Business Success in More Than Skin Deep for the Kerrs
One of the hottest industries to be in right now is organic skincare, and that’s something Therese Kerr – and her supermodel daughter, Miranda – know only too well. Both women have their own successful businesses – The Divine Company and KORA Organics – with Therese about to take hers to the next level.
This is no ‘kitchen table’ operation, although many a business plan has been discussed around the Kerr kitchen table over the years, giving real meaning to the term, ‘family business’.
Therese’s background is an interesting one, having studied accountancy when she was younger and holding a full Real Estate Licence. She has owned and run many businesses, including the family’s own real estate business and restaurant.
The winner of several Telstra Small Business Awards, Therese and husband John won the John Laws ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ Gold Business Award in 1998.
Working with Business Partners
Amazingly, Therese has never bought a business, “but I have created many. I have also sold a business and that, too, has its challenges, especially if you have business partners involved and you want different things.
“The key to buying and/or creating any business is to ensure you have your expectations and every aspect of the running of the business documented. I think people go into business with a friend and it’s all rosy and they don’t think there will ever be a problem until there is a problem. Ultimately, if you ensure everything is documented in relation to roles, possible sell-outs, buy-outs, contingency and succession plans, confusion is removed, and things sail a lot more smoothly.”
Having worked as a business advisor on a regional development board, and Chief Financial Controller for a multinational, Therese went into the organic skincare industry with not only passion but also keen business acumen.
Always driven and very successful, Therese’s interest in health and beauty were also sparked by her own health issues.
“I had tumours in my spleen and had to have my spleen removed. My entire life altered. I thought I was healthy, but I truly didn’t know what healthy was as most people, myself included, assume products, food, cosmetics and produce are all safe. Unfortunately, life has taught [me] how unsafe much of what we put on our skin and consume is.
“After developing rosacea on my face and delving into making my own certified organic skincare products because I could not find products that were healthy and highly efficacious, we created them and that is how my journey into wellness started.”
Having sold off a large portion of The Divine Company, Therese is now focussing predominantly on building another business, something she is deeply passionate about.
“I am creating wellness through my incredibly efficacious, powerful yet gentle, detoxification program with ingredients that have been clinically trialled through triple blind studies and more,” she said.
“The detox program assists in balancing hormones, balancing blood sugar, boosting metabolism, increasing fat emulsification (weight loss), helping with IBS and other digestive health challenges, reducing wrinkles (clinical triple blind studies showed a reduction of crow’s feet around the eyes of 50% over eight weeks on the detox), supporting nails, hair, skin, increasing collagen and much more.”
Suddenly, it’s doesn’t seem so surprising that every member of the Kerr family appears to have been blessed with gorgeous looks!
Working with Family
When Miranda Kerr launched her skincare range, KORA Organics, all the family got involved.
“It was a beautiful time in my life. I took on the General Manager role of KORA Organics early on in the business as Miranda knew my dedication to wellness. My goal was to help Miranda empower people to understand the importance of using healthy skincare and to fill a huge gap within the market,” said Therese.
“I also wanted to create something for Miranda which would be a ‘superfund’ for her, so that she wouldn’t have to work as hard as I worked all of my life. It was a real family affair and the stockists loved that. My husband Johnny was with me all the way – he always dances with my chaos! He became Operations Manager, set up and worked in the warehouse, Matty (our son and Miranda’s brother) worked in the social media side and as a Sales Account Manager Miranda’s best friend Tammy worked as my PA and receptionist, my brother-in-law David worked in the warehouse and my sister-in-law Jane was a Sales Rep in Queensland.
“We grew the business substantially and profitably, basically on a shoestring. It was tough, but it was amazing. Life always pushes forward, and we had different ideas as to the direction of the company. I wanted to create mature-aged skincare and personal care products such as toothpaste, self-tanner, mouth rinse, deodorant and more, as I am a total believer that we need to remove toxins from all areas of our lives. Miranda didn’t want that for KORA Organics and that’s when it was agreed we would start The Divine Company.”
Therese rates family businesses very highly and describes Miranda as “an incredible businesswoman who is changing lives daily.
“Miranda often asks me for advice, and we share lots of ideas about what’s working and what’s not working; it’s fun.
Going Above and Beyond
“No-one has your interest at heart like your family does, I can honestly say that. Family go above and beyond in business. There is no-one you can trust more than your family. I guess, if there is one piece of advice, it would be to empower the people you love to do their jobs effectively. Open-hearted communication, especially when family is involved, is vitally important.”
A speaker, author and organic industry/wellness leader, Therese clearly has got the formula right for being successful in business.
“I remember reading Howard Schultz’s book, ‘Pour Your Heart Into It’ – the story of Starbuck’s. I remember thinking how everything he said in that book was everything I believed about business. I had worked for businesses and had owned my own business prior to taking on the role of GM of KORA and I always put my heart into everything I did – gave 200% to everything I ever did.
“I think nowadays, more than ever, people need to feel part of something that is much bigger than themselves; they need to know they are appreciated and respected for the work they do and almost feel as they are part-owners of the business.
Creating Brands that Last a Lifetime
“I think my legacy in all [the] businesses I have owned is simply that I created a team of unique individuals striving for excellence and making a difference. We make business fun, even in challenging times. If you have the commitment of your team, you have everything. I also think it is vitally important for things not to come too easy, that a business has to crawl before it walks and going through those tough times helps businesses to grow into brands that last a lifetime.”
During May, Therese was on the road as a speaker and got an incredible response.
“I realised that with my research over the last 18 years, I have much more to share than just information on skincare and personal care products. With the current rate of illness and environmental toxins in people’s bodies and misleading information as to what retailers portray ‘healthy’’ to be, consumers need a platform that is truthful.
“Currently unsuspecting consumers are being duped and mislead in relation to the safety of products and food on the shelf. Retailers simply do not disclose to consumers that when a product is promoted as SLS/Paraben Free, or BPA free, that the chemicals they’ve replaced the parabens and BPA with are even worse than the parabens and BPA was in the first place.
Challenging Labelling Laws
“More and more people, according to the Australian Organic Market Report released late 2018, are searching for healthier options in all things (cleaning, personal care, skincare, makeup, baby products, food) and as such are spending more and more time in supermarket aisles reading labels.
“With the current labelling laws, they are being misguided wilfully. That’s where InnerOrigin comes in. It is an online marketplace of which I am an Ambassador, as is Professor Marc Cohen, Pete Evans, Dr Ross Walker (leading cardiologist), Layne Beachley and Kirk Pengilly, where only healthy products and items are sold.
“There are over 2000 products that have all been pre-approved and pre-vetted by an Independent Product Advisory Board, so it takes the hard work out of shopping for healthy products.”
To find out more about Therese’s new detox program, you can email her at [email protected]
To find out more about InnerOrigin, visit http://www.innerorigin.com/theresekerr
To buy products from The Divine Company, visit https://theresekerr.com/divine-woman-2/