Kora Organics CEO and supermodel Miranda Kerr on family, work and wellness

Supermodel Miranda Kerr talks about balancing business and family
Kora Organics CEO and supermodel Miranda Kerr on family, work and wellness

Miranda Kerr: “Anything that comes from your heart can only lead to good things”

“Anything that comes from your heart can only lead to good things,” says Miranda Kerr, the Australian supermodel and CEO of Kora Organics skincare. She is very genuine and doesn’t miss a beat. We met over Zoom in March to discuss the launch of Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturiser and, whether she speaks about her family, her work or wellness tools like the rose quartz that touches every Kora ingredient, it all comes back to “staying heart-centred.”

Home is where it began. Miranda is from Gunnedah, New South Wales, “a beautiful little town where people are genuinely concerned about each other”. 

Both her parents were hard-working, and she spent much of her early years on her grandparents’ farm, climbing trees and learning to cook. Her teenage ambition was to become a nutritionist, but a friend entered her into a national modelling competition and changed her life. 

She worked for some of Australia’s best-known brands before moving to New York at 22 and becoming a successful catwalk and campaign model. Her supermodel breakthrough came in the mid-2000s with contracts for Maybelline New York and Victoria’s Secret.

The lingerie brand’s popularity has receded in recent years (the annual fashion show stopped in 2019), but Victoria’s Secret angels maintain a special place in fashion history. 

“It was meaningful to me because I was the first Australian angel. 

I remember when I first travelled to America as an exchange student when I was 16, I thought Victoria’s Secret was a little dreamland for women. Never would I have imagined that a few years later I’d be one of their angels 

"It was very surreal and I’m so grateful for it. 

"It was a lot of fun working with the best photographers and makeup artists in places like the Turks and Caicos and St Barts. At the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, we had a chance to interact with the audiences, whereas when I did a Chanel or Balenciaga show there was no interaction whatsoever.” 

She modelled the brand’s bejewelled $2.5m (€2.1m) “fantasy” bra in 2010, just nine months after the birth of Flynn, the son she shares with ex-husband Orlando Bloom. (She credits the rosehip in Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil, €58.95 at New York Post, with preventing stretch marks). After the 2011 show, the lookfantastic.ie put her on the cover as winged respite from Hurricane Sandy news under the headline “God Hates Us…But We Have An Angel.” 

She parted ways with the company in 2013 — then chief marketing officer Ed Razek called her “one of the best models in the history of the business” — and, while continuing to model, took over as CEO of Kora Organics.

Miranda has three sons — she shares Flynn’s brothers, Hart and Myles, with husband Evan Spiegel, founder of Snap Inc — and refers to Kora as her little girl.

She’s continued to nurture the business from her home in Brentwood, California, over the last year, working and doing Kundalini yoga and meditation with her staff via Zoom. 

She was well ahead of the “clean beauty” trend, founding Kora in Australia in 2009 and ensuring everything was certified organic from the outset. 

“I think clean beauty is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it is unregulated. There is so much integrity behind Kora being certified organic. Consumers can trust that what they’re putting on their skin is exactly what it claims to be. 

"Organic certification is heavily audited and it guarantees that there are no toxic ingredients, and on the back of every Kora package, it shows you exactly the percentage of ingredients of natural origin, from organic farming… it’s all very clear. This takes a lot of work on the company’s end, but I really wanted to show it." 

"It is so rewarding to know that you can really help people with their skin in a healthy way.”

The Turmeric Glow Moisturiser (€58.95, at lookfantastic.ie from April 20) was a labour of love. 

Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturiser
Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturiser

"I wanted to create the creme de la creme of moisturisers, something that could really help with anti-ageing and hydration, and would give your skin an all-day glow through makeup. I asked our chemists if it was possible and they said that this could be the first certified-organic cream to use liposomal technology.” 

Liposomes are tiny bubbles that pop as you smooth moisturiser into your skin. 

"In Turmeric Glow they contain turmeric, liquorice and noni fruit. The liposomes keep these botanical ingredients active and fresh to maximise their benefits when they reach your face. They help with pigmentation and fine lines. 

"The cream also contains marine micro-algae, which is a powerful source of protein. It has desert date, rosehip and maracuja oils, which are high in both essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The pretty glass jar is made to be kept and supplemented with refills."

Kora products are designed to be an experience for mind, body and skin 

During manufacturing, rose quartz crystals are “energised by the sun” before being added to the vat where they touch every ingredient that winds up in the formula, “energising the product with rose quartz’s loving energy”. 

The lid of the Turmeric Glow Moisturiser resembles a citrine, which healers associate with radiance and abundance, to which the cream was also exposed. 

Each Kora product has a unique essential oil blend, with ingredients chosen to promote the psychological benefits associated with them in aromatherapy. There is even a positive word on the back of each box. For example, ‘forgive’ is on the Milky Mushroom Cleanser, €34.45 at lookfantastic.ie

When you cleanse your face in the evening, there is an opportunity to forgive any negativity you may have felt towards yourself and others during the day 

"Just having these little rituals really helps me personally.”

