MEET THE FOUNDER
Wellness, gratitude and self care are conversations that are becoming more and more mainstream. But that wasn’t always the case. On Clean Chat this week, we talked to Laura McCann, one of the wonderful co-founders of Adoratherapy. Over the past 30 years as an entrepreneur, she has had experience in the fashion industry, in business consulting and coaching and digital marketing. I’m sure you will all agree that this demanding and fast paced working environment is a real challenge and Laura was looking for some simple tools to help her day to day.
Not being an expert in essential oils herself, she met Adoratherapy co-founder and formulator, Adora Winquist who gave her some beautiful essential oil perfumes to try. Laura saw huge potential in the work Adora was doing and their relationship developed from a mentor and advisor, to an angel investor, to today where they are co-founders of the rebranded Adoratherapy.
THE ADORATHERAPY PRODUCTS
What we really love is the way Adoratherapy caters for those who don’t have the time to become an expert in essential oils, but still want to experience the benefits of using the oils in their inner beauty practices. Adoratherapy simplifies that process by creating these complicated blends for you, but naming them after exactly how you want to feel when using it.
Adoratherapy carries 3 collections of mood boosts. The ‘Gal On The Go Mood Boost’ is a spray perfume for women with an active lifestyle, which includes scents such as awake, seductive and peaceful. The scents in the ‘Chakra Boost’ collection are roll ons intended to open up your chakras, with scents including vitality, joy and creativity. And finally the ‘Room Boost’ is for those times where you need a room of people to shift with you, with scents including serene, abundance and passion.
IN THIS EPISODE
In this episode we chat about the importance of self care and focusing on your own inner beauty – wearing a particular scent because of how it makes you feel, rather than the outer beauty of how you appear to others. Laura also gives a really important piece of advice for fellow founders or anyone listening who is thinking about starting their own entrepreneurial journey. Running your own business is not for the faint hearted and it is really a journey of personal exploration and transformation.
Thanks again to Laura for being our guest on Clean Chat this week. Laura also took part in a Facebook Live session over in our group this week where she shared her experiences in seeking funding – click here join the group and check out Laura’s live session as well as tonnes of other helpful resources. Now onto the show! Listen to the full episode below, on iTunes, or check out the transcript…
Raquel: Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. I’m the host Raquel Wing, founder of The Clean Hub. Every Thursday we help to grow the clean and natural beauty industry by interviewing key experts, founders and influencers so that people can make informed decisions. Check us out at thecleanhub.com to learn more. Now onto the Clean Chat podcast.
Raquel:Hi there and welcome to Clean Chat. Today we have on Laura, the founder of Adoratherapy. Adoratherapy is an all natural aromatherapy company and with Adoratherapy you can boost your mood anytime, anywhere, all naturally. So you can transform your mood in the moment by setting your intentions, through breath and connection with the limbic system, anchor new thoughts and see your mood transform and come to life. So I am very excited to hear more. Laura can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started Adoratherapy?
