Episode 112
June 28, 2022

Fear, Family, and Focus

with Laura Xiao, Founder and CEO of Henné Organics

About this episode

Laura Xiao is joining Lee on the show today to chat about her journey to becoming the Founder and CEO of Henné Organics, a luxury beauty brand that combines highly effective, clean, organic formulas with nordic design so you can experience healthy radiant skin without sacrificing aesthetics or high-quality standards. Laura shares her story from growing up in Kansas City, with dreams of becoming a reporter, to teaching herself web design and branding, and eventually launching Henné in 2015. She talks about what she does to overcome feelings of defeat and rejection, how she found success by launching in hundreds of independent retailers, and how to deal with family and friends who might have good intentions but sometimes let their own fears get in the way.

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deal from Our Sponsor:

Get 2 months FREE with Gorgias by clicking HERE and mentioning the podcast

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • (4:30) What it was like growing up in Kansas City, playing competitive table tennis, and later attending the University of Missouri 
  • (7:40) What it was like missing out on experiences growing up due to playing a competitive sport
  • (14:00) How after college she moved to Sweden to be with her boyfriend (now husband) and they both decided they wanted a change and moved to 
  • (21:10) Why she chose the beauty industry and the idea behind Henné
  • (29:45) The biggest challenges she had to face in starting Henné, and how the fear of friends and family can be hard to overcome
  • (48:00) The thought process behind independent retailers, and how she launched in hundreds of different retailers 
  • (51:00) The advice she has for those who feel defeated at times, and the key things she does for herself
  • (57:00) The advice she has for those wanting to start something, that planning is great but executing and making progress is the most important

To Find Out More:



“Getting rejected from jobs made me realize that I needed to acquire some new skills in order to be able to make a living.”

“I was noticing in other countries, that even at pharmacies, they were having more natural products. Not fantastic, but at that time way ahead of the States.”

“I bought some organic lip balms and they worked fine, but they didn't work great. And the design lacked, it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing at all.”

“Every path you take has its different barriers, difficulties, or challenges.”

“Sometimes family members, friends, loved ones…sometimes they're wrong.”

“You can always play the victim card, but it’s not going to get you very far in life.”

“What you focus on only expands.”

“I wasn't emailing every store that exists. I started researching what I thought would fit, and started looking through the data and what would fit with Henné.”

“No does not mean never, it just means not yet.”

“Sometimes it's almost easier to solve an issue or tackle it when you've not been thinking about it for a while.”

“Sometimes it's good to start just taking action because maybe you have an idea in your head and you don't know which one to start with. Start testing them out. Take it day by day, try out a few ideas, do some research, make some phone calls, send some emails, and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll figure out which ones to cancel out.”

Read the transcript

More Episodes

Episode 193

Turnarounds, Transformations, and Taking Charge

with Mary van Praag, Global CEO at Milani Cosmetics
Episode 192

Connection, Community and Conversation

with Julie Rice, Co-Founder and CEO of Peoplehood
Episode 191

Behind the Frames

with Nathan Kondamuri, Co-Founder and CEO of Pair Eyewear