Indie-stry Guru: Kathryn Murray

Founder of AILLEA

Our Indie-stry Gurus series highlights people who are paving the way where no one previously has, walking a path much less traveled, or building a legacy totally different than the rest. They are thought leaders and provokers from all different industries - beauty, wellness and beyond. They’re the people who ask not just “How?” but “Why?”, and most of all, they’re empowering others with knowledge, education and inspiration.

This month we're talking to Kathryn Murray, Founder of clean retailer AILLEA and long-time friend of Indie. We love her approach to building up others and her honesty around the importance of self-confidence.

We view you as an Indie-stry Guru of your field, which means you've paved a way no one previously had, or you're paving a way much different than the rest. What is your path or your journey, and what does it represent? My why has become to bring clean beauty to everyone.

Was there a pivotal point in your life that changed the trajectory of your journey, or the path you thought you should be on? Honestly, it was getting sick. When I developed late-in-life allergies, it was long before goop, Facebook or Instagram so the resources available to people right now didn’t exist. I had to become an avid label reader and quickly discovered the garbage that was in our food and products. I became even more frustrated with the amount of green washing and people wanting to market as clean, even though they weren’t. I created AILLEA because it was the store I wanted to shop and it didn’t exist.

What are your morning and evening rituals? Morning - I shower, exfoliate (I am in to the suki Rescue Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser), Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, Josh Rosebrook Hydration Boost Concentrate and Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil. My skin is happiest when I have a simple routine.
Night time - I wash my face with the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, apply some Kypris Moonlight Catalyst and then more Indie Squalane Facial Oil. I literally can’t get enough of that stuff.

What are your Top 5 Favorite Wellness products? Indie Lee Squalane Oil (although now I alternate it with Daily Vitamin Infusion - can’t figure out which one I like best), Rahua Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner, Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, and my homemade Kombucha (which Indie now makes since I gave her a starter). Also, can I call my Dyson Air Wrap a wellness product? I think my hair is happier with it than any dryer and always gives me a good hair day every time I use it, which just helps my mood.

What does empowerment mean to you? Creating the path and opening the doors to make something happen. Whether it is empowering myself by making room in my life to build it or empowering other women by making connections and creating opportunities for them - it’s about creating the opportunity for “it" to happen. What people do with that opportunity is up to them.

What advice that you would give your younger self? Believe in myself more and take more risks. It took until I was 40 to really develop the self confidence that I needed to start my own business. I was just as capable in my 20s and 30s - but believing in myself enough to do it didn’t happen until I was in my 40s.

A few just for fun - What’s your guilty pleasure? Bad Reality TV. If there is a housewife or someone marrying someone they don’t know from across the country, I'm in.

Beverage of choice? Green Tea

What’s your mantra you’d like to share with others? Nothing beats smarts and hard work. My father has said that since I was little. I believe I was able to grow AILLEA to where it is now by living that.