Laura:Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast today, I am so excited anytime I have the chance to talk about why I want to be in this particular business and not all the other things that I have done or could be doing. Its very exciting to me. I have been an entrepreneur for over the last 30 years, I started my first business when I was in my twenties. And I’m sure many of the other indie brand owners can relate to this but having a business is obviously extremely challenging and very demanding. And when I started my first business I was a young mother, I had kids, I lived in New York City, I had to commute. I worked in the fashion industry and very high paced, and it was like you know a real challenging time in my life. And I really never had the tools to help me in my day to day. When I started out yoga wasn’t big and gratitude wasn’t big and all these things that now are available to people around transformation and self care were really not the conversation that we had. So I was always looking for ways to shift how I felt because I didn’t always feel the way I wanted to feel and I met up with Adora Winquist, the chief formulator for Adoratherapy. And Adora is a healer and a aromatherapist and she had created these incredible, beautiful essential oil perfumes that were so lovely and so fantastic and she gave me a bunch of them. And we became friends and I was mentoring her and I was like ‘oh my gosh I totally love the idea of using these products in my daily ritual of beauty but I really have no idea how to, I don’t understand all the oils, I don’t understand what works with what’. So how do we take this which I get that if you are maybe more of a wellness consumer or someone who is really into natural products, you’ll go through the effort of figuring it out but me as a department store beauty customer or a Sephora customer, I was not getting it. We actually partnered to create Adoratherapy to really mainstream the conversation around how essential oils can be used in other things other than like a diffuser or as a therapeutic type of product, to augment and supplement the beauty practice and really focus on inner beauty, which to me is all about breath. I always found that I do not breathe, I am a shallow breather. I run on adrenaline and energy. And really taking that deep breath into my self is something that was always a challenge. And I found that this is really adding flavour to your water. If you breathe and you smell these beautiful, formulated, intentional oils that are designed for specific moods you can now actually take a different kind of breath and that use that throughout the day so when you need it most it is there for you.
Raquel:That is amazing. Actually I love that. And before you learned how to breathe, who taught you that sort of, what is the best way to breathe and how to go about using certain aromatherapy fragrances for that?
Laura:Well the first time I really found out I didn’t know how to breathe was when I went to do, its actually called rebirthing. It’s a breathing technique that allows you to breathe very deeply, kind of in a yoga breath and takes you through a process of going back through different things you might of experienced as a child that you need to clear. And I found that the breathing actually hurt and it burned and until I learnt how to breathe I really couldn’t do the yoga breathe or anything. But when I would do that I would get to a different stage. Then you know I learned over the years how to do more of a practice around meditation and breath and that breathing has developed. But in my day to day I don’t access it, its not easy for me to access. I get caught up in the moment. So you know when we tell people to breathe our products, first of all if your trying to breathe this way and your using the wrong formula or essential oil or perfume, your not going to have a great experience. Perfume isn’t meant to be breathed this way, it burns it has chemicals and additives. But an essential oil that is not diluted the right way can cause all types of irritation and sensitivity. So the magic is really in having the perfect blend that as you breathe it in is really adding to the breathe and because it might be jasmine or rose or gardenia or sandalwood or blends of different things its really going to take you to an experience you might have had. We all have these moments, I was reading something today, you know when you smell jasmine and you’ve travelled to India and it takes you back there, or you smell cinnamon it reminds you of the holidays. So the oils when they are really formulated the way Adora did it, they really do have the ability to anchor into a part of your brain and through breathe and adding intention which , I want to feel more like this, you actually have the ability to focus more on breath and it’s a powerful tool. So we call that scent with intent or perfume with purpose. Because its not just about outer beauty, spraying on and I come in a room and you smell me and you go, oh Laura you smell fantastic, I love what you’re wearing. its really about me putting it on, me breathing, me saying you know what right now I want to feel beautiful. So we have a product called beautiful, I put it on and I feel beautiful. Or my dog barks during an interview and I go oh my god I need to destress, let me put some tranquillity on (laughter)! All the products are either in my purse or in my vanity in the morning or I have them also in the office and I use them all the time to design the mood I want to be in.
Raquel:That is awesome. Scent with intent. And its funny that you mention that because I have always known that there were ways that you can use scent in good ways, like for example when I was in uni or my undergrad, when I was studying for a certain test they would say use a particular scent and you will remember it when you take the test. So study with a certain scent around you and then smell it right before you go into an exam and it will remind you. And its kind of doing that but with intention, positive intention which is an awesome idea.
