Unexpected things can come from unexpected places. Such is the case with founder of organic lip care brand Henné Organics, Laura Xiao. Growing up in a quiet suburb of Kansas City, Laura competed in professional table tennis from a young age achieving the title of number one in the United States from the ages of 9-12. From there, after graduating from college, this driven spirit quenched her desire for travel living abroad in New Zealand, Sweden, and Amsterdam to name a few, picking up a taste for Scandinavian minimalist design and a bare approach to materialism along the way. We sit down with the retired table tennis player, current MMA and UFC enthusiast, and young entrepreneur (she’s only 28 years old) on how professional sports, living abroad, and visualization have played a role in the creation and launch of her beauty line – Henné Organics.
“I definitely think doing competitive sports also played a powerful role in where I am today. It affects how I run my business. It affects how I approach everything.”
“I first got into green beauty about 5-6 years ago. The natural next step was, okay, so I’m eating organic and very healthy – but what about the products that I use on my face? I started to do more research and then it took a year to transition out my products. First it was toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, then I moved onto swapping out my cosmetics and skincare. It was a little bit tricky in the beginning because it wasn’t as popular as it is now. But after a while I started discovering brands that worked for me and it just kind of developed from there.
I’ve been really passionate about organic food and organic products for a while and I do feel like the beauty realm is getting a lot better but there is still room for improvement. Green beauty is finally moving away from the old stigma that natural and organic products don’t work or don’t look good. That’s now in the past. Now, you see a lot more aesthetically beautiful products out there and I just feel like this is the way of the future.
When I was living in Sweden and New Zealand I noticed that those countries have so much more selection of green beauty brands than in the states. It was so much easier for me to avoid toxic products. I learned that the laws are so lax here in the states. We allow so many toxins in our skincare, beauty and everyday products. And it made me realize that things need to change and they need to change faster back in the US.
When we first moved to Las Vegas we both had a lot of issues with dryness with our lips. I started making my own lip products and gave them to friends to try. It’s so dry here. You really need lip balm all year round in Vegas, so Henne really started from a practical stand point. Just me making products for myself and then it just evolved from there into launching Henné which happened in the summer of 2015.
My travels abroad influenced Henné so much. Living out of a couple of suitcases for a couple of years made me so conscious of every item I bought because I realized every item was one more thing I had to put in my suitcase. It made me really aware and changed my whole outlook. I made a conscious effort to buy only high quality products, high quality clothing, high quality everything.
The Influence Of Competitive Sports
I definitely think doing competitive sports also played a powerful role in where I am today. It affects how I run my business. It affects how I approach everything. If you compete professionally or at a high level, you learn early on certain skills. You learn how to visualize. You learn how much grunt work you have to put in for that one brief moment where you kick ass and everybody sees it. It’s the same with business. You see a lot of people who are really successful and everyone thinks that they are an overnight success, but most people don’t see the many, many years where those people worked their butts off to get to the moment where everything comes together.
With that being said, with Henné, we launched and I knew from my past experiences that if I worked really hard, put my best foot forward and had my goals in place, we would get there. Maybe it will happen sooner or maybe it will happen later, but I am very confident that it will happen. It’s not just about, oh, I want to be here in 5-10 years, because most likely in about 6 months you will change what you want in five years. So I have weekly goals. I have monthly goals. And one thing that I really enjoy is once a week I go on a power walk with my husband and we talk about goals. Just putting those things out there in the universe, saying it out loud, repeating it and talking about it with another person you put that energy out into the universe. I do believe that helps the chances of it happening because you’re putting it out there. You’re acknowledging it. I try to do that every week.
And visualization is so important with that. I am obsessed with visualization. I have been doing it for so long. When I do a workout where I don’t have to concentrate too much – so I don’t do it when I’m doing kickboxing or mua thai – but if I’m running or lifting weights where I can zone out I always listen to upbeat music and visualize where I want to be. When I was younger it was picturing myself winning at table tennis and now I visualize about my business. It’s important because the everyday grind can get really tedious and very discouraging for anything or for anybody, so you gotta keep your eye on the ball to push forward.”
-as told to BOND EN AVANT; Image source: Henné Organics
Read more about which green beauty picks are right for your skin care concern in, “Ayla Beauty Founder, Dara Kennedy, Shares Her Top Natural Skincare Picks For Every Concern.”
Silicone, saline and now….fat grafting? Read about the new alternative to breast implants in, “Fat Transfer, Part 2: Breast Enhancement – The Natural Alternative To Implants.”