How did a Kansas-born national table tennis champion end up in Nevada with a Swedish-inspired luxury lip care brand?
Laura Xiao’s life and career have never fit the conventional mold. And neither does her brand. By no means your typical “wellness product” founder, Xiao spends her time meticulously designing the packaging for her products, answering emails, tracking her menstrual cycle, and practicing kickboxing. She rocks a chic buzzcut. In fact, a quick chat with her might be enough to convince you to shave your head, because — simply put — “it grows back.”
Xiao is not another high-profile celebrity who decided to monetize her name in the growing wellness industry. She doesn’t have a miraculous story that inspired her to start a company. She’s simply a woman whose lips were chapped.
Having moved to the dry climates of Arizona, her regular lip care routine wasn’t doing enough to keep her lips moisturized. So she decided to do something about it. Simply put, she began creating her own products, they caught on with friends and family, and Henne Organics (pronounced “henna”) was officially born.
The word Henne means “her” in Swedish; an ode to the modern woman. It speaks to Xiao’s quest of reinventing everyday lip care, bringing luxury and self-care into play.
When it came to the products, Xiao wanted to create an eco-luxury line that was both good for the environment and for people. That’s why it was a no-brainer that the products had to be USDA-Certified organic and of the highest quality. Every part of each product has been formulated with intentionally chosen, nutrient-rich ingredients.
“My goal to launch our first product was to keep it under $6,000, which yes, is a lot higher than some people, but I also got USDA organic certification before we even launched,” Xiao recounts. “I wanted to get everything in order, and I didn’t want our products to look like they came out of our home kitchen (which it did, by the way). We launched our first product under budget, and it was fun to realize you don’t need as much as you think. When you hear about big businesses, you hear that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch one product, and I learned that you don’t have to.”
Her lip serum (which recently won a Beauty Shortlist Award) contains an application ball that is plated in 24k-gold, just an example of the multifunctional decadence that is Henne. With properly-sourced, high-caliber ingredients, it’s no surprise that Henne products aren’t drugstore price. However, with a price range from $19-$45, they aren’t unattainable.
When people support Henne Organics, they aren’t just supporting their own clean beauty and self-care journey — they’re creating a chain reaction, they’re keeping alive a dream, and they’re supporting an all-woman team… one that’s guaranteed to never have chapped lips.
Based out of Los Angeles, Iona Brannon is a writer and photojournalist who deeply enjoys hearing the stories of others and drawing out the beauty of the mundane. Her hobbies include sitting in LA traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers. You can see her work and connect with her at ionabrannon.com.