Model, law student and entrepreneur rolled into one, Laura Henshaw knows how to take care of business. Co-founder of Keep it Cleaner, a health blog and fitness program with a healthy food range to boot, she is inspiring women all over Australia to chase their dreams and start their own side-hustle. This is how she does it.
I started modelling when I was 19. My first agent approached me at my cousin’s engagement party, and I started by doing mostly runway and editorial. As I grew into my body and became curvier, I moved into more commercial work, which I love because I don’t feel any pressure to be a certain size.
On shifting direction
I got into the health and fitness industry when I started a health blog, simply as something to do while I was modelling overseas. Soon after I got back, my business partner and friend Steph [Smith] and I created our first Keep it Cleaner project, which was our eBook. I now do more model jobs that reflect my new direction, which is often with amazing health and fitness brands. I am really lucky now that my modelling is booked for who I am and not just for what I look like.
On studying law
I have always found law really interesting. I never thought I would ever get a good enough score to get into it and couldn’t believe when I actually got in. I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, but I am so grateful for everything I have learnt so far and still plan to finish the degree. It has helped me to problem solve and think analytically, which I have to do in our business every day.
On social media success
I still can’t understand why people want to follow my life, let alone 125,000 people! The biggest ‘Is this for real?’ moment was seeing our Keep it Cleaner products in Coles. If you told me we’d be in Coles two years ago, there is no way in the world I would have believed you. It really is a dream come true.
On achieving a summer body
I believe that if you have a body and a bikini…you have a summer body! Although I do understand that feeling healthy makes you feel so much more comfortable in a bikini. One of the main messages from our KIC Girls program is to avoid fad diets and make healthy living your lifestyle so you don’t have to panic diet before your beach holiday. If you find a healthy balance, you will find your healthy weight, be full of energy and feel more confident in your own skin. It should never be about trying to look like someone else; being unique is special and we should all celebrate that.
On my personality
Bubbly and positive…and maybe a bit nerdy – is that a personality trait?
On my favourite workout
I love running – it is my form of meditation. No matter what kind of day I have had, I can always rely on a run to declutter my thoughts and to feel less stressed. Running is also amazing for toning legs.
On my cheat meal
Hot chips…I simply cannot resist.
On role models
I suppose I have different role models for different parts of my life. My mum has taught me to work as hard as I can and to believe in myself. In a business sense, Janine Allis and Lisa Messenger are big role models for me. And of course Steph is an amazing business partner, best friend and inspiration to me.
On the future
Long term, I hope to grow the Keep it Cleaner brand as much as I can with Steph. We aim to expand KIC Girls, reach more women and expand our range in Coles to make more healthy food options available to everyone. Short term, I want to start appreciating and celebrating my small achievements more; it’s so easy to let them pass without stopping and letting it sink in.