Manufacturing integrity and purpose of ingredients are critical to the mission of Henné Organics, says Laura Xiao, Founder and CEO.
“We just cut out all the BS and all the fillers,” Laura says. “Any product we have, if you see an ingredient on the list, serves a specific purpose. It’s not just there to fill things up.”
Keeping the manufacturing in-house also helps Henné spot issues with production the same day – a big advantage for a brand that promises to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk,” Laura says.
“We say that we’re organic – we don’t throw that word around. We get the certification,” she says. “And that was not fun to get in the beginning because we were bootstrapping, and that was just a cost that is difficult to pay for when you haven’t even sold one unit yet.”
Likewise, Henné Organics’ work ethics and the trust they require of their suppliers also guide who they choose to support in the charity world.
“There are so many fantastic charities out there, but there are also some that the money is not going toward the cause,” Laura says. “I am thankful enough to have friends and people in my life who have shared their experiences with me … the good, the bad, the ugly.”
The brand’s website features products mainly focused on lip care packaged in black to lend them a luxurious look.
Laura says planning is essential when advising other entrepreneurs considering starting their brands, but action is critical.
“At least from my experience, all the biggest things that have happened with our business, whether that be positive or negative, I’ve not seen coming,” she says. “I know that scares some people who are planners. … But this is typically how life works, and a great example of that is COVID. I don’t think anyone saw that coming and did not realize to the extent that it would happen.”
To that end, it’s best to take a few baby steps every day, she says. And be open to shifting and emerging opportunities.
“It might not be something that is packaged in it with a big red bow on your doorstep,” Laura says. “It’s never smooth sailing – it’s always a roller coaster. … Sometimes it’s not enjoyable. That’s very true. I was very stressed the first two years, more so than I think I’ve maybe I don’t know if certain times, probably more so than I’ve ever been in my life, but I don’t regret it.”
In Part 2, Laura talks about:
* The rationale behind the ingredients used in their products.
* The pros and cons of outsourcing.
* The need to hire people who want to feel like part of a family.
* Her quest to find a charity or cause to partner with long-term.
* A tour of the brand’s website.
* Her advice for others starting a brand.
Join Ramon Vela and Laura Xiao as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.
For more on Henné Organics, visit: https://henneorganics.com/
This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.
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