Meet Your Maker: Michael Klim of Milk & Co

  • Life
posted by Kate McCart

We caught up with ex-Olympian and the co-founder of Milk & Co skincare, Michael Klim. A far cry from lapping the 50m pool, we found out what inspired him to start his own range, his favourite product, what he gets up to these days outside of work and what’s next.

How did Milk & Co come to fruition?

After so many years putting my face to other people’s brands, Milk & Co was founded out of a desire to own and develop something that I truly believed in. The Milk & Co philosophy is natural, simple and effective skin care. It came to fruition out of a real need for good products that were just that.

What inspired you and your wife, Lindy to start a skin care range?
We were inspired by the real need for simple, natural skin care that was easy to get your hands on and fuss free. The Milk Baby range in particular was created at the time that Lindy and I were having children and experiencing a lack of good quality skin care that busy parents could pick up at the super market.

What is Milk & Co all about? What sets it apart from other skincare ranges?
Lindy and I both lead active lives and Milk & Co is designed for active people living busy lives. It’s not just professional athletes; it’s for everyone – from busy mums and dads to high-flying career people and tradies out all day in the sun and elements. All our products are naturally derived and use ingredients inspired by our lives and experiences.

How did you come up with the brand name?
It’s Klim backwards!

If you could choose one product out of the range, which is your favourite?
At the moment I would say my favourite product is the Sports Moisturiser SPF 30. I love this product because it’s fast absorbing so not greasy and ultra water and sweat resistant. It’s also full of aloe vera and vitamin E so leaves your skin feeling really soft.. bit of an all rounder this product!

Where is Milk & Co based?
Milk & Co is based in Melbourne but everyday is growing globally every day as we ship to more and more countries right around the world.

Describe the Milk & Co team in 3 words…
Hardworking, happy and creative.

Describe your office space…
The Milk & Co office is in Richmond in Melbourne. It’s a converted warehouse space that has several communal areas full of Milk & Co product where the team comes together to brainstorm new and exciting ideas and concepts. It’s a pretty small team, so it’s all hands on deck at Milk HQ!

Describe your morning routine…
If I’m in Melbourne, I’ll start the day with a run around the Botanical Gardens or a bike ride out to St Kilda. If we’re in Bali (where we live and our children go to school), I will go for a run along the beach and swim or surf before the school run.

Milk & Co is all about natural ingredients. Name a few of your go-to ingredients…
Aloe vera and vitamin E for skin protection and repair, spirulina extract for its high content of vitamin A, B-12, E, calcium, iron and phosphorus and essential oils of rosemary and peppermint that invigorate the senses and refresh the skin.

We’ve heard you do all the product research and testing yourself?
Yes Lindy and I are very hands on. We have an incredible team around us who help in the day-to-day running of Milk and Co but we very much are across every aspect from product development, research and packaging right through to the marketing and communications side of the business.

Does Milk & Co see you travelling quite a bit?
We divide our time between our family home in Bali and the Milk offices in Melbourne – so yes there is quite a bit of travelling but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Before you hung up your togs and goggles, did you know Milk & Co is what you and Lindy were going to do?
If someone told me 15 years ago that we would be running a global skincare business I certainly wouldn’t have believed them, that’s for sure.

You’ve also set up a number of swim schools. Do you still run and manage these?
Yes, we started Klim swim in 1997 and it remains a very important part of what I do. Swimming and water safety is such an important part of raising children and something everyone needs to get involved in.

What else do you get up to outside of work?
There isn’t a lot of time between running Milk & Co, my Swimming Australia commitments and spending time with my family, but I do love to cycle and surf and do so with my mates as much as possible whether I’m in Melbourne or Bali.

You’re a pretty fit and active guy, do you jump back in the pool every now and then?
All the time! I’m probably not as fit as I used to be, but I am in the pool everyday in Bali especially with the kids.

You and Lindy must be very busy running the business, and looking after your three children. How do you fit it all in?
Lindy and I are extremely lucky to have incredible family around us who provide a support network in Bali when it comes to helping with the kids when we can’t be there. Bali is only 3 hours behind Australia so it’s also super easy to stay connected and work from there when we can’t be physically in the office. It’s a constant balancing act, but any parent would experience the same thing!

What is your ideal Sunday?
A morning surf, breakie with Lindy and the children and a lazy day by the pool.

What’s the next big thing to come out of Milk & Co? Anything we should keep an eye out for?
I can’t reveal too much, but I can say that Milk & Co is going to have the biggest year since launch over the next 12 months. Stay tuned indeed!