Mimi Gilmour Buckley (left) and Lucinda East Kennedy (right) from IAMMI. Image supplied.
The past two years have definitely taught us about resilience and it’s something that new local brand IAMMI are keen to teach Kiwis more about through everyday routines. Founded by Mimi Gilmour Buckley and Lucinda East Kennedy, IAMMI has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the production of its innovative skincare line and accompanying digital platforms.
IAMMI was inspired by the journey of co-founder Mimi Gilmour Buckley, that began when her first-born child, Olympia, was born with a significant brain injury five years ago. Olympia was diagnosed with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy and epilepsy which was a lot to process for a new mother and Mimi found peace in the quiet time she spent washing her face each morning and evening. Her skincare routine became her moment of calm where she’d let go of worry and focus on gratitude and acceptance. Through this ritual, she slowly became more resilient and better able to cope with what was thrown her way. As Mimi studied the brain to better understand Olympia’s diagnosis and behaviour, Mimi learned about neuron pathways and the science of repetition which is ultimately why this practice was having such a powerful and positive effect.
Mimi is known for her popular restaurant business Burger Burger, which employs hundreds of young people throughout Aotearoa, and every day she sees her team members struggling to cope with the realities of life. It’s unfortunately a common issue these days, the Southern Cross Healthy Futures Report 2020 found that nearly half of Kiwis aged 18 to 29 were dissatisfied with their friendships, social lives and overall wellbeing.
For Mimi, these concepts had a common thread and she could see that there was scope for a brand that teaches resilience by repurposing everyday routines into resilience-building habits. The idea is that the products could act as the triggers to help people move through these science-backed practices. Skincare was an obvious place to start and something that could be produced locally.
Together with co-founder Lucinda East Kennedy, the duo worked with skincare veterans Christine Hames and Kate Michelmore who led the development of IAMMI’s products, along with Mimi’s father, Dr. Robert Gilmour (a doctor specialising in skin and a former associate professor at Stanford University). There was also a team of chemists at each of IAMMI’s industry-leading laboratories/manufacturers based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. It took two years to develop the brand’s evidence-based formulas that blend the best of science with the latest innovations in green technology. IAMMI’s products are all ethically-made, cruelty-free and high quality while still being an accessible price.
The New Zealand-made skincare products include Olympia Glow, a nourishing serum with Kakadu Plum, Sea Buckthorn and Reishi Mushroom ($1 from every Olympia Glow sold will be given to The Starship Foundation, supporting Starship Children’s Hospital). There’s also a range of balms, oils, serums and a moisturiser which utilise effective natural ingredients.
Alongside the skincare, IAMMI have created an app that teaches personal resilience by demonstrating how to fold resilience-building practices into skincare routines. The app also tracks skin health and mood (and shows the relationship between the two) and connects users with a like-minded community.
IAMMI’s Kickstarter campaign is currently live with investment starting at $20NZD and backers able to pre-order products at 30% off the RRP as well as receiving an invitation to join IAMMI’s app.