Meet Louella Docot, Sydney mama of an energetic four year old and founder of Kiss Ready. Kiss Ready is a no nasties and cruelty-free artisanal skincare range enriched with Australian grown Chia seed oil.
Originally from the Philippines, after migrating to Australia Louella was inspired by her time working for the Australian growers of Chia seeds because of their nutritional, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and started formulating chia enriched natural skincare in 2014. The rest is history!
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your little family. Where in Sydney are you based?
We are based in Leichhardt, which is known for its Italian heritage and cafes, so we’re never short on good coffee and gelato! My son attends a community daycare and he loves it. They have staff who have been with the centre for 25 years which is lovely as it feels like “home away from home”. Another thing which I love about our area is how multicultural it is, my son comes home teaching me how to count in Italian and Spanish.
You migrated to Australia in 2012. What was that like, starting afresh?
It is tough as there are things which you don’t learn in school or books – like the Australian sense of humour!
It has also been a lot of fun, like, the family has finally settled on our AFL team (go the Bulldogs!). We lived in Melbourne for four years and have been in Sydney for three, so it’s safe to say, we’ve assimilated two identities – we’re equally coffee-obsessed Melburnians and beach-loving Sydneysiders!
You come from a family of makers, do tell!
My grandfather supported his family of 13 kids handmaking and selling soap after the world war. He also pioneered the bamboo industry in our province. My mum carried on the family business, making bamboo handicraft and furniture. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed our shop and my parents had to look for other means to support the family.
Being exposed to the handcraft industries, definitely shaped and influenced me. Even at a young age, my siblings and I would always make things and sell them at school, like rattan martial arts fighting sticks and hula hoops for our Physical Education classes. It’s amazing what kids can make when they grow up in a creative environment.
Where did your love for natural remedies come from?
Definitely from my grandparents and intrinsically, my southeast Asian background. I was fortunate to have experienced growing up in a barrio, where traditional herbs plays a role in maintaining health and wellness. I remember making aloe vera shampoo for a primary school project. It was a part of life to forage and use plants for remedies.
What were you doing before Kiss Ready?
I’ve spent many years in healthcare marketing communications and my most recent full time corporate role was with the Australian growers of Chia Seeds. Our founder brought the seeds back from South America. I was fortunate to be part of the team who got to learn a little bit about its agronomics, but most specially its nutritional benefits.
During the early days, an international medical school completed a study on its efficacy when its oil is applied topically on patients with pruritus, a condition where the skin is really dry and itchy as a result of other chronic diseases like diabetes. They found significant improvement of the skin within weeks. The study further ignited my life’s passion to make natural and effective skincare products.
What’s your favourite Kiss Ready product?
Argh, how to choose your favourite child? I seriously love and use all of my products. My son grew up using the balms and he loves bath time because he knows we have an endless supply of beautifully blended oatmilk bath soak at home!
The products which I use everyday and have been tested through seasons (and cities) are my natural deodorants, lip balms and of course, my lightweight face oil. My everyday luxury go-to is the Rose Face Balm. You have to try it, it’s absolutely gorgeous to use.
Where in Sydney will we most likely find your little family hanging out on the weekend?
We are so lucky to be so close to the Iron Cove, which is a seven kilometre running and walking track dotted with parks and it also has the most stunning view of the Parramatta River.
We also love discovering neighbouring suburbs. Like last week, we found Marrickville’s oldest family-run Greek café, it’s been there for fifty years!
We also love our out-of-town trips, like the Blue Mountains and Orange during winter. Jervis Bay and the Hunter Valley in summer. New South Wales is really quite beautiful!
How did having a child alter the operations of your business?
My son was my inspiration and the driving force for my Mother and Baby range. Motherhood offered me life experiences which allowed me to grow creatively, but also to learn to really appreciate the value of time.
My family usually travels with me to weekend markets, roadshows and store visits (when it was allowed). So I have to learn to multitask efficiently. But equally, I also have to learn how to be truly present, whether it is spending precious family time or being at the markets, sampling my products and getting to know my customers.
Have you got any funny parenting stories you’d like to share?
Oh there are so many, and they mostly involve my son imitating me. There was one time in the market, when I had to take a loo break. I left my partner and my son to look after the stall. When I got back, my then-just-turned-three toddler was explaining to the customer what omega oils are! He is already better at sales and marketing than I am. I can’t wait for him to show me how to use tiktok for the business!
Finally, where can we find your lovely products?
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