How Celeste Iannotta turned her experience of burnout into a thriving skincare and wellbeing business

by Women’s Agenda
Tuesday 23 May 2023

Founder and creative director of Miluny, Celeste Iannotta, has a passion for helping women find the space in their lives to nurture themselves.

This passion for self care comes from a deeply personal experience a few years ago, when she found herself hitting rock bottom, dealing with a serious case of burnout.

“I had reached burnout. I was on the couch, crying and exhausted. And I needed a restart in life,” Iannotta shares with Women’s Agenda.

“I decided I needed to get back to basics, to do things like walk in nature, and focus on self care.”

Iannotta said she needed to find a way to get back into the workforce, and began thinking about the skills she had to offer, but was experiencing a lot of self doubt.

“You know, I was 50, I was thinking I was too old to restart in life, I was really tired as well,” she says. “When I was on the couch, I would write down the things I could do, and what I kept coming back to was skincare. It’s something I’ve always connected with, even as a child.”

Iannotta took the leap, launching Miluny in 2019, using fine clays to create skincare, bath products and wellbeing items that recognise the sacred ingredients of the earth.

Iannotta is a proud Darug woman from the Burramattagal mob – her father is Indigenous and her mother is non-Indigenous. She has always had an affinity for nature and clay, something she taps into through the products she offers at Miluny.

“As a child, my dad used to take me outdoors all the time and my mother was very creative. We didn’t have a lot of money, so my mother always encouraged me to make my own skincare,” Iannotta said.

“Miluny means ‘mud’ in my Indigenous language. My Aunty, who’s an elder, gave me the name so it’s very special for the business. It’s all about connection to country, to culture, slowing life down and noticing nature.”

She was also connected with Global Sisters, an online marketplace that supports women across Australia to start and maintain their own business ventures.

Iannotta participated in Global Sisters’ business education program, Sisters School, an experience she describes as life-changing.

“I was trying to start a business from nothing because I was re-starting, and it seemed impossible. My confidence level was so low, and I thought I’d missed the boat,” Iannotta shares.

“Global Sisters just believed in me. They were excited about my business idea. They helped me develop the idea and actually opened up some opportunities for me to be able to move forward.”

Through Global Sisters, Iannotta was connected with internationally successful retailer, Cristina Re, who offered support around Miluny’s brand, marketing and customer engagement strategies.

Four years on, Iannotta is launching a new arm of Miluny, a studio space where she will host self care classes, sharing how to do spa at home with others, honing in on the process of “bath to bed”.

“I want to help women relax, bathe, take time out and prepare for bed,” Iannotta says.

So what’s been one of her biggest lessons since launching Miluny? That kindness, in all its forms, makes a big difference.

“Being kind to nature, being kind to yourself, kind to others. It makes a really big difference in life, and having Global Sisters there for me, that was kindness too.”

Find out more about Miluny here, and Global Sisters, here.