Girl Undiscovered’s Sara Orme reveals how natural beauty is empowering Kiwi women.
As an inspiring feminist, talented photographer and creative director of one of NZ’s freshest natural skincare brands, Girl Undiscovered’s Sara Orme is a role model across the board.
We were lucky enough to chat with her about where her inspiration and boundless energy comes from. Here are the tips and secrets she had to share.
So tell us – in a nutshell, what’s your business about? How
did it all start for you?
My business is an adventure I co-founded with two partners. Philly Gebbie and Charlotte Devereux. Together we have brought our unique personal histories and combined experience to create something I consider quite special. Girl Undiscovered!
For me personally, I have been exploring ideas of beauty as a photographer for the last 23 years,
so I appreciate all aspects of beauty. I seek it and fall for it very easily whether it is photographing
fashion, portrait or documentary images. I’ve always seen it as my job to seek the beauty in everyone and everything I photograph. I also majored in Sociology specialising feminist studies back in the 80’s, so this very much influences my work and focus.
Morphing from a photographer to a creative director for Girl Undiscovered was a very natural
process for me. As a photographer I’ve worked for many great brands and have learnt a great
deal about the creative, strategic and production processes that go on behind the scenes.
Creating a new brand with clear objectives, vision and passion is the same way I tackled my
world as a photographer.
From the very beginning I approached my role of bringing Girl Undiscovered to life with the
same kind of integrity as I did with my personal photographic work. It’s very much been about
developing a content driven brand and ideology about what beauty actually looks like in the 21st
century, sharing real stories about real girls.
How does your business reflect your own personal beliefs about natural beauty?
Beauty to me is about owning who you are, whatever that might be. I’m interested in finding the
beauty within everyone regardless of one’s physicality, ethnicity or demographic. Beauty can be
found in all of us and sometimes we just need to be reminded of this.
The secret for me personally is to just not spend too much time looking in the mirror. I think it is
too easy to find faults about ourselves if we do this too much. If you look for a flaw you will find
it! To me its about making yourself feel good on any level… a brisk walk is always a good start.
How do you see beauty and wellness intersecting?
We’re interested in the girl who is busy and has a love for life. The girl on the go.
I believe that beauty is also about energy. If you eat and live well then this will radiate within you.
It really is true! I have always tried to capture this in the brand imagery. I’m more interested in
capturing our girls’ spirit through movement. This, to me, emulates real life. I’m sure we all know
‘that girl’ who may not be a portrait painting but there’s something about her energy that just
radiates through everything else.
As a photographer it never failed to amaze me how sometimes I would have a classically ‘drop
dead’ gorgeous looking girl come into my studio but I still could not capture an amazing image…
and then the opposite of a more ‘ordinary’ looking girl at first glance who would just end exuding
so much beauty through her energy.
What does conscious beauty/natural beauty mean to you
Natural beauty to me means celebrating the real you. This might be the bare faced you, but it
could also be the lip-sticked you! I believe it’s good to not always mask your self with too much
face ‘stuff’, and sometimes it’s good to just peel the layers away to find what is beneath.
To me it’s realising that the face and body you have is yours to stay and you may as well love it.
What does your typical day look like? Work, family, everything!
My day is really varied. My children are grown up so I am lucky to be able to be obsessive about
my work and passions. The great thing for me is my work life is my passion.
I always try and keep a balance. Even without dependent children my home life is still very busy.
A typical day is exercise, yummy breakfast and then to my office and computer. I usually wake up
with a lot of new ideas and am always working on new creative strategy – always thinking that
one step ahead. A catch up with friends and family or a good TV series on Netflix keeps me very
happy at night.
What are your top tips for staying well and healthy yourself?
So I’m over 50 and there is something strangely liberating about this. Your body and face is
definitely on the downhill slide and the realisation that THIS IS IT really hits you.
To me beauty is all about the bounce in my step. I know when I am not healthy because this is the
first thing to go. If I feel sluggish I have to kick myself back on the healthy and fit path and then…
well, I guess I feel beautiful! I might not look it but I feel it and that is the most important thing to me.
Outside of the conscious beauty world, what are some
other interests that make you tick?
I always try to look after myself by staying fit and healthy. This might include a bike ride, walk or
gym…anything to get outside, soak up any sun rays and be surrounded by nature. Being outside is my tonic. If I feel unhappy for any reason I always step outside and lie somewhere comforting. Nothing beats nature and it’s not hard to find somewhere to commune with it in New Zealand!
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given over the
course of your career?
In terms of career advice, make sure you love what you do. Passion first, and then the money will
(hopefully) come. If you put money first you might become a slave to it. Where do you see yourself and your business heading in the next few years? Personally, I would like to be the best creative director in the world…ha! I’m all about innovation and thinking off the grid. I want to lead my brand into a territory that is new and groundbreaking. Although ‘real beauty’ and ‘feminism’ are quite en trend at the moment, this is a very real place for me. My childhood back in the 70’s was all about natural beauty and feminism long before it was fashionable. As a teenager I was always out marching for women’s liberation and equality
with my very pro-active mother. I love the times that we’re in now. There are times I feel like
nothing much has changed since the 70’s and 80’s and then there are times I feel the changes are
huge. I love how being natural is celebrated now and women owning their own power I feel is definitely