Monday Haircare co-founder Jaimee Lupton on controlling what she can

While ‘wellness’ has become a loaded buzzword in recent years, and is tied to feeling ‘less than’ to keep us on the hamster wheel of buying, we all still want to feel good.

Enter Well and Truly, a weekly column that believes wellness should be a buffet for everyone rather than a set menu – leave what you don’t like, take what you like, and come back for seconds for the things that work for you.

Jaimee Lupton co-founded Monday Haircare with her partner, Zuru’s Nick Mowbray, in March 2020, just as Aotearoa was going into lockdown. “We launched Walmart, Target, CVS and Costco in the US from zoom during lockdown.”

24 months later, the range has sold 12 million bottles across 23 countries. Jaimee, who has been open about the challenges of fertility and heartbreak, leads a global team spanning the time zones of Auckland, LA, Sydney, Shanghai and Shenzhen and constantly juggles the challenge of running an FMCG business in fast growing with a need to take care of itself.

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Have you set work/life boundaries or are they merging?

I co-founded Monday with my real life partner. These borders are therefore extremely blurred. We talk about it at the dinner table, we talk about it late at night, we talk about it on weekends – one of our hobbies is walking the aisles of the supermarket, which is sad, but we learn a lot. We work a lot. It’s 100% a work in progress for both of us. We always say “don’t talk about work”, but more often than not we are.

What time do you wake up?

7:30 a.m. I am not an early riser. All of the above is a no for me. On weekends, I can be found in bed after 10 a.m., especially if the week has been busy.

Do you have an exercise routine?

I do Reformer Pilates from home every other day with Anna Miles who is amazing. I need to take private lessons to empower myself.

Do you use supplements?

Along with a Dose & Co. collagen supplement, I take Health By Habit’s Women’s Multi as an all-rounder. I also take vitamin D and magnesium to help me sleep, and every two months I do a Myers Cocktail IV. I try to eat well; when I eat well, I feel much better.

What advice/influences do you really value and listen to when it comes to wellness and self-care?

Wellness by Jess is my naturopath. I’ve been seeing her for a few years now, she always tells me what to do and what to take.

My friend Madeleine Walker always tells me to disconnect and take some time for myself. She once told me that sleeping before midnight is the most important sleep. So I try to get as many hours as possible before 12 noon.

What pillar of life causes you the most stress – work, family, finances, health?

Family, because I never feel like I spend enough time with them. I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t feel ‘mom guilt’, but I definitely get ‘family guilt’.

Running a global business is tough: we operate in 14 markets in many time zones and are preparing to launch several new products and brands, which means constant calls, emails and planning as we expand the business. Working with your partner isn’t for the faint-hearted either.

I had quite a stressful year this year, personally. I’m looking to start a family, and that’s a big goal that I can’t control. I am a self-diagnosed control freak. And it’s positive in some ways and negative in others.

When you have no control [over a situation], it’s about focusing on what you can. It’s also important that my team is happy. I would say one of the biggest stresses is building a good team and making sure they are happy.

And what are you doing to manage it?

Forced leave! If I see my laptop, I’m always drawn to work to check email or just message someone, so if I put it away where I can’t see it, that always helps. If I can’t get away from my laptop or phone, I’ll at least try to work from a new place or from a different angle.

What time do you go to bed at night? Do you sleep soundly?

My partner is a night owl and it creates tension in our household. By the time we finish the day’s debriefing, we go to bed really quite late. If I go to bed before midnight, I’m happy, but 11 p.m. is my sweet spot. I sleep well once asleep.

What do you do in the last hour before bed?

I tried to read more, so I read Anna: the biography by fashion journalist Amy Odell. When I fail in reading, my little guilty pleasure is reality TV (I love watching The Kardashians, of course, we’re teaming up with Khloé for another of our brands, Dose & Co) or scrolling Monday TikTok.

What do you spend on your well-being?

I am a big fan of personal care and I especially love facials. Olga’s sculpting facial massage at Face Up Beauty in Gray Lynn is nothing short of amazing. Before seeing her, I had no idea how much stress and tension I was holding onto my face. I always fall asleep!

Massages are another way to really disconnect. I often go to the Spring Spa in Ponsonby for lymphatic drainage (I see Nikki) or for a mobile home massage. I spend between $500 and $1000 per month.

How do you deal with the stress of failure?

Owning a business, failure is only part of it, and you have to feel comfortable with failure so you don’t get paralyzed by it. It’s not really about whether you’re going to fail (because you’re going to fail in so many ways) but how you move on from that failure. Maybe my advice is to move on as fast as you can so you don’t have the chance to linger or let it affect your sense of yourself.

And how do you deal with stressed employees, colleagues?

Monday now has about 30 team members, and I’m very human in my leadership approach with them, so if something happens in their personal lives, I try to support them as much as possible.

I like to think that I hire extremely well and have found that everyone really embraces and cares about our long-term vision, and I like to show them the same care in return. [All employees] get a $500 annual wellness benefit that they can use for things like massages, facials, physio, whatever they want that will make them feel better.

What’s been the biggest change you’ve made in health, mental health, and wellbeing?

I’ve had a pretty tough year personally and I’ve realized how crucial mental and physical well-being is, not just for me but for those around me, so the next moment for me is going to be prioritizing this which is important.

As any business owner can tell you, it’s really hard to get disconnected and time consuming. I find it difficult, but mental health and self-care isn’t a race – it’s something you need to work on to make sure you wake up every day with a better version of yourself. Am I showing a better, more balanced person? That was my number one goal this year.

Monday Haircare co-founder Jaimee Lupton on controlling what she can

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