Nov 13, 2019
A woman who has become a victim of
human trafficking loses many things. One of those things is the
vital feeling of self-worth. There’s a lot to be said about the
impact of a lack of self-worth on a woman’s overall physical,
spiritual, and emotional health. Sometimes, even the smallest
gestures of assistance and kindness can help a woman on her journey
to speak the truth that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. My
guest this week is Lorin Van Zandt, the founder of Missio Hair, a hair-product company that uses
beauty to restore hope and fight human trafficking. I met Lorin at
a human trafficking education event in North Carolina and I fell in
love with Lorin, the Missio mission and the Missio products. Join
me as I hear from Lorin about how she combined her interest in hair
care with her desire to end human trafficking. Lorin was so
generous to offer a coupon code to Business With A Purpose Podcast
listeners. Use code MOLLY20 for 20% off your purchase from Missio Hair.
4:16 - The Lorin 101
- Lorin is a mom of two and has been
married to her husband Kyle for 13 years. Lorin’s career started as
an elementary school teacher, but she knew deep down that she
really wanted to be a hair stylist.
- Lorin went after her dream and
started cosmetology school while working full time as a
- There is a very unique opportunity
for relationship that exists between a stylist and a client when
getting a haircut. The walls come down and you get to know someone
quickly. Lorin saw the time she spent with clients as a time to get
to know them and to encourage them.
- Lorin realized just getting a
haircut could change someone’s day. She knew she could take that
opportunity to people who needed it more: women in transition from
homelessness and drug rehab centers. She eventually started working
with victims of human trafficking as well.
- While partnering with a nonprofit
ministry in Southern California, Lorin was encouraged to use her
gifts to serve others in creative ways. One day Lorin received a
call asking if she could help a woman who had chunks of hair ripped
out by her abuser.
9:50 - Missio Hair’s
- Lorin arranged for this woman to
come to a salon that was closed on a Sunday. Just one other staff
member was present in order to create a safe, peaceful
- The transformation after her
haircut was incredible. She went from having no confidence to
holding her head up and blossoming instantly after her haircut. She
jumped up and down, smiled, laughed and loved the way she
- The experience made Lorin realize
she wanted to do something to help other women out of similar
situations and encourage them on their new journeys as much as
- There is so much power in treating
a fellow human with dignity and kindness. Missio Hair has learned
after working with so many survivors that a simple hair cut can
help someone feel normal and safe again.
- Lorin and Missio also work to
educate other stylists and salons on simple tips for care services,
how to look out for signs on human trafficking, and resources for
17:32 - The Missio
- Lorin and her husband Kyle had the
idea to start a nonprofit to continue helping those healing from
human trafficking. They soon met with a mentor who encouraged them
to create a product to sell that supported the mission.
- After moving back to North
Carolina, Lorin and Kyle realized that pursing a product line would
open tremendous opportunity for impact. They put together a plan
and started sharing it.
- Eventually an investor approached
them to help the business get off the ground. Of course, all of
this took off as Lorin and Kyle were busy parenting a
- They started learning the ins and
outs about launching a product. Two years ago, Missio was launched
despite their busy schedules and inexperience in creating a new
product from scratch.
22:07 – Education and
- While Lorin was working as a hair
stylist she became very concerned about one of her regular clients
who came in with bruises, slurred speech, and stories that raised a
lot of red flags for Lorin. Even with her training, Lorin was
unsure of what to do to help.
- Thanks to partnerships with
organizations in the area, Lorin became educated on the steps to
take to find help for woman to get themselves out of dangerous
- Lorin quickly learned that rather
than a dramatic intervention by a swat team or local authorities,
the most important way to help a woman out of a bad situation was
to be a safe place for them to reach out for help.
- Lorin gave her client a phone
number to call. Lorin realized that if this is happening all over
the world, she had to get involved to give more people resources to
- You have the tools to help
someone, whether educating yourself on red flags or arming yourself
with something as simple as a phone number and connecting someone
to resources. You can’t force someone to get help, but you can open
a door and let them to decide if they want to walk through
- Missio Hair’s team provides free
education in salons, online, trade shows, and cosmology schools to
equip others in the beauty industry to call in to report a
situation or equip a victim with tools for help.
31:33 - Missio Products
- With such a big goal and mission,
Lorin knew the Missio brand and products needed to be something
that people want to purchase. Lorin met with manufacturers in
person to discuss design, aesthetics, ingredients, and what she
wanted to products to do.
- Lorin received samples of products
in the research and development phase where she got to tweak things
and test fragrances with friends, family, clients and community
members. The research and testing process often takes up to a year
and Lorin doesn’t move forward with a product launch until she’s
fully confident in a product’s ability to sell out.
- Each product contains the highest
quality ingredients including coconut oil and fragrances like
bergamot, citrus, pineapple, and coralily that are proven to be
uplifting to the senses.
Missio products have made their way
into the world and even been featured by Real Simple Magazine, Pop
Sugar, and various subscription boxes! At least 30% of profits goes
toward fighting human trafficking in three different ways:
Education, service, and giving. For more information about these
initiatives and why Missio believes in them, click here!
43:14 - Getting To Know Our
- Find out what Lorin would pick if
she could have any superpower, her answer to a “would you rather”,
something that she never gets a chance to talk about, and of course
what it means to her to run a business with purpose! Remember to
use code MOLLY20 for 20% off your purchase from Missio Hair. Thank you Lorin!
ABOUT LORIN VAN ZANDT:
Lorin Van Zandt is a hair stylist,
educator, entrepreneur, and advocate for women, all while being a
teammate to her husband, Kyle, and a mommy to two little girls.
When she was fifteen-years-old, Lorin began doing hair and quickly
became passionate about beauty. She soon realized that beauty could
be used to help people in need, and she began giving haircuts to
the homeless and those in drug rehab centers. Recognizing the
potential for this passion and profession to be a platform for
good, she enrolled in cosmetology school in the evenings after long
days of teaching 4th graders.
In 2013, she had the opportunity to
work with victims of human trafficking for the first time. Many had
just been rescued and were taken to safe places, and Lorin would to
go meet them in secure locations. She gave manicures, pedicures and
haircuts to women who didn’t believe they had worth after years of
being forced into sex, sold and used as if they were nothing.
However, something as simple as a haircut led to something so big.
These women began to believe something new about themselves. It was
in those moments that the vision for MISSIO was born.
In June of 2017, they launched
MISSIO, which is a hair product company that exists to use beauty
to restore hope and fight human trafficking. They have created
stylist-designed and salon-tested hair
products that serve as a vehicle to educate salons in victim
identification, serve women at-risk and in recovery, and give to
non-profit partners. Their double-bottom-line approach is an
innovative and effective way the reach customers who want their
purchases to matter while unlocking the potential of the beauty
industry to directly fight human trafficking.
A graduate from UNC Chapel Hill,
Lorin taught 4th grade for five years and has been a professional
hair stylist since 2010.
~19:22 – “We decided that having a
business with a purpose, pursing a product company could actually
open up tremendous opportunity for impact.”
~10:40- “I realized in that moment
that she was starting to believe something new about
~21:38: "I think when people have
these dreams or desires you think it will happen overnight, but the
reality is that our entire lives have been leading up to this in so
many different ways; our experiences over years have led into
~47:55 “To know that we’ve created a
very tangible, easy way for a consumer to feel like a part of a
solution, to know that something is making that much of a
difference is so exciting.”