More and more women are recognizing the health benefits of using organic beauty products that don’t compromise on looks. Many will also be looking to have a natural, radiant glow for holiday family and social gatherings, gift someone or start the new year in an eco-friendly manner. A major influencer in these positive trends is based n our backyard.
Launched in 2015 in Las Vegas, Henné Organics, which relocated to Wilmington last year, handmakes organic, all-natural, non-GMO, nontoxic and holistic lip and hand care products in its certified-organic facility.
Recent research from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine found unsafe levels of lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium in numerous other lipsticks and skin-whitening creams. Laura Xiao, founder and CEO, believes the company is manifested from “a strong appreciation for beauty in simplicity and luxury in the basics. Women can save time with the easy application of our products and have peace of mind knowing they are putting safe ingredients on their skin.”
Some of the inspiration for her enterprise came from living in Sweden—her husband and company co-owner Johan Axelqvist is Swedish—Denmark, New Zealand and Australia, and learning of the beauty interests of women she encountered.
The natural ingredients utilized by Henné (henne means “her” in Swedish) include organic butters, waxes and oils. “We also do all of our own designing, branding, packaging and marketing,” says Xiao, who’s also proud that their operations were certified as cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny program, of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the U.S. and
Canada. “We are very hands-on which also has helped us weather the challenges from the pandemic. Other companies outsource some or most of their production.”
Their lip products which are “handmade so they are fresh” include an array of masks, tints, exfoliators, balms and serums. “They nourish and moisturize the lips which reduces chapping,” cites Xiao. “We’ve created a wide variety of tint colors, including Intrigue (brick red), Desire (red) and Sunlit (peach), to really speak to customers. The serum helps boost collagen production,
smoothens the lips and is an ideal primer
for lip colors.”
Axelqvist oversees production and implements website updates at her direction. “We both do a variety of things,” she enthuses. “We’re a small business so we both do a lot.”
Their products are currently available at more than 500 separate retailers in nearly every state plus overseas. New York City’s Upper East Side, SoHo and Broadway along with Hollywood and Santa Monica are part of the scope. Locally, Figgy Co., in Wilmington, offers the company’s products along with several other businesses in Raleigh.
“I was already a fan of theirs and wanted to bring their products to my shop and then found they had moved here which was amazing,” says Jennifer Crouch, owner of Figgy Co., which is marking their two-year anniversary this month, providing beauty along with wellness products like adaptogens and protein powders plus candles and scents. “All of their lipsticks do really well. I also love their lip serum and suggest it to customers.”
Henné’s website is linked to 30-plus others including IntegrityBotanicals.com and TheOrganicBunny.com. Henné products are also used at health spas and beauty studios “so customers can experience it there,” says Xiao.
They’ve garnered a host of positive product reviews in many national publications including Vogue, Allure, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Mother Earth Living, Town & Country, Women’s Wear Daily and US Weekly.
Along with doing nearly everything in-house, they’ve achieved steady growth “due to the small size of our products. It’s a little easier for us to make and ship them, and more convenient for customers to use.”
Gift cards can help with holiday shopping. The company’s rewards program features both free product shipping and samples with each order. Henné hopes to launch some new products in a new category early next year. They are also looking into partnering with an area animal shelter.
As for why she chose to move to the coastal Carolinas, “It was a combination of being near the ocean, a smaller city, calmer lifestyle, no real winter (compared to Sweden!) and an overall good place to raise a future family. We love it here. Johan and I have previously lived in many cities.
The people are very friendly, and we also love the nature.”
For more information including area retailers and to order products, visit