Laura: Yeh and only oils are right for that intention. For instance, people that know this stuff and this wasn’t who I was, again its like I don’t know that lemon essential oils are great to you know trigger motivation. You know when we are sitting there looking at a formula and ingredients and saying how do you use this, okay great this is all about these certain benefits, but if you tell that benefit story in a certain way where it doesn’t make sense to someone who you know is at the beauty counter, trying to figure out what you want, you don’t have time to become an expert, okay so lets just call the product Motivation and motivation is all about shifting how you feel when your studying or taking on a new project and motivation, you know all of our products, we put an affirmation on the box, as like a starter affirmation, but of course you can find your own affirmation. So Motivation is empowered in all my experiences and we say it is for motivation, empowerment, success, energy and that has lemon, grapefruit and rosemary as the top notes. So we try to make it simple for the person using it and we have designed, so we have three collections. So one is a spray perfume and we have named it ‘The Gal On The Go Mood Boost’ and it is really for the woman who has an active lifestyle and the products there are seductive, beautiful, smart, balanced, inspired, awake, peaceful, these are all the moods women might want to feel during the day. This product is packaged in a beautiful box with illustrations that are very fashion and they are kind of dressed for those moods. Like our seductive girl has red hair and is wearing a biker jacket and our peaceful girl is all boho and purple and you know has peace jewellery on, and we make it easy – okay that’s what you want to feel, do that. And we also have ‘Chakra Boost’ collection which is really, its an oil so a rollerball, and that you apply to your chakras, and a lot of people don’t know what your chakra is, but a lot of people do yoga and they are like energy points in the body and when you work on them it will allow you to feel more in touch with yourself, and those are vitality, joy, motivation, creativity, so we really try and get all aspects of yourself. And then we said okay, sometimes what you need is the room to shift not just you, you need other people to shift too, so we have a ‘Room Boost’ collection with abundance, clearer way, which is like a smudge stick in a bottle, passion, blissful, serene. So we really are trying to create a collection of products that can be used throughout the day by someone to achieve all the different states that they want to be in and becomes leverage on themselves and a reminder to take care of yourself, to love your self which is why we play on the word Adoratherapy which is all about self care and self love and that ‘adore yourself’ tag line which is on all of our products, to really remind you that if you love yourself and really take care of yourself its like that story they say, like when the oxygen masks fall down on the plane, but yours on first. I always forget that, I’m always taking care of everybody else, but like no, take care of you and then you can take care of everybody else afterwards. And breathe, intention and the idea of manifesting and the essential oils which have their own benefits which are really wonderful ,all of that together its like to me this is a new beauty story. Its about inner beauty and not outer beauty.
Raquel:Awesome, I love that. So we have kind of touched on this in different ways. So you have the Mood Boost and then you have Chakra Boost. How are those different?
Laura:So a spray perfume, so someone who love perfume and wants to spray, that’s a great delivery for them. And then the Chakra Boost are rollerball, you cant spray, you know today, I don’t know if you have had this experience, I’ve certainly had it, like I cant wear perfume anymore because people complain. My dad would say, don’t wear perfume around me it irritates me or you know you’ll get in an elevator and people will be like, or you will get in an elevator and smell that. I think the last time I was in New York I was in Bergdorf Goodman and I was in the perfume department because I wanted to check out all the packaging and everything and I literally had to leave because my chest was burning breathing in all the alcohol and whatever else that they put in perfume. So you know, spray is great but not always easy to use. Rollerball is great, you put it on yourself, you rub it in, you put your hands over your face and breathe it in deeply and you can also out it anywhere on your body because its got oil as a base so its great. And then the room sprays, really like a natural home fragrance. You know there are so many things today that you can buy on the market that are you know from low price to high price, from a candle to a diffuser, to you know the sticks you can do the incense. And all these things have positives and negatives, but essentially what you want is you don’t want smoke, you don’t want bacteria, if you use a diffuser you can get bacteria in your home, and your also just getting a small amount of that oil in your nose because its really just the smell that’s coming from the diffuser. And if you use room sprays and they say they are natural and organic check out that list, because there is a lot of stuff in there that is not really stuff you want to breathe in. And again that’s all about the room not you.
Raquel:Awesome that’s a great tip actually is that a lot of times these companies say that they are natural and they are not. What are some things that listeners could look out or so that they could know that things are truly natural?
