It’s been an incredible few years for Lara Christie; mum-of-two and founder of maternity skincare brand Pure Mama. We chat with Lara about moving to the beach, business, babies, and beauty.
It’s been a big season for you; swapping the city for the seaside of Papamoa, leaving behind the corporate life to chase your own passions all while starting a family. Talk to us about your shift, your growth, and any key moments that led you to be the woman you are today.
Yes, it has been a huge couple of years. My life really has completely flipped in the last 4 years. Just on 5 years ago now, I had a fantastic corporate career in Auckland which I loved, but I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a calling to be closer to family. Falling pregnant was a huge adjustment, and for the first time in my life I found myself really taking the time to care about what I put on and in my body. I was just completely blown away by the lack of pregnancy specific skincare in the market and like many other women, I was quite overwhelmed (not necessarily with skincare, but just pregnancy recommendations in general) about what to use and all these new things I needed.
I had a vision to not only create a range of naturally powerful skincare products that women could 100% trust in their journey, but I also wanted to encourage pregnant women to take a moment to connect with their bodies and be present with their pregnancies.
It took over 2 years of intensive research and development with a few speed bumps along the way, of course before we were ready to launch. It was a real challenge at times, especially having a new-born (and twice at that), but PURE MAMA was just one of those things I was so deeply passionate about and believed in so much.
I now have an incredible team around me that are just as enthusiastic as I am. I still pinch myself sometimes about this. It really is the people around you who get you through and I could not have done this without them. I am still finding the balance though…. although I am not sure it will ever come. We work hard and laugh a lot, an example I love setting for my children.
And truth be told, it’s not the babies that keep me awake at night. It’s the flurry of ideas I have for Pure Mama. We are just so excited about what the future holds.
Pure Mama has become a fast favourite at The Facialist. Ashleigh used it throughout her pregnancy with Freddie and knew our customers would love it just as much. Yet surprisingly your business is still in its infancy years (Congratulations!) tell us about how Pure Mama came to be, and the ethos that drives you.
PURE MAMA really is my third baby, besides my two actual children. The journey has been an absolute labour of love.
As a brand we are on a mission to empower woman to embrace the real and raw beauty of pregnancy. We do this with beautiful, nourishing skincare that allows connection, as well as encouraging woman to take a moment to be present during their pregnancy. We live in such a fast paced, busy world, that we often forget to nourish and connect with our bodies, so we really strive to encourage women to do this.
We pride ourselves on providing the highest calibre, naturally derived skincare products matched with the needs of pregnant women and new mothers. Ultimately delivering targeted, deeply nourishing, and high-quality products to support women on their pregnancy and post-partum journey.
We are of the mind that ‘balance’ is a fallacy, and life is more of an ebb and flow. How do you manage motherhood with growing your business?
Honestly, it really is a juggle, but I am finding my rhythm as a go. I find myself working late at night or just trying to grab a quick 20minutes on my computer between naps. I know it won’t always be like this though, so I try not to let the juggle overwhelm me. After my first baby, I found myself worrying a lot more but since having my second I have realised that it usually wasn’t worth the worry, or subsequent stress. It really does help doing something you love, though. The ‘work’ is very satisfying for me personally and it fills my cup, so to speak.
Now that we have moved to Papamoa I have a lot more help too. My parents are just around the corner, and we live within walking distance of the places we visit most (day-care and the supermarket…riveting I know haha) so that makes it a lot easier.
And I have the most incredible fiancée who literally moves worlds for me. He has been backing me 100% since I started and helping so much, both in and around the businesses. Not to mention, helping to raise our 2 children. The business can be quite consuming at times so having this network around me, especially while we are in growth mode is critical for the business and me personally.
We believe skincare affords an opportunity of self-care, and as such our morning and evening skin routine becomes an important bookend to a busy day. What do you do for yourself? // What does self-care look like for you?
Self-care for the last 3-4 years has been the little moments for me. Sounds simple, but with 2 kids, just a long hot shower is a true moment of relaxation for me. I spend that extra time doing a full body exfoliation with the Pure Mama Bump Scrub and then I will do a Vitamin C cleanse a couple of times a week, on top of my daily facial cleanse. I still use our Belly Oil after the shower too, as absolutely love the way it feels and smells. It’s like a little hit of summer to me and helps keep my skin hydrated all year around.
A little more recently, I went to the gym the other day for the first time in 5 years which was a huge moment for me in terms of self-care. There are so many reasons (aka excuses) as to why I didn’t quite feel ready to do this, but after getting there and doing it, I realised that the hardest part was walking in the door. I have a newfound appreciation of why I am going now, too. It a lot less about body image, and more about just taking some time for myself where I am not working or being a mum. It was empowering in a way that I didn’t expect.
Please share your daily beauty rituals. Including any of your favourite face care products and techniques.
They really are quite extensive but here goes 😊. I am a true believer that investing in your skin early in life really helps from a preventative point of view.
After cleansing in the shower every morning, I apply a spray toner, I let that sit for a while and then use a Retinol Serum followed by a Glycolic Acid Serum. Once both have been absorbed, I use a hydration gel which I absolutely cannot live without (I have even got my fiancée on to it). To top if off I have a SPF 45+ Environmental Shield moisturiser that I use. I ended up with quite a bit of pigmentation from pregnancy and summer which has hugely improved in the last 6 months, and I put it down to using this combo of products.
The restoration that comes from a few moments of skincare can be so powerful, especially in the chaos and never-ending demands of motherhood. We loooooove that the Belly Oil and Pure Mama products are natural and nurturing for the skin but also encourage you to pause. What is your personal experience with your products? Is there a hero for you?
I probably apply the Nipple Butter as a lip balm 5-6 times a day. I have one in the car, one in my handbag, one in the pram, and one in my ‘everything’ bowl in the kitchen. It’s a game changer for me as I get dry, cracked lips over winter. Breastfeeding obviously requires a lot of hydration and my skin can dry out quite a bit more. This Nipple Butter along with the Belly Oil and Bump Scrub are still staples in my routine truth be told.
It’s been a BIG few years growing and nurturing two human babies while launching, growing and nurturing a business baby – what has this season taught you so far?
I read somewhere the other day from a fellow founder …
”Balance is a myth, and boundaries are bullshit. But slowly, you will find your rhythm.”
That really spoke to me. Our team talks at all hours of the day but we 100% respect each other’s personal lives and commitments. Family always comes first.
From a working parent’s point of view, I know that the tired days won’t be forever, and everything is just a phase. Its easy to catastrophise things but it is never worth it. All you have is now and tomorrow is a new day, so take it moment by moment.
We are loving the new packaging! Have the formulas changed too?
Thank you. We love it too! Nope, all the same good stuff. We spent over 2 years perfecting our formulas and are seeing incredible results, along with rave reviews and recommendations. We haven’t changed a thing.