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Skin Health Emporium
Interviews

Golden Grind

I create clean turmeric products to make the world a more natural and healthy place. I’ve been doing this for 3 years and a half but, before, I had a career in the modelling industry. Starting out as a model at 14, I worked in the industry until turning 23 and, and graduated from university with a Bachelor in Law, Banking and Finance under my belt.

I went on to become a model booker and then agency owner at inclusive WINK Models. I still am involved with that world, although I currently invest my time and passion in Golden Grind.

Tell us about your motivation— What drives your work and personal life?

I’m driven by being present and creating an impact for more than just myself. I’ve always had a passion to leave my mark on the world in a positive way. My previous career was in the talent and modelling industry where I was extremely passionate about bringing inclusivity and diversity to a stagnant and reactionary industry. It was quite the challenge! I was successful in achieving the placement of the first disabled models on an Australian fashion week runway, as well as a number of other major breakthroughs in the talent cast by leading Australian brands.

Currently, I’m passionate about make turmeric, this incredible natural medicine, mainstream. I want turmeric to be a staple in every household pantry and bathroom. I want everyone to understand the natural healing powers of our world— most of us don’t need to consume industrial chemicals to achieve optimal health. I’m a huge believer in creating joy in my everyday life. In doing what I can, every single day, to make sure I’m happy. Not sweating the small things is a big part of that!

Who (or what) inspires you the most?

My mother! I am one of 6 children— and she raised us all as a single mother. She instilled in us the deep belief that we can genuinely do anything and that we are allowed to embrace our individuality. She worked incredibly hard to put us all through private schooling— this taught me the importance of hard work. From a young age, I knew being lazy just wasn’t an option. She made sure we had really holistic childhoods: we ate what we grew, we didn’t have a microwave, and playtime was always outside. She helped us develop our imagination and creativity. I will feel accomplished if I can pass on the lessons she taught me to future generations.

What is success? Is luck a part of it?

To me, success means everyday happiness. It’s being content and fulfilled in daily life, being in good health, and having my loved ones around me. In a professional sense, it’s impacting others’ lives positively every day.

What does beauty mean to you?

To me, being beautiful means being unapologetically you. How I got there— I spent 15 years in the modelling industry, learning oh-so-much about beauty. Starting out as a 14-year-old living in Milan, walking in London, Paris, and Milan fashion weeks, working as a model for almost 10 years… My idea of beauty has matured so much.

At the beginning of my career, I would compare myself to everyone else in the room and convince myself I was the least ‘beautiful’ and the most undeserving of being there. Thankfully, I’ve grown to change that view and self-talk radically. I had this one game-changing day in London, when I was told by 4 different brands (at castings) that I was too fat, too thin, too tall, and too short. I went back to my place and, in tears, I called Mum back home in Australia. I was confused about who and what I was. I didn’t know what I needed to become to be considered ‘more beautiful’.

“Nothing”, she said, “you don’t need to do one single thing. You’re beautiful just the way you are. Brands are simply looking for very strict casting briefs and there will be briefs that are exactly you, so you just wait for those”.

That day taught me strength and resilience, but also just how much power there is in being unapologetically me. In turning up knowing that we all have our individuality and little quirks. Knowing that THOSE are precisely what make each of us beautiful. It’s not about matching a sample size or a being certain height or ethnicity. It’s about being the true you.

What is ‘healthy’ to you?

Being healthy, to me, means loving my body and treating it with respect. I focus on consuming food that comes straight from the earth— the best kind of fuel!— and getting fresh air in my lungs every single day.

Tell us about your morning & evening skincare routine!

Just like my perception of beauty, my skincare and wellness routine has also radically changed as I’ve grown older. Luckily, I was blessed with great teenage skin and would never cleanse or clean my skin, occasionally slopping on some supermarket-bought cheap and nasty moisturiser (I know, I know).

However, in my early 20s, all this changed and taking care of my skin became A LOT more complicated. Teenage me didn’t even know adult acne was a thing! But here I was, suffering from it. Around this time, I started breaking out and seeing clear signs of sun damage (sorry for never listening to your sunscreen advice, Mum!) and got my first wrinkles. It was a huge change and, for the first few years, I buried my head in the sand hoping it would go away.

