We were lucky enough to speak to Gracious Minds founder and skincare expert Kat Narelle about her background, love of manifestation and natural skincare alternatives. We got a few tips to avoid chapped, winter skin and the future of her beautiful brand.
We are utterly obsessed with Gracious Minds: the branding, the products, the imagery. It’s truly one of the most consistent and beautiful brands out there. What was your background before you opened the business?
Oh you’re too kind! Thank you! We’re obsessed with Stellar! So before GM I co-founded a photography company at the age of 20 and 10 years later we had over 10+ staff, operating in multiple states. 
However at 30 both my business partner and I decided it was time to move on. We both felt we had fulfilled our dreams and knew it was time to start something new. We sold the business just prior to covid times.
Looking back almost 5 years ago now I was actually very lost. I was so used to waking up every morning and going into the studio and working with these incredible women and now I found myself alone at home, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. 
I had also developed a problem with addiction and I was suffering from post-natal depression. It was a very hard time for me and I felt very alone. I knew something had to change and I just started journaling. I started seeing a regular psychologist, I got sober, I went on medication and really took the time that I needed to heal. 
During this time, Gracious Minds was born. The name originated from what I needed to do. I needed to be kind to myself. I needed to start treating myself with the unconditional love that I deserved. I thought Gracious Minds was truly fitting. 
When did you fall in love with skincare, and how has your relationship developed with skincare brands to become a huge advocate for natural skincare?
Ive always loved skincare because of my mother. Her go-to brand was Shisedo and I loved watching her do her skincare at night. The three step ritual of cleanse, tone and moisturise was introduced to me at 12. When GM first began it was definitely based more around mental health products like our stone paper journals and calming air blends, but that soon grew to a full natural skincare range with the help of our Australian lab. 

You're clearly a big fan of manifestation and journaling. How does keeping up with these practices benefit you and do you have any tips for staying consistent?
I know how I feel after journaling and so even when I don’t want to do it (ie; watch Netflix instead) I still do because I know the benefits. Its kind of like exercise at 6am, no-one really wants to get out of bed in winter in Melbourne and head to the gym, however some of us do because we know the benefits and we know how we will feel after. 
I think the best tip for staying consistent is don’t put too much pressure on yourself, if you even just write one line, its still beneficial to your mental health. It can simply be one sentence on how you felt during the day. It’s always better to get things down on paper then let them stay in your head.
am struggling to keep my skin hydrated by sleeping with the heater on all night. What are your top tips or products for battling winter skin issues?
HA! Hyaluronic acid is a must for winter and dry skin. Try to avoid products with essential oils in them and when you apply your HA serum it must be to damp skin to truly reap its benefits. Drink plenty of water too!
You’ve got some incredible articles in your online journal. I was particularly interested in the retinol and bakuchiol comparison. Can you briefly explain
why bakuchiol is outperforming retinol and a product you recommend to replace a retinol?
Thank you 😊 – Oh my gosh I’m obsessed with Bakuchiol party because I have very sensitive skin. Bakuchiol is a plant-based alternative to synthetic retinol. Basically as we age our skin cells begin to turn over slower than say our 20s, therefore using a vitamin A topical can assist with cell turn over and firmer skin. We chose Bakuchiol and Broccoli in our Retinol alternative: Photosynthesis because of their high Vitamin A content. The smell is so fresh and perfect for sensitive skin.
Finally, can you explain the future of Gracious Minds and where you see the brand going?
We’re moving more into the mental health area with products to help not only your skin but mind and body. I want to speak more about mental health issues and inspire people to take care of their mental health just as much as their physical health.

July 28, 2022 — Isobel Gration