Everybody loves Laura
WE CAN’T EVEN COUNT ALL THE WAYS WE ARE CRUSHING ON KIC CO-FOUNDER, RUNNER AND SELF-CONFESSED NERD LAURA HENSHAW. READY TO JOIN THE CLUB?
Keep it Cleaner’s Laura Henshaw is smashing it – well – everywhere (including at WH ’s Fit Night Out)
d“Don’t worry about looking silly!” Laura Henshaw calls out encouragingly to the 600 athleisure-clad women following her every move at this year’s Women’s Health Fit Night Out (FNO). She’s flown into Sydney from her home in Melbourne to lead the warm-up at FNO with her bestie and Keep it Cleaner co-founder Steph Smith. Laura laughs as she demonstrates a jab-cross-hook combo, knowing full well that she doesn’t float like a butterfly or sting like a bee but having a blast throwing punches anyway.
And it’s her openness to being real, and not playing to the picture-perfect version of health that’s portrayed by so many influencers on Instagram, that’s won over Laura’s 179K followers. The woman just doesn’t mind telling it like it is. Like the time she posted an Insta video of herself stacking it in her lounge room while doing a KIC HIIT workout, with the caption, “In case you needed a reason to have a laugh today or were feeling unco... You’re welcome, and I hope this makes you feel better.”
The 25-year-old is all about using social media to shed light on what goes on behind her life highlights of which there are many. There’s the successful online business you all love, Keep it Cleaner (KIC), which she’s run with Steph since 2015. There are the famous bliss balls they sell through KIC Grocery and a new product line for kids. Next month she and Steph have a book out, A Girl’s
Guide to Kicking Goals, and they’re relaunching KIC with a brandnew app, too. And she’s doing all this while studying a double degree in law and business, working as a model, being an avid runner and making time for boyfriend Dalton Graham. Phew!
“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, how do you do it all?’ And I don’t,” the Jaggad ambassador admits. “Sometimes, I have bad days. Everyone does. And so, I think it’s really important to show that side, because otherwise it’s like you put all this pressure on people that they have to have a full-time job, be a runner and do all this exercise and eat really well. It’s hard for everyone, even people you might idolise. There’s a lot of pressure from social media, so any pressure I can take off other people is important to me.”
Here, Laura chats to WH about handling business with her bestie, balancing it all and why running is her meditation.
YOU’VE BEEN REALLY HONEST ABOUT SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE OF ANXIETY ON INSTA. WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I think it’s something a lot more people go through than you think. I have only just started experiencing it in the past year and I find that … when you have it, it’s so hard and you think there’s no way to fix it. But, for me, exercise really helps. If I manage my exercise, it tends to stay away. I wanted to be able to share things that help me cope with it, and then hopefully that will help other women too. It’s very normal and people shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
IT SHOULDN’T BE STIGMATISED.
Definitely not. So that’s why [I talk about anxiety].
INSTA DEFINITELY DOESN’T SHOW ALL THE HARD WORK THAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES.
Definitely. And there’s so much hard work that goes into our business. There are so many little failures that happen, which Steph and I now love, because we learn so much from them. We’ve become so resilient. Now, when things go wrong, we just stop. We have a cry for half an hour, then we break it down into small problems. Then, once you [do that process], it’s not as bad and you can power on and get through it.
I find that if something seems like it’s the end of the world, I go for a run. I can think it out and break it down and then it’s not as bad as it was when I started running. Running is a big coping mechanism for me. I
don’t meditate but I need to start, as a lot of people have recommended it for helping with anxiety. Maybe running is my form of meditation!
DO YOU HAVE A MANTRA YOU USE WHEN RUNNING?
I just get in the zone. [But] I’ve started saying [a mantra] to myself before public speaking, [because] it used to make me nervous, but that only made me want to do it more.
YOU’VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF SPEAKING LATELY.
Yeah, that was my goal. And to do more [public speaking], I had to do it in the first place. I’d see the [audience] and think, ‘I’m not good enough to speak in front of these people,’ then I’d think, ‘Hang on, I’m here for a reason and I’m enough. I can do it.’ I say that to myself as many times as I need.
YOU HAVE SO MUCH GOING ON WITH KIC, TOO.
We’re relaunching with an app in November and we’re so excited! We tried to put everything in there that we wished we could have all in one health app. It has some amazing new features, including something to do with running. We wanted to offer more value to the girls and community, which has grown like crazy. It’s been amazing.
We’re also launching baby products with KIC Grocery in October. Steph and I aren’t mums, but we want to transform each section of the supermarket with a healthy option. [The products] have [omega-3 fatty acid] DHA, which is good for babies’ brain development, so it’s like a healthy bliss ball for kids.
We’d also love to release our own clean protein powder. And, we’re working on new flavours for our protein bars, so hopefully we’ll be able to get them out soon as well.
ARE YOU STILL STUDYING LAW?
Yes! I’m studying part-time and
I’m loving it. It’s a really nice outlet for me where there’s no pressure. There’s the pressure to pass my exams, but apart from that I don’t have the pressure that I have in a business sense. There aren’t as many consequences for decisions that I make, so I’m enjoying it so much more than I used to. I’m just appreciating being able to take time out and learn new things.
SO, WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
I try to get up between 6.30am and 7am, and start my day with a workout. A lot of our days are meetings, driving around, testing products and sampling. If not, I might have a shoot or be in Sydney. At night, one thing I try to do – and I’ve been really bad at it lately – is sign off my phone between
8pm and 9pm ... so I can spend quality time with my partner, because otherwise you just sit there and you’re both on your phones. After 8pm, I try to stop working because I need two hours to switch off. I always write my to-do list for the next day and that helps me not stress when I stop [working].
WHAT MAKES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WORK?
Dalton is my rock. He’s always there and is so supportive of my [career], and our business. He has this special thing he does – he’s going to kill me for saying this – but if I ever question myself or start to feel overwhelmed, he says, ‘You are beautiful, you are powerful, you are kind, you are Laura.’ That positive message makes me smile and helps me push aside self-doubt.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My mum. [She] taught me just how important hard work is, and to never let anything or anyone hold me back from my aspirations. I grew up feeling empowered in my own skin, never worrying about my gender affecting my career or holding me back. I have Mum to thank for that.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
I hope to have finished my university degrees and still be working on
Keep it Cleaner. We have so many dreams for the brand. Personally, I hope I am close to or have a family. I can’t wait to be a mum, but for now KIC is our baby. I want to remember to celebrate the small wins and enjoy every part of the journey.