Of course, it didn’t— and I was forced to look deeper into why my complexion had changed and how I could go about fixing it. It’s been a complex journey involving both internal and external factors. I realised that certain elements in my life— bad relationships on both professional and personal levels— were stressful and unhealthy. That strain was showing up on my skin. I also sought out proper external treatment of my skin, of course.

After starting Golden Grind as a food-based brand, we’ve learnt a lot about turmeric as digestible, inner balance medicine. Along the way, we also learnt all the ways it can be used (topically) to help skin, which led us to launch our turmeric-based skincare range.

What I do— I religiously use our skincare range on my skin to help ease redness, as well as cleaning bacterial build-up, taking off makeup and purifying any environmental residue. I pair this up with an enzyme cleanser and treatment as well as nourishing serums.

I work closely with my amazing facialist, Leelah at St Skin, who has a solid holistic approach to skincare. Leelah has helped me get clear on what my complexion needs in products and treatments, and she rotates the products I use so my skin doesn’t get addicted to one particular thing. I also like getting regular LED treatments at St. Skin to rehydrate my skin. I can happily report my skin is getting back to the way it was in my pre-adult-acne days!

What about mental health & self-care?

Mental health is so important to me. Mental health troubles are something I’ve devastatingly witnessed first-hand in two of my siblings. It’s also something I’ve negatively experienced myself. Taking care of your mind matters.

Self-care means managing both my mental and physical health. It’s about prioritising myself and my health over everything else and doing something for myself each and every day. It doesn’t need to be huge— sometimes it just means lighting a candle and reading a book for 20 minutes before bed, going for a walk with my fiancé around the block, or even just having a good cup of Turmeric tea on the couch, being still.

I launched Golden Grind at the same time that I became Managing Director and part owner of WINK Models. It was a lot! I threw everything I had into both businesses for 18 months straight, compromising all me-time— and my mental health took the brunt of the impact. When I became aware of what was happening, I made a conscious decision to turn things around and set about scheduling calendar “meetings” with myself for an hour a week. I initially thought this was completely impossible because I was so darn “busy”, but I managed to make it work.

My body and mind were so grateful! Now, I no longer need the calendar reminders to see the value in prioritising myself and time to recharge. We’re all so busy being busy, that prioritising our own wellbeing often gets lost in a sea of to-do lists. The truth is, it’s vital to avoiding burnout, prolonged adrenal fatigue, and lost productivity in the long term. We function so much better as humans when we give our bodies the right fuel and rest to recover.

Fave holiday destination, restaurant, artist, and book?

Restaurant: Does my mum’s kitchen count?  No? Otherwise, anywhere with delicious food, a table full of my friends and family, a Mornington Peninsula pinot noir and all the belly laughs. I love the usual suspects in Melbourne— aka, France Soir, Ciccolina, Dandelion, Bar Carolina, Chin Chin

Artist: I absolutely LOVE photography and could stare at a photograph for ages. I like to imagine the smell that day, the sounds in the air, the temperature… Growing up in the fashion industry, I tend to gravitate towards fashion photographers or, as a lover of the ocean, any photographs of the sea or the beach.
Russell James captures that quintessential Aussie vibe so well, Ellen Von Unwerth can beautifully portray a strong feminist woman. Locally, I love Nicole Bentley and Jennifer Stenglein. I also have the most marvelous piece from Juju Roche hanging in my lounge room. I adore it!

Book: I love reading. I get so immersed in books that, when asked my favourite, I tend to say whichever one I’m reading— as I’m totally engrossed in it. Currently, I’m in the middle of Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, a great read! Also, a book that is forever on my bedside table is If I could tell you just one thing by Richard Reed. I picked it up in a tiny bookstore in London and it’s full of wonderful life advice from remarkable world leaders.

Holiday destination: I’m a huge fan of sunny Ibiza, in Spain. And now, I just came home from a month in Italy with my fiancé— and couldn’t fault it. The people, the culture, the food, the wine, it’s just divine!

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