Katey is someone you could easily become fast-friends with. She is warm, and welcoming, and she has this infectious energy that you can't help but feel drawn to. She is passionate about skincare and NZ native botanicals and the evidence of that commitment to sourcing the best is found in the efficacy of her formulations. Need we mention the stunning ceramic vessels? If you are new to skincare, come for the packaging, but stay for the results.
Raaie just picked up some awards so we touch base with Katey about what this means and how it's all going....
Tell us a bit about yourself, and any key moments that led you to become the woman you are today?
Without a doubt, the biggest influence in my life was my mum. When I was very young, it was just me and her. I was an only child and mum always felt like a friend or partner in crime to me; she always treated me as an equal, encouraged my ideas, and accepted me without judgement. She moved us to a new life, started her own business and became really successful, all whilst juggling a young child. I always saw my mum as someone that I wanted to be. In the way that she treats other people and in the way that she worked hard. I was always inspired by that. People adored her. I lost her 1.5 years ago and I can only hope to be half the mother she was.
This past year must have felt like a whirlwind! Raaie has become a fast-favourite for beauty obsessives and discerning skincare customers alike. Have you caught your breath? How are you feeling?
Thanks so much – I am incredibly grateful for the early support. I definitely did not expect to sell out of one of our products in 10 days! The response from the press, influencers and retailers in week one was better than I could ever have hoped for and things just took off from there. I’m and now mostly focusing on trying to produce more so that everyone who wants of our products can have one.
Congratulations on picking up Best New Skincare Brand and Best New Serum at the PURE Beauty Awards in London. What does this mean to you and to Raaie?
We are beyond thrilled to have won two gold awards at The PURE Beauty UK Awards. PURE Beauty is like the Oscars of the global beauty world so for a small Kiwi brand to have picked up the awards for Best New Skincare Brand and Best New Serum is astounding and such an honour. We were humbled to even be nominated alongside established brands like The Ordinary, Byoma, Lancôme, and The Inkey List. What makes us most happy about winning is knowing that the amazing botanicals of our home, Aotearoa, are getting the recognition they deserve on the global stage. We know the last section of the awards process was a public vote, so we really want to thank anyone that voted - it truly means the world for a small brand like us.
No one is doing NZ botanicals like Raaie, how did you come up with the secret-sauce?
My love for NZ botanicals goes right back to my childhood but it wasn’t until I moved overseas and started working in the beauty industry that I began to understand the role antioxidants play in skin protection and anti-aging. I began researching NZ botanicals from a scientific perspective and discovered that our natives are packed with antioxidants. Basically New Zealand has some of the highest UV radiation in the world (due to the hole in the ozone layer, our position on the globe, and our low pollution levels) so our botanicals survive – and even thrive – under much higher UV than plants in other parts of the world. They do this by producing really high levels of antioxidants; in some cases, twice as many as comparable plants in other countries. When we put these plant antioxidants on our skin they protect us by neutralizing the free radicals that break down our skin's collagen and cause wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin and hyperpigmentation.
Most rewarding part of the job?
The most rewarding part of the job is when I see customers getting results – actual visible changes to their skin – it’s the best feeling because when we feel good about our skin, it boosts our confidence and self-worth. If we can help people feel better about their skin then it makes it all worthwhile for me. So please keep your emails and reviews coming because every time I get them it just makes my day!
Two incredible serums, and this is just the beginning - What can we look forward to from here?
I am very excited about the launch of my SPF early next year. I really wanted to launch with an SPF but was super fussy about the formula not being too thick, zincky or oily. The good news is that the extra time in the laboratory has paid off and we have a beautiful, lightweight, velvety mineral formula launching later this year. We also have many more products in the pipeline that we are super excited about, such as cleansers, moisturisers, botanical oils, and exfoliating acids.
Any key beauty mantras or habits you swear by?
Protection and consistency.
80% of extrinsic aging is from the sun, so protecting your skin from UV radiation is super important to stop wrinkles, sagging, and hyperpigmentation. The best way to do this is via an antioxidant serum underneath your SPF.
The other thing is consistency – there are certain products that give instant results, such as exfoliators, and moisturisers. But when you are targeting specific issues such as acne, pigmentation, or wrinkles - their root cause and damage is often very deep within the skin - so it takes time for the active ingredients to penetrate and heal. That’s why it can take up to 8 weeks of consistent use to see results from a serum. For a Vitamin A/ retinol/ retinal serum, the real hallelujah moment comes after 3-6 months of consistent use. This is because it takes much longer for your skin to increase collagen production compared to healing acne (collagen is what keeps your skin plump and youthful!). But when that hard work pays off and you have clear, smooth, luminous skin, you’ll thank yourself!