Laura: Well anything that you cant say or pronounce (laughter), but really you know I know this is a great clean beauty conversation for us what clean means is really nothing you don’t need so making an essential oil product and mixing them for a spray delivery which usually requires something as a fixative is a very challenging thing from a chemistry perspective. And we made the decision that we are only going to use oil, our essential oils, water, so we use distilled water, and of course we have all made salad dressing right so when you try and mix water and oil, what happens? You get these globby things and it doesn’t mix very well. So in order to make that mix we have done a lot of research and we have found very clean emulsifiers that allow you to get the, you know the water and oils to really blend beautifully so you don’t get that cloudy thing going on or different colours and you don’t get the oil rising to the top and you have to shake it every time you use it. So we have made sure to use ingredients that are only on clean lists like Whole foods and Credo, where the customers are most stringent, looking to sell a completely clean product. And the only other thing with a water based solution is you do need a preservative. We only use something that is the most natural. And then dosing all of this so you still have the benefit is key. So for us, you know you cant eat our product, you can put it on your skin and you can breathe it in and nothing bad will happen. As a matter of fact the CEO of a very large distributor, who is one of our big customers called me this week and said, I’m in love with your product, I cant wear perfume anymore and I don’t like perfume it irritates me, and I am using every single one of your products and I am so excited. As a matter of fact she’s so excited that we are having a huge launch with this distributor in the next few months because of this. And that’s because of how clean our ingredients are.
Raquel:Sounds fabulous! We love the idea of the different Mood Boosts, Chakra Boosts and Room Boosts. And you can obviously have your own intentions towards whichever one you want. Speaking of which, could you tell us what is your best beauty tip for our listeners?
Laura:Oh boy! So I am a minimalist and I prefer to use only the most simple methods. So for me its sleep, eating right, getting the right amount of exercise. Those are the foundational tips. And then for myself I sometimes wear makeup but I don’t wear makeup much anymore and a cream on my face which is all natural and very healthy. So I don’t use nail polish anymore, I really try and stay away from different things. I’m over 50, I have started feeling those life changes, and everything could give me a reaction I want to stay away from. So clean beauty really is a lifestyle of making clean decisions in everything you do.
Raquel:And could you tell us out of al the different types of products that you carry, what is your most popular product and why you think it is that way?
Laura:I think our top product that people love is called Joy. And Joy is a roll on and it has gardenia, rose and jasmine and smells fantastic, is very florally and it opens up your heart chakra. And I think we are also bombarded by our lives, the media, by all this negativity and we often shut our hearts down as we feel too much, especially as women I think we feel everything and Joy allows you to really open your heart back up. But you are choosing to do it because you don’t just be open all the time anywhere, its really a choice. I think that’s why that one is so popular.
Raquel:Yeh I definitely need to try that and I agree with you we all carry too much weight this us or worry about things which are past due in our minds, so definitely. And obviously you have been doing this for a rather short amount of time I would say. What would you say, you have obviously had some ups and downs, any words of advice for fellow beauty brands looking to enter the industry, or something you wish you knew going in?
Laura:You know that is such a great question. I was just reading an article about that today in Independent Beauty and it was about like founders sharing advice with other founders who might be starting out and I would say that I think there is this myth that being an entrepreneur is fantastic, a super cool thing and anybody can do it if they have an idea. But its actually in my opinion not for the faint hearted. It brings up everything that you need to deal with, everything about who you are, its really about a journey and not about I want to be successful or make money or have a brand. Its really about am I willing to excavate all aspects of myself to get to this goal that I have that may or may not happen. So my advice is really to not take that lightly and to choose the path of entrepreneurship not as a goal of success but as a goal of personal transformation because my experience is that’s what your going to get either way so you might as well be prepared. And that requires doing all the work on yourself. Come to it broken or whole, which ever way but knowing that your going to have to do that work to get to where you want to get to. At the end of the day if we manifest results based on what we think, and I’m not always thinking what I need to be thinking because I react and I have shifting moods, guess what, I’m going to get all different types of results and they’re not always going to be what I want. So again this ties in this whole idea of a mood boosting business really ties into my personal journey which is how do I manage that better so I get a more consistent outcome, which is hopefully success.