Miranda is not the only celebrity to embrace crystals, but hers is a long-term love that began with the geodes her grandfather would bring home to her grandmother. 

Rose quartz is her favourite. She credits it with helping her through divorce, believing it nurtured a non-egotistical form of self-love. Kora Organics even makes a heart-shaped rose quartz that doubles as a facial massage tool. She keeps rose quartz in her water bottle and wears them as accessories. 

During lockdown, she acquired a crystal tuning-fork after speaking to organisational expert Marie Kondo. “It is something I use daily now to reset and balance the energy of a room.”

Even if crystals are not your thing, Miranda’s nutritional advice is sound self-care. Early in her modelling career, she qualified as a health coach in New York. She now shares recipes and wellness tips on Kora’s blog. Her husband’s favourite meal is her turmeric chicken, which she cooked for him on their wedding day in 2017. 

“I truly believe everything is connected. Every thought we have, everything we eat and everything we put on our skin affects our bodies. I’m so passionate about health, wellness and psychology that I’ll be learning about them the rest of my life.” 

When we spoke, she had just completed an online food and health course through Stanford University.

Miranda is also a bestselling author. Her first book, Treasure Yourself, a self-care guide aimed at young women, was recognised by the Australian government. Her second, Empower Yourself, is packed with positive affirmations for everyday life and includes four calls to “speak your truth”, an expression that’s caused some confusion of late.

Subjective truth is not a new thing. Some scientists believe it is the only truth and for Kierkegaard it was the only kind that counted. However, it is Oprah Winfrey who keeps it in the news — she said it four times in her 2018 Golden Globes speech and recently in a question to the Duchess of Sussex. It can certainly, as Oprah says, be “a powerful tool” but, given that the internet rarely forgets, even if one’s truth changes, is misinterpreted or is publicly contradicted. 

I asked Miranda if she would add any caveats to the “speak your truth” affirmations. “I always think about my intentions. For example, if I am speaking my truth to my husband, my intention is to bring out the best in our relationship through that conversation with him. 

If I am on my social media accounts, my intention is to uplift whoever’s reading 

"So I think that that’s my meaning of ‘speaking your truth’ — speaking it in the hope of bringing about good.” 

Both books are also available as packs of affirmation cards.

Miranda is still a fashion model and recently appeared as a well-dressed air hostess in a shoot for  former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book Japan

There are many women who make you wonder how they do it all, but she is more than willing to share. The Miranda Loves… page on Kora’s website is filled with tools she uses to keep her life in good order, including favourite self-help books, crystals and essential oils. She uses the free meditation app Insight Timer. 

During lockdown, she began an online interview series called Wellness Wednesdays, through which she shares the advice of people whose work helps her. 

“I was thrilled to have [American Kundalini yoga expert] Gurmukh for my first episode. I really benefit from practicing Kundalini yoga and wanted to share that. It was also special to have Snatam Kaur on. She is a Grammy-nominated singer and her music has been transformational in my life. She has the voice of an angel.”

Miranda is very open about her Christianity and how daily prayers help to sustain her. She prays with her children before meals “to show gratitude to everyone who helped put the food on our plates” and sings a prayer her grandmother taught her with them before bed. Her grandparents died within 20 days of one another in February. They instilled in her both faith and the values by which she lives and works.

“My grandfather had a lot of faith. He was very loving toward my grandmother. About 10 years ago their home was struck by lightning and caught fire — this was the house where they raised their family, right through to their great-grandchildren — and they lost everything. Every morning afterwards he would kiss her fingers and say, ’Thank God I still have you.’ 

"When he was in hospital, he had my Treasure Yourself and Empower Yourself affirmation cards with him. When a nurse came into the room he would ask her to shuffle the cards and pick one at random and then he gave it to her. He kept his favourite affirmation — 'Embrace Your Age. You celebrate each year of your life. You are fully aware that your spirit does not age, despite the passing of time' — in his King James Bible.”

Miranda describes her grandmother as “the heart of our family”, as well as her first fashion icon.

“Even though growing up we didn’t have a lot, we always felt like there was an abundance. She was always cooking, guests were always welcome and she really taught me her generosity of spirit. I feel like her heart and mine are intertwined.”

When Miranda was young, her grandmother’s prize possession was a Royal Albert tea set, which she kept in a glass cabinet and took out so they could have tea together. Miranda later collaborated with Royal Albert on seven sets. 

“It was so special to me to create something that had so much love for her behind it.” 

Miranda’s Instagram post paying tribute to her grandmother is a photo of the pair drinking tea.

I learned how to dress from watching her because she was a very elegant lady; she kept it very simple and chic 

"She had a friend who was a tailor and would buy fabric and have her clothes made.” 

The first dress Miranda ever coveted was a long, green velvet gown of her grandmother’s and, even today, with her own walk-in wardrobe of designer labels, she puts her grandmother’s wisdom first. 

“She taught me that great style is all about the way you carry yourself and being heart-centred.”

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