“What started out as a question regarding my own problem, turned into passion, as it inspired me to learn about the skin and effects that products have on it.”
- Khulan Davaadorj, Founder & Chief Technologist of Lhamour
Khulan Davaadorj, the founder and Chief Technologist for Mongolia’s first organic skincare brand, Lhamour, was inspired to start her own skincare brand when she couldn’t find 100% natural products of high quality in Mongolia after she started developing skin allergies due to the Mongolian environment. “In 2012, I came back to Mongolia to work for Mongolia’s first wind farm company after having lived in the States and Europe for many years,” shared Khulan, “I slowly started to develop allergies due to the negative external effects such as air pollution, low water quality, and extreme climate, which was a great shock to me because I never had allergies. It truly affected my daily life.”
After consulting with doctors, she was advised to use mild natural products, however, the only products to Khulan’s disposal were no 100% natural imported products, or they were of low quality. Khulan began doing deeper research into skin products and its ingredients, and began understanding the true meaning of ‘natural products’. After developing a passionate interest in skin and natural products, Khulan enrolled in Formula Botanica, the world’s leading accredited online Organic Cosmetic Science School, in pursuit of her newly developed passion. “I became a professional skin care product formulator, and in 2014, launched Lhamour”, shared Khulan, “I started with my very first three products: bath bomb, soap, and lip balm!”
At the time of Lhamour’s launch, entrepreneurship and social impact were rare topics in Mongolia. Khulan’s business was the first store in Mongolia to introduce a zero waste corner where people buy products without packaging, to use recycled paper in their baskets, and to have a zero waste production line. “I do believe that we are a holistic brand that tries to make a positive impact through our products and that through Lhamour’s products and brand, we could create something much bigger,” shared Lhamour, “We try to change people’s mindsets regarding the environment and consumption.”
Lhamour’s great environmental impact has awarded them various international awards, such as, “Most Responsible Small Medium Enterprise (SME) of Asia,” “Best Entrepreneur of Asia,” “Best Startup of Mongolia,” “Best Female Founder,” “Best Packaged Brand,” and the “Best SME of Mongolia.”
Khulan says that the ingredients used in Lhamour’s products are the fundamental foundations of the brand, without their ingredients, their products wouldn’t be possible. “We source high quality ingredients that are unique to Mongolia such as Sea Buckthorn, Rose Hip, Sheep’s Tail Fat Oil, Thyme, and Nettle due to its amazing properties for the skin,” shared Khulan, “We have so many unique plants and herbs in Mongolia and showing this originality and pureness is important for us as we use all the richness that mother nature has to offer.”
Lhamour’s products are best used on people with dry to normal skin, sensitive skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
The tests, trials, and the best parts about Khulan’s entrepreneurial journey
Khulan has described her entrepreneurial journey as “somewhat of a movie.”
She started her business alone from her own home and with no prior knowledge on running a business and creating products. In the beginning, many people were in disbelief that she had done everything by herself.
Khulan recalls the day she lost everything just 12 days after opening her office in 2014.
“In 2014, I started my first office on September 1st and just 12 days later, when I entered the room, everything was stolen. All my recipes, my plans. Just everything,” she recalls, “Then in 2015 when I launched officially, people were questioning me and not believing that a young woman could actually start a unique business from home. Mongolia was at that time heavily concentrating on its mining and thus social entrepreneurship was truly new.”
“In 2016, I experienced flooding twice into our production site as Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, had no water draining in the streets and all the flood water came into our production. There was water until the knees,” shared Khulan, “I was crying because of sadness but also happiness because at that time I wrote about it on Facebook asking people for help if they are close by and within 30 minutes we had 10 people who rushed in, saying that they are true fans of LHAMOUR and they would do anything to support us. That was truly an amazing moment and also the realization that so many people count on us and believe in us.”
The challenges that followed after this were other businesses trying to copy Lhamour, financial problems, etc, however, Khulan shared that their customers and supporters gave her the inspiration and motivation to move on.
Her favorite part about running her own business is knowing that the sky’s the limit. She went on to say, “Things I envision become reality and my team and customers believe in me,” shared Khulan, “They are the reason I work so hard to achieve my vision and why I always give 200% because I can never let them down.” The highlights of her entrepreneurial journey so far has been the positive feedback about how her products have helped the skin of her customers, seeing her team develop and learn together, and receiving letters and messages from young kids, women, and girls about how Lhamour has inspired and motivated them to become better.
Lhamour’s products can be purchased on their website: www.lhamour.us
Our Favorite Questions
What advice do you have for women who are aspiring to start their own business one day?
“If you have a solution to a problem, then go for it! Because it means you will have customers. Believe in yourself and just try it. If it fails, then you have at least tried it. But if it succeeds, then you will see magic and you will never want to become anything else other than an entrepreneur. People do not have to support you. You got to be your own boss and your own guidance. You have to create your own vision and make people follow you. A lot of the time it gets lonely and most of the time it is challenging. But once you have your customers, it will all be worth it.”
In your opinion, what are the top three traits or abilities every entrepreneur should have?
“Resilience, being visionary, and always listening to your customers.”