business day to day, along with rustling up lunch and running around with her kids...
Get The Gloss: Hit the snooze button or up-and-at-em?
Kirsten Carriol: Definitely up! As soon as I wake my mind starts racing with nervous energy as to what needs to be done that day.
GTG: What does your company do in under ten words?
KC: Natural Australian lanolin skincare to cure thirsty lips and skin.
GTG: Best piece of work advice you ever had?
KC: Don’t be too busy in business to miss the little things in life you will treasure on your deathbed.
GTG: Name three things in your working week you love doing?
KC: I love developing new products and connecting to customers around the world via social media and online, it’s thrilling how instant feedback is now. I also really enjoy fixing business problems by re-thinking them and finding different ways round issues.
GTG: What are three things you do every day before breakfast?
KC: Make my two busy boys (they’re 8 and 9) breakfast. Then I’ll check the weather, scan emails and have a look at social media, although this is a bad and unnecessary habit!
GTG: What do you love about your job?
KC: Finding new ways to work with lanolin, and rediscovering old ways to work with lanolin. The perfection of the ingredient is what inspires me.
GTG: What’s cooking for work lunch?
KC: In Sydney we have loads of healthy restaurants thankfully. If I go to a café for lunch I’ll have an amazing superfood salad, and if I’m making my own I’ll often make a simple but delicious tomato and cheese pressed toastie. I love the ease and simplicity of it.
GTG: How do you stay organised?
KC: I prioritise work from what I know to be the most important for my business that day, not via what my inbox is screaming at me!
GTG: Describe your working style in three words
KC: Quick, octopussy (my arms are in everything) and ‘drone’ (I’m always scanning from above).
GTG: Typical work attire?
KC: For me it’s about looking good whilst being comfortable as I do the school run and dash through the office every day. My clothes are usually quite graphic; I’m a fan of stripes, spots and colour blocking. They’re all simple and an easy way to make an impact with just one or two pieces, because I don’t often have time for accessories.
GTG: Heels or flats, and why?
KC: ALWAYS FLATS. I’m moving around too much to be slowed down by high heels.
GTG: Worst job you ever had?
KC: Collecting the money on a paper run.
GTG: Notepad or i-notes?
KC: i-notes; I am a tech geek
GTG: Yoga, Pilates or HIIT and why?
KC: A bit of yoga to lengthen my muscles and lots of running around with my boys.
Like finding out how women in business make it work? Sign up to our newsletter for regular career related features and interviews