Kathleen Kuo is the founder of a brand that not only helps women look good–but also do good at the same time. After a decade in the fashion industry working in several different geographic regions, Kathleen founded Opus Mind, an upcycled leather accessories brand, to advocate for circular fashion. This entrepreneur started her company with the mission to raise awareness and create a solution to the waste and pollution problem in the leather goods industry—which resulted in stunning minimalistic backpacks, totes, and small accessories made at a family-owned factory in Florence which she found while working for Chanel. And today, in collaboration with our friends at Boxed Water Is Better, we have the extra treat of learning not only how Kathleen ends her day, but also how she incorporates sustainability into her nightly beauty routine.

7 P.M. Being a startup, I have converted the garage into Opus Mind’s office, although we occasionally go into a co-working space for more formal meetings. The office space in the garage makes the separation of work-life easier while still being so close to home, although it takes a bit of discipline not to go back to work after dinner time. 7pm is usually the time where my stomach growls, but my husband is Greek and he loves having dinner late. We’ve compromised by starting to prepare dinner around 7:30pm so I start munching while preparing. 

7:30 P.M. Preparing dinner is usually me opening a bottle of wine and setting the table as my husband prepares the meal. He is the better cook and enjoys the creative freedom in the kitchen. I don’t mind taking over the washing part post-dinner. I find the activity very meditative. Turning a dirty dish into a spotless clean one while tidying the kitchen is such a serene feeling. 

9 P.M. After a chatty dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, my husband and I enjoy walking Cora, a golden retriever we are boarding for a few months while her family is on an international adventure. Walking around the neighborhood post-dinner is one of my favorite times spent with my hubby. He is in a good mood after feeding his stomach, and I am in a great mood unwinding from the day with a slow walk. Self care is key to keeping me going! 

9:30 P.M. My treat when I want to pamper myself is taking a bath with L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath. In my childhood, we used French lavender before sleep and so I’ve associated that scent with the warm feeling of a worry-free youth. 

10:00 P.M. I usually end up having a nightcap with my husband. We met in Hong Kong during some wild nightlife and used to go out all the time. Our journey has moved us across the globe, living mostly in Europe and Asia. Getting acquainted to Northern California has many perks, such as more intimate time spent together. 

11:00 P.M. Lights off, bedtime. I place my phone outside the bedroom so I don’t get tempted with messages coming in from different parts of the world. I need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel myself and be up for the following day’s challenges. 

How do you incorporate sustainability in your Nightly Routine? My nightly skincare routine is precious to me. It is the time when I take care of myself after a full day of worrying about others. I can’t lie – it took me some time to find a sustainable way to bring zero waste into the washroom using my favorite products. We are surrounded with single-use items (e.g. cotton swabs, cotton pads, etc.) and we accumulate so much trash nightly. Making choices to swap those single-use items (like using a washcloth) was key to reducing our footprint; every little bit counts! 

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