Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw on beauty, business and being taken seriously
Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw are two of the biggest names in Australian fitness right now - and for good reason. Together they have created a health empire that is built on helping Australian women to ‘live a fuller life without the fuss’.
As well as a hugely popular workout app, they also have their own health food range in Coles and Woolworths that has been wildly successful.
Their brand, Keep It Cleaner (KIC) has amassed a cult following of hundreds of thousands of young women, the ‘KIC girls’ not only loving the workouts but also admiring Laura and Steph’s refreshing attitude towards body image.
We sat down with Laura and Steph to delve deeper into their friendship, building their business and what they love about the Keep It Cleaner community.
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How did you two meet?
“We met at Melbourne Fashion Week six years ago. It was our first fashion week and it was so much fun but also so intimidating at the same time, so it was so nice to meet someone in the same boat”.
What was your first impression of each other?
“We hit it off straight away. We are VERY different but we are also so similar in other ways and we got on really well from the second we met”.
What inspired Keep It Cleaner?
“Throughout our time in the modeling industry, we both struggled with the pressures of our worth being so closely tied to how we look. This led to both of us developing a really unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. During the time where we were trying to move away from this mindset, we decided we wanted to create a place for women where we helped them focus on moving their bodies and eating well for how they feel, not for how they look. KIC is all about providing tools to help women find out what works for them to help them find a healthy balance and be able to sustain it in the long term.”
What is your favourite part about the Keep It Cleaner community?
“How supportive everyone is. Everyone wants the best for everyone, and it is such a motivational and beautiful space. We love meeting the women from our community and hearing their stories and how KIC may have helped them find their healthy balance and believe in themselves. It is the most special feeling”.
How do you find time to work out when you’re so busy with your business?
“We try to fit it in where we can and prioritise our workouts. We know how much more productive we are during the workday when we get our workout in and so we schedule them in as meetings. It’s our ‘me time’ for the day”.
What has been the toughest part of building your business?
“Being taken seriously. It’s something we used to really struggle with, but now we aren’t phased at all as we have such a strong team and support network around us. We no longer feel like we have to prove ourselves to anyone”.
What is your favourite thing about each other?
“We love that we will both always be there for each other. It is really special being able to be on this journey together and we can’t imagine doing it alone. Having unconditional support is invaluable.”
How do you maintain a strong friendship while also being business partners?
“We make sure we set aside time to be best friends; which is a work-free zone. It is so important to do this. We have a really unique bond, we are like sisters more than anything.”
What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self?
“To stop comparing myself to anyone else. Comparison is the thief of joy and it can be so dangerous when you are at such an impressionable and vulnerable age as a young woman”.
What does beauty mean to you?
“Feeling confident in your own skin. We are all so unique and it is so important to remember how beautiful that truly is”.
You can find Keep It Cleaner on Instagram @keepitcleaner or see the women in person (as well as a bunch of other fitness icons) at the Melbourne Fitness Show on the 26th & 27th of October. Tickets available at fitness-show.com.au/melbourne