Proud Barkindji woman, Kimberly Mann (Payne) is the owner of makeup and clothing brand Yuku-na Glow, bringing her culture to the forefront.

Mann spoke to the National Indigenous Times about her inspiration for the business and gave insight into her life as a mother, wife and business owner.

“I lived a transient childhood and grew up travelling between the Hunter region and Wiradjuri Country before moving out west, getting married and raising our little boy on the Baaka,” she said.

“My little family recently decided to make the move back to Wonnarua Country due to work opportunities.

“Outside running the business I work in the family preservation space, where I am very passionate about advocating against systemic injustices and ensuring our babies stay with family where they belong.

“I love spending my spare time out in the sun, near the water. Playing around with makeup and painting/digital art and with my family.”

Yuku-na Glow was launched online in May this year, with Mann saying she is still learning and navigating her way in the “business” world.

“Yuku-na means “in the sun” in Barkindji language. Represented on the flag, the sun is the giver of life, our protector,” she said.

“It is a significant symbol reminding me that each day the sun rises again, just as our ancestors did, just as we do today.

“I wanted the name to be something that was significant to all First Nations people.”

“I have created a range of eyeshadow palettes inspired by Indigenous culture, the colours of our country and the connections to country that are so important for our people.”

Mann’s creative spirit leads her into pathways outside of makeup, including clothing featuring her artwork.

“The Florence range was recently released, telling a story about my Nanna’s birthplace in Brewarrina and her journey along the river,” she said.

“Sometimes you may find hand poured soy candles, journals and art prints available,

“My brain is ticking nonstop so I am always creating things but my main focus is the makeup and clothing line.”

Mann told the National Indigenous Times that she started Yuku-na Glow for a few reasons.

“It was important to me that I create products with vision and meaning, products that make you feel good when you use them,” she said.

“There is little First Nations representation within mainstream beauty so it was created to
help fill gaps in the industry.

“Makeup can give you confidence, make you feel in power of yourself and I want all mob to feel empowered and confident enough to be seen and heard.”

“I had looked for Indigenous owned beauty products for a long time, one night I was browsing Sephora to purchase a few things, something clicked in my brain and I decided to use that money to invest in some samples of products,

“each pay I would use all my spare money and keep trialling things, I kept going until I was satisfied with quality and manufacturing process and decided to start my own business.”

The names behind each product is inspired the beautiful and rich natural environment in Australia.

Mann said she “wanted to showcase the beauty of our whole nation and make sure it was inclusive.”

“Our country is filled with rich, vibrant tones it is so easy to find inspiration for colours and I try to ensure that each palette tells a mini story about the country it is inspired by.

“I would love to eventually have products named in language but this is still something I am working towards.”

Mann said the eyeshadow palettes are currently being updated and ready for restock early 2022.

“We have some amazing collabs in the works with some deadly Blak creatives.”

By Teisha Cloos