Show Notes

‘To me, I think a born entrepreneur is someone who is pretty much unemployable. I think we are the kind of people that are 150 miles an hour. They’re all about ‘let’s do it now, let’s stub our toe, let’s get our toe in the water, make mistakes, get on with it.’ You know I have never had business plans, I’ve never had marketing plans, I’ve never had… no plans at all. It’s just all in my head and I just go, this is what we are doing and I know it will work and if it doesn’t, that’s great. I’d rather save time now just throwing everything at it and if it doesn’t work, then I can just move onto the next thing.’ Briony Kennedy

Briony Kennedy calls herself a jack -or jill – of all trades! With a background in sales and marketing, the gym industry, the car industry, animals and many other different industries, she realises there is not a lot she has not put her hand up for. She would change direction often as she got bored easily. She was not one to sit still. She calls herself a natural born entrepreneur and knows she was always like this.

Briony believes there is a certain personality type that is born an entrepreneur. She says, ‘They think a little differently’, and whilst she agrees they can be made, she does feel an entrepreneur is usually born with a certain way of being.

Briony talks passionately about how her Adorn business began. At the time she was working in makeup artistry. Colouring in is actually one of her self-care rituals still to this day as she loves colour. She got this wave and overwhelming desire to get out of her day job and wondered what she could do, so she started looking at businesses.

She came across a nail salon. She learned a hell of lot of things in this business like how hard it was to actually make money in beauty salons. She also realised there was no consistency in this industry.

This is what she discovered was the key element to success. And she knew loyalty would also help hugely, so she started a membership program which was a very successful initiative. It helped her to sell the business with ease two years later.

Whilst she was there, she recalls she had a visit from a Rep who left a business card offering her the ability to make her own products if she was ever interested.

At the time of selling this business she found out she was pregnant with twins. She was quite unwell during this pregnancy and had to take some time out. They were 6 months old when she noticed she was getting a little bored!

She thought she could start teaching make up classes in women’s homes. This was really successful but she knew she could make more money if she could have her own products. Briony knows if you don’t ask you don’t get. And if you don’t put one foot forward you will always be where you started. So, there was no harm in trying to create these products. She found the business card and made the call. Adorn was born.

It was successful to a point but back in 2008 you could only really buy makeup and skincare in store so she decided to make a website as she could not afford the fancy stands and stock and risk if it didn’t sell. It was not easy but she kept going, kept building an online website.

Over the years she has been offered the chance to go in store but one of her personal passions is around waste and she wanted to ensure she had a product that did not cause waste from the beginning.

The website was born and initially she thought she could go down the network marketing route to market her products. But she quickly realised this could not work as there were not that many Briony’s out there let alone the cost to build the website. She had to think outside the square to help people buy Adorn when they could not touch, see or feel the product. And this is where samples became her winning formula. And they are still popular still to this day. This helped with confidence, building loyalty and minimising waste.

Building Adorn cost Briony and her husband everything they had. And they did everything they could to put money into this business. They worked really hard, it was incredibly stressful and at times soul destroying. She did not understand capital investment at the beginning and just really wanted to make it work the way she saw it best. She did not go to Beauty Expos, she went to all the other expos. The Cruelty Free and Vegan expos. Anything to do with the environment and self care. This was a positive move for the brand as people loved it.

It gave customers the ability to get a quality luxury product that they did not feel guilty about using it as it is not wasteful or harmful. It has only been in the last 5 years that Adorn has become a multi multi million dollar brand. And Briony struggles to say that, given family had to buy her food at times and the debt and lack of cashflow in the earlier years was quite overwhelming.

However, no matter what, Briony knew that to give up would mean to fail.

To get through the hard times she believes it is hard to answer simply as it is very layered. She was not good at sharing how stressed she was through those years and whilst she does not advocate this approach, she knew if she was stressed and upset then what the hell would that do to everyone else. She never wanted to put her stress onto her family and worry them.

