From hair extensions (for clients like Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian West and Hailey Bieber) to habit journals, entrepreneur Lulu Liang has done it all—and she’s not even 30 yet! We chatted with Lulu about her brands, her business savvy and her latest brainchild. —Vita Daily
Let’s begin at the beginning … with Luxy Hair!
Luxy Hair was founded in 2010 by sisters Mimi Ikonn and Leyla Naghi-zada and Mimi’s husband Alex Ikonn. The founders exited the business in 2018 and now we are part of a U.S. beauty group. I joined Luxy Hair in 2016 and am currently the CEO leading the brand. The founders started Luxy Hair as they saw a need in the market when Mimi was disappointed with all the hair extensions she found in the market as she got ready for her upcoming wedding. I joined Luxy Hair because I really aligned with the founders’ core values, I’m passionate about eCommerce and beauty, and I wanted to work at a small business where I could make a big difference. It has been an incredible ride and I’m so grateful for all our success as a team.
What were some of the most exciting milestones you’ve hit so far with Luxy Hair? What’s in the brand’s future?
Ooh great question and it’s getting me nostalgic! Seeing Kim Kardashian rock Luxies at the 2018 Met Gala with her iconic gold Versace dress was definitely a surreal moment. We’ve also been blessed with some amazing organic press including being named as Time magazine’s YouTube’s 15 Best Channels. Hitting exponential revenue growth and leading the successful sale of the business have also been very exciting and great business learning. I’m the most proud about building the team from two to 20 and being named one of the Top 50 Best Places to Work in Canada. Moving us to our first office then outgrowing that and moving us to our second office were great moments. It’s been incredible to see the team grow and work independently together without me. We’re on a mission to continue to be one of the best workplaces in Canada and to transform the extensions industry from niche to mass whilst being the Apple of the industry. We’re passionate about empowering women with both our products and community involvement.
You’re starting a new business, Evergreen Inc. Can you tell us about this company and what’s inspired you to launch now?
Yes! Evergreen Journals is a lifestyle company that creates tools to help you live mindfully. I started it with my best friend, Allie Mastoras. Our first product, the Habit Journal, is a daily journal that helps you tune in, unplug and recharge by providing tangible tips and strategies to make your best habits ones you do daily. We set out to create the habit journal when we realized that our lives were being defined by the “big” moments: a birthday, vacation, promotion. But everything else in between was slipping away. All the little moments that matter the most were being ignored. We believe that every moment can be lived with intention and purpose. It can be shaped, moulded or forged into whatever you desire. It can be pointed to where you really want to go. But before you live your ideal life, you have to start with your ideal day. And that’s where habits come in. After years of research, self trial and curating the best of the best systems that we tried together we were so excited to announce the launch of the Habit Journal recently. It has truly helped us build lasting habits, live intentionally and overall be happier and more at peace than ever. Especially now; we could all use a little more routine and structure in our days.
How do we use the Habit Journal?
The journal itself includes a 50 page-plus intro detailing the science behind habits and how to use the journal:
- define your vision, goals and habits in one sit down session;
- every month, you’ll list out the top three habits that you want to form and the cue and reward for each habit;
- every night, you will complete the daily reflection page and track your habit progress in the monthly tracker. Each new daily reflection page has a new inspirational tip/quote and guides you through a reflection on your day (e.g., how do you feel, what do you want to remember, how will you make tomorrow better). This process makes you very self-aware, which is a very important part of habit building and living your life intentionally; and
- there are monthly and quarterly reviews and one quarterly review per journal allowing you to reflect on what worked well and what can be improved each month and quarter.
The Habit Journal allows you to prioritize the most fundamental habits before you move on and finish the rest. It tracks how many habits that month you’ve been able to complete, and allows you to reflect nightly on your day, allowing you to intentionally live your day-to-day.
What are your top tips when it comes to daily habits for young, female entrepreneurs?
start with self awareness. You can’t start building good habits and breaking bad habits when you aren’t aware of your daily habits. This is harder than it seems as we do all our habits unconsciously. One activity to try is to jot down all your activities for one full day no matter how small. Daily journaling including the prompts in the Habit Journal are also especially helpful in building self awareness which is the first step to living your life intentionally.
prime your environment for success. Habits are behaviours that are triggered by cues and followed by a reward. For example, you check your phone every time you get a notification and you get the reward of novelty and satisfying your curiosity. If you want to get into the habit of checking your phone less, start with getting rid of the cue and turning off all your notifications. This can be applied to most habits; e.g. leaving your vitamins on the kitchen counter so you are reminded to take them daily and laying out your gym clothes the night before so you are reminded to work out.
start small and then habit stack. Habit stacking is exactly what it sounds like—stacking one habit onto the other. For example, if you’re in the habit of drinking a warm lemon tea before you go to bed, why not habit journal while you sip your tea? By leveraging this time you can do two things at once and get more done. Another way of habit stacking is by amplifying or extending an existing habit. If you’re able to build a habit of five crunches before bed, chances are, five crunches will eventually become a breeze, and you’ll begin doing 10, then 15, and before you know it, you’ll be doing crunches in your sleep.
prioritize foundational habits. Foundational habits have the potential to have the most profound impact on your life. Charles Duhigg refers to them as “keystone” habits—they have the ability to lead to wider shifts in human behavior. It’s no secret that no two habits are created equal. Let’s look at meditation versus waking up early, for example. You’d guess that meditation is the better of the two, but I’d argue that waking up earlier is much, much better. Not because everyone says so, but because of the potential ripple effects. Waking up early gives you the time and space to plan your day, eat breakfast, exercise, and yes, meditate. One seemingly small habit can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
We gotta know: what has been your fave Luxy Hair “as seen on” moment so far?!
Besides the Kim Kardashian moment mentioned above, another celebrity feature favourite was seeing Jennifer Lopez with Luxies on the cover of Vanity Fair!