Meet The Maker: Kat Douglas
We love BraveFace! It’s become a mainstay in many of The Facialist team’s beauty and well-being tool kits. Please go back to the beginning and tell us where the idea started?
We were having a brainstorming session coming up with new product ideas for one of our other brands, Clinicians. Our naturopath mentioned that she was getting amazing results with a herb called passionflower with her clients who were suffering from mild-moderate anxiety. Straight away I knew there was something in this. I went home that night and sent a text to my girl chat asking if any of them suffered from anxiety. All six of them came back and said yes. So I started down a rabbit hole of research and realised there were not many natural alternatives with decent science behind them. I also found that there was so much work to do around changing the stigma around seeking help for anxiety, so we decided it needed to be a stand-alone brand and thus the idea of BraveFace was born.
And what were those early days like, how did you start to bring it all to fruition?
It took us two years to land on formulas that we were happy with! There was lots of time spent in meetings deciding what ingredients would work best, doing lab trails to see how it all came together, hitting dead ends and having to start again. It was a frustrating process with so many hurdles to overcome but I am so glad we persevered because I am so proud of the products we have been able to develop. Then there was also the fun part of coming up with the brand identity which included working on mood boards, tone of voice and brand names with our agency. We explored a number of different territories including more calm, yoga-like brands but kept coming back to the fact we wanted the brand to be bold, empowering and to start a conversation.
What did you originally set out to achieve with BraveFace and how has this evolved over time?
I always felt that BraveFace needed to go beyond just having products that worked. We wanted to empower people with the knowledge to be drivers of positive change in their own lives. We see our range as a tool to have in your toolkit to help manage the stress but to really tackle it, takes a holistic approach. It was important to us to develop helpful resources and information to help people address stress in all aspects of their life. For example, our diet, exercise, thought patterns, and even the way we breathe can all contribute to us feeling more calm and balanced. I think this still rings true today but if you really break it down, I am just so happy to be genuinely helping people with their health.
BraveFace helps so many people manage stress, sleep, and worry; How does it feel knowing that what you’ve created is empowering people to be the best version of themselves?
It honestly feels surreal. I know how much work we put into developing our products but there is always that nervous voice in your head saying “what if no one likes it?!”. I feel so fortunate to have grown up around the health industry and have access to the knowledge and experts that come with that. To be able to pass a bit of that on is really rewarding.
Talk to us about the rise of mental health, how you see it and how you see it changing?
I think everyone is aware that mental health conditions are on the rise and anxiety is actually outpacing them all. When I started on this journey three years ago, I put that down to (and this is my opinion only) the busy lifestyles many of us chose to live, social media and diet. More recently the pandemic has had a huge impact. We could never have prepared ourselves for what we have lived through the past two years and many of us are feeling the toll that has had on our mental health. I am hoping as we move back to a new normal, this will stabilise again and I also think there is a real change in mindset around taking care of your mental health which I think will beneficial.
Any key mantras you live by or daily rituals you use to support your own mental health? (beyond the BraveFace system)
A lot of my personal anxieties come from a fear of being judged (I am naturally a very shy person). Two things I repeat to myself often are “you can’t change the way someone acts, only the way you react to them” and “it is none of your business what someone else thinks of you”. I feel my best physically and mentally when I am exercising regularly, eating lots of whole foods, spending quality time with loved ones and feeling like my daily actions are aligned with my purpose (creating brands that help people). These are things I check in on regularly and know I need to focus on when things feel out of kilter.
We are all obsessed with HeadRest! Most of us vouch for it by experience – we literally wake up feeling rested, BUT one of our Facialist’s husbands used some and his Fit Bit tracked an improved sleep score of over 30% in just three days. Talk us through the creation and production of this wonder product, and how it is formulated to work?
I love hearing feedback like this! It was so important for us to address sleep when it comes to stress management because we all know we handle stressful situations better when we have had a good nights sleep. HeadRest was developed specifically for people who are having trouble sleeping because they have a very active mind and find it hard to switch off. Passionflower at a therapeutic dose is our hero for calming the mind and body and then chamomile for it’s sedative effect. How we formulated that in liquid form at such high doses without using alcohol is our secret sauce.
LiveCalm is a daily chill pill, and CoolHead is to support those in-the-moment panicky moments. Who did you have in mind when making the trio system? Has the customer that has eventuated surprised you?
We initially thought the brand would be more for women but as we deepened our research we realised everyone is impacted by stress. The customer we had in mind was the consummate high-achiever who does not want to be held back by their anxieties. They are proactive professionals/ parents/ hustlers who want to take control of their lives. Many of them are millennials, but we also have customers who are younger and older. I think what has surprised me is how many mums reach out asking about their kids/ teens. Unfortunately, our products are too potent for those under 14 years old, but this is an area we are exploring.
What’s next for you and for BraveFace?
We are still a new brand so we want to continue to get the word out there to those who our products can help. We are working hard on developing some new products, which I am really excited about and we are looking to expand globally.