In Conversation: Kim Magee; Founder of Kibi Raw Minerals
There is nothing more exciting that getting to hear from truly passionate, and inspiring individuals and today we get to share with you just that! We caught up with the lovely Kim Magee on her natural, vegan makeup brand and what inspires her to keep going…
Hi Kim! Tell us a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
My childhood was what has given me the tenacity and drive to succeed in what ever I do. I was one of the first group of Koreans adopted in Australia. I was an orphan in South Korea with TB and malnutrition, and had I not been supported by the adoption program I would have died. I am therefore incredibly grateful to them.
Unfortunately I was in an extremely abusive environment both physically and emotionally for most of my childhood, living with different parents along the way through marriage break ups and re-marriage. I kept to myself a lot as I had moved to 8 different schools before I entered high school. I was very shy and introverted to the point of only having a few friends. I left school at the age of 16 and worked 2 jobs and sometime 3 so I could save to travel. I lived in London for 3 years as my base and travelled as most Australians do through Europe, USA and parts of Asia.
Traveling was an educational journey to see the world, and it opened my eyes to what this world offers us with so many opportunities. As much as I desired to have a great education it was too difficult for me to focus on school work, when my main focus was to leave my negative and abusive home environment as soon as possible. In all that has happened over my life it definitely had given me a fighting spirit to make the most of what ever situation I come across with an attitude of gratitude.
When did you create KIBI Raw Minerals and why?
The KIBI Group was founded in 2010 but was not off the ground till the end of 2015. Due to some major life changes I had to put the project on hold untill after I had recovered from a devastating divorce following a 20 year marriage. It all sound quiet grim at present but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
My passion for natural organic products began when I worked for Jurlique International. This is where I learnt from the owners and developers of the brand about the holistic approach to health and wellbeing in around 2001. I originally worked as a therapist in their Chatswood Day Spa in Sydney, Australia whilst I was studying beauty therapy. Within less than a year I became the area manager for NSW and had a fantastic opportunity opened their first day spa in South Korea.
Following the experience of being on the farm in Adelaide and seeing the bio-dynamic farming, and the process from the farm to the bottle fascinated me. I was totally sold and knew what we use on our skin is vitally important to our health and wellbeing.
It was much later in life just before my separation that I decided to create the KIBI brand. It was trial and error testing out different formulas and packaging, and after a few years of refining the brand I developed KIBI raw minerals. I created the mineral makeup purely due to not being able to buy mineral makeup that suited my skin colour and I felt the mineral was not refined enough.
I thought the best way to educate women was to offer them something that they could use and wear every day that could make a difference to the their current beauty regime. There was far more competition in skincare and many wonderful brands that had already made a difference but not so many in the makeup arena, so I decided to focus the KIBI brand on makeup.
What sets KIBI apart?
Our point of difference is our triple milled mineral. Our colour range covers all ethinic and anglo skin tones. I am originally from Sydney and travel extensively within Australia for business and New Zealand. Our larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne are very multi cultural so I wanted to appeal to all cultures.
Also we are of course Vegan and certified Toxic Free. Our price point is within the middle market; generally making it achievable for young and mature women and men to use. It is also water resistant and has a high SPF, so it is great to wear to the beach. I also encourage the gym junkies to wear our makeup as it doesn’t clogg pores like traditional makeup. We do share as much information on the benefits as you will see on the Q&A via our website to educate our consumers on healthier choices.
Why was important to ensure KIBI products were vegan?
Having worked in the beauty industry for more than 25 years it really educated me on how products were made and tested. I don’t believe in animal testing let alone using animal ingredients in any of my products and will ensure all new releases will continue to be vegan and not tested on animals. It is not necessary to have animal ingredients in products in todays world and totally not appropriate for vanity.
What have been KIBI’s bestsellers?
All our foundations have had great reviews as our pigments cover all skin tones from Ivory to the tanned olive tones which we promote to clients who are avid tanners. The second most popular with our young bloggers and audience is our champagne illuminating bronzer that can be worn on your cheeks, lips and eyes.
What’s it like being vegan in the city you live in?
Having been bought up in a major city and later moving to the Gold Coast, it really allowed me to fully embrace a natural and holistic lifestyle. I live in a small city where organic and vegan choices are easy to find with lots of organic farmers markets and cafes that cater to this lifestyle. Health food stores are also everywhere on the Gold Coast. It really has been the best place to create and expand on my brand and lifestyle.
Why do you think there has been such a rise in veganism over the last few years?
Consumers are a lot more educated today and conscious of what they eat and the product they are using on their skin. More information is available at our fingertips and this alongside health reasons has meant it has even become a trend with the younger generation. Its been great seeing the younger generation be more conscious and educated in their food and health choices!
What inspires you?
My inspiration is seeing people be the best they can be! I manage a team of great staff who have been with me for many years and it inspires me seeing them develop. I also get inspired when to know I can grow a brand that will educate and offer consumers a healthier choice and make a difference in their lives.
What’s your average day like?
I start my day with 30minutes of yoga at 6am. From 7.30 onwards I am answering emails, going to meeting and creating; whether its working on expanding our brand with new product lines, or working on opening a new business, its super busy.
Do you think you have a work/life balance?
Living on the Gold Coast you can’t help but have a great work life balance because of the gorgeous weather. I love where I live as everything is within walking distance for what I need and I get to work from home. I love the idea of work/life balance for my staff and I think it isn’t necessary for us to have to come to an office in todays world. We can Skype and usually once every two months I gather them together for a group catch up dinner.
Product development and packaging is all outsourced and organised externally. Its just a matter of being organised and planned.
What is the best part of your job?
I love creating new concepts and new products! I am in the process of releasing a crème compact foundation and also lips sticks in a pot. I love the idea of working differently from the typical corporate environment. For me to create a healthy working environment for my staff that goes against the grain of traditional business is something that has been an important part of my job.
What words do you live by?
“To see change you must be changed”
I created this statement based on my personal experiences in life. Personal awareness to be the best you can be will inspire others to be the best that they can be in life.
What’s next for KIBI raw minerals?
We are currently working on expanding our makeup range as mentioned earlier! We have just introduced organic tea and will continue to expand over the next two years into more of a lifestyle brand creating vegan and natural products in many other areas.