At the Western Women's Business Center, we love to celebrate the success of our hard-working, spirited clients. Part of that celebration of success is sharing the entrepreneurial stories of our clients, like this one about Laura McCann, who started Adoratherapy in Asheville.
Here's her story:
Could you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Laura McCann, and I am the CEO & Founder of Adoratherapy. I am a right-left brain entrepreneur committed to reminding people to adore themselves. Adoratherapy helps conscious humans reclaim their inner healing journey with expertly formulated fragrance and body care for the mind, body, and spirit.
What was your dream job as a kid?
I wanted to be an actress. I was introduced to acting at 6 and was a child actress for many years.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
In 1992, when I was 28, I started my first business. I was a fashion designer living in New York at the time. Every time I went to a job interview, I was told I should start my own business. So I did. For many years I ran an apparel buying agency, where we designed, sourced, and imported apparel for all the big vertical retail brands.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
After discovering for myself during my healing journey, the benefits of aromatherapy, I wanted to re-introduce the art of blending essential oils into perfumes with my vision of what an inner beauty brand could look like. We call this aroma-perfumery. It’s an ancient healing modality, and it introduces women and men seeking alternatives to traditional chemical and alcohol-based fragrances to a new way to smell good and feel good.
How does your business serve your community?
We already employ half a dozen people. Providing fair-wage jobs is very fulfilling. As we grow, I’d love to be able to provide more jobs locally. We opened a small manufacturing facility in Woodfin where we bottle and make candles. It’s also a shipping facility and a warehouse. I’d like to see it busy every day.
What products/services do you provide?
Essential oil-based perfumery allows you to transform your daily inner beauty rituals into intentional breathtaking moments that heal your body, mind, and soul. An alternative to traditional perfume, our all-natural fragrances and body care products of uniquely formulated essential oils and absolutes are the perfect tool to support a practice of breath and affirmation. Expertly blended with healing the chakras and the aura, each scent addresses stress, anxiety, motivation, focus, spirituality, and more. Think of chakra healing with aromatherapy as your life coach in a bottle.
We take chakra healing seriously, so to support our vision, we have created Asheville’s first permanent Aura Photography Studio downtown at the Grove Arcade. We offer people and pets aura and chakra readings.
What motivates you as a small business owner?
My background as an actor and a designer informs everything I do. I constantly see my ideas clearly in my mind, and when they are super clear, they move me to bring them to life. I can’t help being an entrepreneur. I am very “solar plexy” and like to get things done. I am also intuitive and have a very open third eye. The combination of the two is a powerful combination that makes it hard for me to work for anyone else.
What is your dream for your business?
I’d like to see us open three more stores in different parts of the country where we can continue to bring our concept to more people. I’d also like to see our online sales continue to grow.
What is your dream for your community?
I’d like to be able to offer free aura readings to help pets find homes. Our pet aura readings are so much fun, and knowing a cat or dog’s personality before adopting it is a fantastic way to ensure pet adoptions work.
What do you like about being a small business owner?
I am a leader, and being a small business owner is a great way to expand and amplify my voice and get my ideas across. It provides a unique platform for someone like me who is a creator and visionary. Owning a small business means I get to work out every detail and start things up.
What barriers have you encountered as a small business owner?
The biggest barriers always seem to be access to capital. As a woman, it’s always harder to raise money from investors and to get loans from traditional lenders like banks. I also find it common to have to justify myself and my big ideas. Once you show people a finished idea, you gain support, but before it’s out in the world, there is a skepticism you always need to address. Are you the right person? Are you strong enough? Are you smart enough? Are you connected enough? Are you enough? The answer is yes! I, like many women, need to feel more comfortable making it clear I am all that.
What did you do to overcome those barriers? Did anyone help you?
I have had to finance my businesses from my own pocket and, from time to time, have been fortunate to meet like-minded women and organizations like the WWBC who believe in me and support me.
How did you get connected to the Western Women’s Business Center?
Asheville has excellent resources for entrepreneurs and a few for women. We found each other.
How did the WWBC serve you as an entrepreneur?
I have been graced with so much support from the WWBC. I was the first recipient of the 2019 Small Business of the Year. Throughout the years, I have attended events, taught a course, and thanks to the WWBC, found grants and support during COVID.
What is one thing you wish people knew about your business?
We believe that your breath is healing, and true healing comes from your desire to set intentions. We believe that balancing your chakras will support the healing journey your body, mind, and soul desires. Adoring yourself unlocks your most genuine potential allowing you to be your best self. We believe daily self-care rituals are the stepping stones to your greatest healing. We want you to be your own healer. Come visit us at Adoratherapy.com or at the Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville.