How she became a conscious beauty entrepreneur, insights on her company Adoratherapy, and all her thoughts on your chakras and the art of healing yourself.
Coherence. Root. Subtle bodies. Auratherapy.
These are some of the words Asheville shopkeeper and Chief Mood Booster Laura McCann effortlessly bandies about during an aura session at Adoratherapy at the Grove Arcade downtown.
It’s to be expected, really. That ‘Chief’ title is no joke, and it was earned after 20+ years as a C-suite executive in fashion and technology.
Becoming a “Life Coach in a Bottle” was a lifetime in the making:
✨ Laura’s path from child actress in Miami where she was born.
✨ To her teens living in Paris as a “French Movie star”.
✨ To New York where she graduated from Parsons School of Design and started her first company at 28.
Figuring out who she was and how to live her best life was not a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘have to have’. Especially considering how, more often than not, she needed to know herself well enough to not destroy herself.
Here to Make an Impact
“Having a conversation without finding out what is truly meaningful seems like a missed opportunity,” says Laura, something she does often, as she explains how she ended up a shopkeeper instead of continuing to scale businesses while sitting behind a desk.
Calm and cool, and yet social and communicative, Laura is always engaging – and engaged. She’s approachable in a chic hippie kind of way. It’s something that probably comes naturally given her Parisian flair and American gift of gab. “I’m always interested in what makes people tick,” she admits.
Nor does she brandish her obvious intellect like a hammer. Laura uses her smarts for the purpose of helping them heal.
Case in point:
A family comes into the shop and she immediately engages them to do aura readings, an aromatherapy consultation, and a shopping spree. It all started when the mother asked if Laura had a way to make her teenage son be in a better mood.
- She chats with a woman who comes in for a hostess gift and ends up in a deep conversation and a hug.
A mother and daughter reunited after Covid treat themselves to an aura photo session and Laura, upon reviewing their report, which includes a graph representing their seven chakras, reveals to them aspects of their personalities and areas of improvement that are so spot on. To the point that everyone gets goosebumps, especially Laura who is intuitive. The goosebumps are confirmation that “what is said and shared is true,” she states.
The point is, Laura is here to make an impact and to heal.
Adoratherapy — How We Got Here
Laura, 57, opened Adoratherapy to sell aroma perfume directly to her customers. She’s been running the company since 2017 when she became the CEO. In the company’s early years, Laura’s role was purely the business side and back-office — handling marketing, manufacturing, sourcing, and finance.
Her partner and the Chief Formulator, Adora Winquist, was the frontwoman in sales and customer service. In 2019, as the businesses required more time and money to scale — the two realized they had different goals. Laura stayed on while Adora went back to her first love — vibrational healing. But Laura’s vocation wasn’t just business, her actual calling is teaching people to love themselves.
“When we love ourselves, we can stop the incessant negative chatter we all experience,” she says. “When we love ourselves, we heal.” Laura works with customers in the store, offering them the opportunity to breathe in vibrational essential oils while receiving a gentle life coaching session.
Adoratherapy’s Auratherapy Studio
“The Auratherapy Studio came to be because my life partner Jim wanted to retire and do more healing work. He studied Reiki and Chi energy, even became an ordained minister. And the more we thought about how his third act would look, the vision of combining what we both wanted became so clear.”
We researched aura cameras on a whim, as we loved the idea of adding an experience to our offerings. Little did we know that the system we’d find was revolutionary and provided a 14-page report that showed a subject’s true colors: their aura personality and their chakra health.
We are impressed every day at how we’ve not only found a way to share our days while remaining active in business but to do so and give back. Jim is an engineer and not a psychic as aura readers often are. We are amazed after almost 1000 readings to see the data come alive.
"The chakra graph in our aura report is by far, the icing on the cake,” says Jim. Being able to assign a numerical value to all seven chakras from one to nine and see the four sides of the aura, its size, and many other attributes of someone’s subtle body energy is truly unique.
“My Aura software and hardware are like having a Tesla instead of a Volkswagen. I love the polaroid aura photos, I prefer the photos, but we offer a completely different experience. And pairing it with essential oils and crystals as we do, Laura has had a vision for how to heal and figured out how to do it in a shop.”
From Movie Star to Conscious Entrepreneur
To understand how Laura became Asheville’s Chief Mood Booster, you have to go back to the start.
Born to a 3rd generation entrepreneurial family, she eventually settled in New York City in the eighties to study fashion design, escaping Paris where at the age of sixteen her acting career launched her into stardom, her face plastered on movie posters on subway corridors and bus stops.
"It was too much attention for all the wrong reasons, and there was no playbook on being a child star,” she reminds herself.
“I was intellectually precocious having grown up with a mother who is an artist and surrounded by ex-pats and intellectuals. I didn’t speak a word of French and there I was at seven years of age in 1972 sitting at a little wooden desk with an ink quill having only used a pencil in my American school up until then. To say that I quickly had to adapt would be putting it lightly.”
She left Paris, the fashion capital at nineteen to try New York City and be unknown, seeking a normal young adulthood. She was offered a role in a movie that never got made: The Queen’s Gambit.
“Funny how it just came out as a series and for twenty years this was the role that got away. Acting taught me to project myself into a made-up persona but it did nothing to safeguard my true self. I had no idea who I was and growing up in France where therapy was pretty much off the table, which left me with many questions.”
Along the way, she was introduced to Lifespring, an offshoot of EST. The program gave her an appreciation for personal transformation; the ability to connect the dots between how she felt, who she was, and how to become who she wanted to be — and zero tolerance for self-loathing.
And so the journey began for Laura, “loving ourselves is a way to break away from the beliefs and patterns that make us small and unhappy. Adoratherapy is not traditional therapy, it’s breathwork combined with intention and the desire to heal ourselves. You are the therapist and you control the outcome: your vibrational energy and your mood.”
It would be easy to lump Laura in with New Age-y flakes, but that’s not what she’s about – and neither is Adoratherapy.
“When someone has an aura reading and comes into the store with their chakra graph it’s not so much about me telling them what is going on as it is together uncovering what is not. I wouldn’t consider myself a clairvoyant,” she says “some aura readers are mediums.”
“What we’re doing is drawing a meaningful and mindful conversation out of data, with seven chakras and numerical values assigned to each, and a personality type defined by the aura colors. That’s what I love about the Aura Report. And I love it because it allows us to add interpretation to data or what would otherwise just be what a medium says they see.”
She explains the ups and downs of the chakras and the dichotomies in the graph, how they relate to each other and tell stories, and how they can be empowering. “Every aura reading allows more consciousness to enter the subject’s world,” she continues. In other words, if you know how you are doing in mind, body, and spirit you can know “YOU”.
Asheville’s Aromatherapy Bar
After living a full life in New York City and New Jersey, Laura chose Asheville to be close to family. She, like many others, felt drawn to Asheville’s unique culture and big city — small-town flair. After many years of traveling to Asia and Europe for business, ending up in a small town was not obvious. “It was magical,” she recalls.
“The biggest issue was leaving my grown kids and friends in New York but the upside was spending time with my father who I wanted to reconnect with – in a more meaningful way.”
“Rooting into a new life changes not only the chakras but also the aura,” Laura says. “I have the privilege of being able to do an aura reading every few months. Aura’s usually stay the same, but in my case going from a CEO with a need for an optimistic-analytical dominant personality to a shopkeeper who is healing people every day has changed my aura colors from blue, green, and yellow to purple and indigo.”
“My chakras vary from balanced at "5"’s and "6"’s, with some higher ones like a "7" solar plexus and Third Eye, to some low ones when I am tired. Most people’s chakras change in subtle ways but their aura’s not so much.”
New Ager-woo woo energy healer suits Laura and her life partner Jim, Auratherapy’s Chief Aura reader. “We are not putting up a shingle asking people to go on a long journey of healing with us,” she says.
“I guess you could call us energy workers. We are on our personal journey and get to share it with others, in a deep and meaningful way, but then we leave you to it. You are the activator, the breath-taker, the catalyst. We are just here to remind you to breathe in, exhale, meditate and balance your chakras.”
Conscious Beauty: Scent With Intent
Laura and Jim do aura readings and aromatherapy consultations daily in their store (they are not in on Tuesdays, but the store is open). She warns though that anyone seeking guidance on healing deep trauma or looking for medical insights should look elsewhere.
The data is to be used “as entertainment only”. Aura readings are about having someone with a wealth of knowledge interpret the information we receive from the software. And as Laura sees it, we all need to know how we are doing right now.
“Aromatherapy is coming back into popularity and being reactivated by the fact that we’re overwhelmed by too much synthetic fragrance,” she says.
“We’ve lost our noses, in some cases our sense of smell after Covid. Essential oils can be blended into beautiful scents that heal. Functional ingredients like CBD are helping people destress, but not everyone is looking to tune out or relieve anxiety.”
“Aromatherapy provides an entire range of moods from grounded to juicy, productive to visionary, and the seven chakras when they are in tune allow us to play beautiful energetic symphonies”. She sees a return to clean and natural beauty as part of what she calls “conscious beauty”: the return to a more meaningful way to share who we are not only on the outside but the inside.
An aura reading and mood boost consultation with Laura and Jim is an experience you won’t want to miss, something that’s rare in any shop, anywhere. There’s authenticity at work here that would make it easy to sit down for a reading with this couple.
The store is filled with crystals, scents, and products specifically curated to remind you to adore yourself. On many days you can find Laura blending and bottling the oils in beautiful bespoke award-winning packaging that has become a big part of the brands’ appeal, right in the store.
“Adoring ourselves is the hack we all need,” she finishes. And anyone who believes they can get through their day without making their thoughts become things would be reminded to watch the movie — The Secret. “It’s not impossible to love ourselves. You just have to wake up every day and do it.”
Laura invites anyone to come see her in-store for a meaningful conversation, an in-depth aura reading, and a one-of-a-kind life coaching session. Reserve your personal session at the Grove Arcade (Asheville, NC) by clicking here.
The COVR Names Adoratherapy Chakra Spice Bronze Winner
Aura Healing Vibes at the Auratherapy Photo Studio
Asheville Based Artisan Perfume Adoratherapy Named North Carolina Small Business of the Year in WNC