She doesn’t recommend not talking as she has lived with depression and anxiety as a result. She just could not handle creating stress for others. She admits she is quite OCD and not very patient, so now it is all about being very present and in the moment right here right now.

Do not allow your mind to wander to the past or into the future as it can be very damaging to your growth. It is very much around what can you do in this moment to fix, solve or evolve.

Nowadays she does not get too fixated or emotional on things like money and says what saved her was literally changing her mindset to being in the moment. She also says having great mentors were incredibly beneficial to her growth and success too.

A turning point for Adorn was in year 8 when the business was growing but they were on the bones of their backside. It was tough and really embarrassing and upsetting needing help from family. She kept questioning what she was doing wrong?

Her husband kept asking her why she was not the face of the brand? Briony did not feel comfortable in this role and it took a lot for her to step up as she felt the products spoke for themselves especially being:

– Highly acclaimed
– Vegan
– Refillable
– Recyclable
– Biodegradable
– An awesome company

She thought she needed models, high-end photography, magazine stories but there was no way she could afford any of that. So, she agreed to put her face to the brand picked up her phone, went into her bathroom and filmed her first tutorial.

They used this recording on their Facebook page and on the story and came up with the bi-line ‘Luxury without the guilt.’ Five years ago this was very new. And she got a lot of criticism and trolls. But these first few tutorials gave the brand a massive growth injection which turned it into a multi-million dollar brand by being a real person without any airbrushing. She admits it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Briony openly shares her struggles over the years with anxiety and even tells us how she thought the people she loved would be better off without her. She didn’t want to die, she just didn’t want to exist anymore. Her message is if you are not feeling great, whatever you need to do to get well, just do it. This is why she is the ambassador for:

Beyond Blue:
Ph: 1300 22 4636

Ph: 1300 726 306

Her definition of self-love is truly appreciating your body. Your body is an incredible vessel that deserves gratitude. It is about appreciating all the things you do have. You need to feed it the best food and you need to look after it in the best way. This is the most important thing you can do for you, your partner, your children… everyone. When you are happy then no one has to worry about you. Do what the hell you bloody want to do. Stop feeling bloody guilty doing things you enjoy.

Briony shares in this interview how you can get your samples from Adorn. You can also follow her personal podcast from the link below and join the conversation about beauty, babies and business –

About Briony Kennedy
As a beauty industry veteran and former professional makeup artist, Briony knew the importance of using good quality products with safe ingredients. So, she went the distance to make sure every ethical beauty claim by Adorn was backed by real certifications. With an unwavering commitment to her customers – her Adorners – Briony guaranteed complete transparency on all the ethically sourced ingredients in every product.

With the world choking on plastic, Briony was also determined to minimise waste, so in the year 2010 she pioneered circular beauty refill and recycle initiatives – a bold move, but a much-needed change for the beauty industry.

Briony deliberately chose to be the face of Adorn because it’s so much more than a cosmetic brand: it’s a powerful collective movement that aligns with all her values. She lives with purpose in all areas of her life, not only as an entrepreneur and environmental activist but as a mother of three boys and an advocate for mental health awareness. After the birth of her twin boys, Briony suffered debilitating postnatal depression which prompted her to help other women enduring this common mental illness. She encourages women to share their experiences of mental health and is now a proud ambassador for both Beyond Blue and Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).

When she’s not working on Adorn or trying to improve the world, you’ll find Briony donning colourful activewear and sipping a Dirty Chai after a KX Pilates class (or an Espresso Martini after work hours). At home she’s an enthusiastic recycler and will often go live on Facebook when she’s in the bath – called ‘Waffle time with Briony’ – chatting about products and advice with her VIP Adorners.
Above all, Briony advocates kindness – to ourselves, each other and the planet. She empowers women to look good, do good and feel good with her easy-to-follow ‘Better Beauty Tutorials’. You can also follow her personal podcast from the link below and join the conversation about beauty, babies and business –

Her favourite quote is:

It is none of your business what someone else thinks of you.

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