Pia Whitesell | Founder of Macabalm

In episode eighty of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the founder of Macabalm, Pia Whitesell.

Pia’s first memories of beauty centre around strength, rather than aesthetics. Raised by her mother, grandmother and, as she tells me, really her entire community, Pia grew up identifying beauty with strength and getting it done- an ethos she’s taken into her own adult life. 

Another ethos that has taken Pia from her teens right through to now is this idea of natural beauty, and an understanding that your beauty lies within the things that make you uniquely you. Despite winning the now infamous Dolly Magazine Model Search at the age of 14, Pia tells me that she grew up feeling different, as a Latina going to both school and castings with girls who didn’t share her body shape nor the colour of her skin, her eyes and her hair. Her modelling career saw her walking in fashion shows with the likes Helena Christensen and Linda Evangelista, and it was at this point, the height of the 90s, that she began to appreciate the aesthetic of the time- pared back, natural beauty. 

As a model, an actress and a mother, Pia had identified a gap for a true beauty multitasker, and as she began researching native Australian ingredients she came across the humble macadamia, the benefits of which you’ll hear more about in our conversation- and so, Macabalm was born. A mere 12 months following the brand’s launch in Australia, Pia is already working on the brand’s US launch. 

In this conversation, Pia shares the lessons she has learnt around the comparison trap and why she’s passing those lessons on to her teenaged sons, the challenges she’s faced as a brand launching with a single SKU, and how a pest controller could have undone the years of work she put into gaining Macabalm’s organic certification. 

Read more at glowjournal.com

Follow Macabalm on Instagram @macabalm

Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com

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