Raquel: Yeh that some great advice. Its definitely about the journey, you’ll find that (laughter) so thank you very much. So what are the next steps for Adoratherapy?
Laura: So we are, we focus primarily on a wholesale business channel, building strategy, and we are currently in over 3oo retail doors. Yeh I know! I approach this sort of like a tech company because I have a bit of a tech background and we said we would do some AB testing. So we tested the gift market, we tested the wellness market, the beauty market and the yoga market, a little more mass, or speciality. And where it looks like we are going to have the biggest lift right now is in the spa channel which is really exciting. Because the spa channel has a little more education and a little more of a premium price point. But we also would like to develop a direct to consumer model and at first we felt like as a scent based business that was going to be very challenging because you cant smell it and try it so are you really going to buy it? But we have seen some really smart people in the indie perfume segment who are finding ways to do that so we are getting ready to embark on a direct to consumer strategy where we can you know go right to the consumer. And it might be a slightly different brand and a version of what we are doing so we can simplify the messaging, so that’s what we are working on right now.
Raquel:Yeh do you think that’s the biggest challenge for direct to consumer, the messaging and getting in front of sort of the right sort of influencers?
Laura:You know I think it is, and you know as not a millennial founder, as someone who is using social media and likes it and understands it, its still a very different way of doing business. You know I’m used to sitting in a meeting with executives and buyers and having strategic conversations and working on the business form that perspective, you know a little bit more planned out. And with the consumer its really more about sharing yourself, telling a story, being out there, you know connecting, and then you know its different. So I think for me that’s a little bit of a learning curve but also such a exciting thing if you are able to connect directly to that consumer. Wow I think it has great returns not just monetarily but also really understanding your brand and being able to create great products for people who are really using them. So I am excited about getting my learning curve to that point..
Raquel:Your journey (laughter)
Laura:yeh my journey, which will be my digital journey (laughter)
Raquel:Yeh, I think that’s a great idea and it’s a newer market for the beauty industry which obviously has such strength in it and obviously when you are doing direct to consumer and you get the powerhouse behind that you will be a leading brand. And so where can people get a hold of your products? You said you were in all of these stores but where are the best locations to buy Adoratherapy?
Laura:So if you go to our website obviously you can buy online on our site. We have one of our collections on Amazon right now, so if you want to buy and you have Prime that you know how you shop you can find us there. You can find us in a whole bunch of Wholefoods in the North East, we are in 20 Wholefoods so if your in New York City of Columbus Circle or Chelsea or down town. And then we have a store locator on our website and that’s a great place to put your zip code in and find out where we are carried. So and then otherwise just reach out directly to us. And then in many many spa’s. You know in terms of larger channels, that’s always the interesting conversation for indie brands is most of the channels that we have developed are single store owners and so they are all over and you know if there is one near you then you can go smell every thing and try everything out.
Raquel:Are you guys in the UK?
Laura: We are not in the UK, we are working on that and looking for partnerships and opportunities there. But we are in Canada, Korea and Japan and New Zealand.
Raquel:Oh wow awesome okay! Well thank you so much Laura for everything! I am definitely going to try some of these. I do this every morning and it actually changes my life, just having a smell and intention, which I didn’t even know was a thing until you said it!
Laura: Yeh have a look on the website, tell me which ones you want to try and we will get you some product.
Raquel:Oh awesome thanks so much Laura! And thanks so much for the chat its been so helpful for myself and obviously everyone else listening. Have a great day and viva clean beauty!
Raquel: Thanks for listening to clean chat everyone. Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes, chat soon and viva clean beauty.