Susan Mey, founder and CEO of the skincare line LASPA Naturals, is a lawyer, corporate director, small business owner, and more. A Toronto resident, she achieved a law degree from the University of Toronto, a degree from the University of Ottawa business program, and is a graduate from the institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto. In addition to serving on many public and private company boards, she is also the former president and chair of Kodak Canada. She eventually set out to pursue more entrepreneurial endeavors, launching a company committed to the philosophy of providing better quality skincare products to a growing audience of allergy sufferers and those looking for more sustainable options.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means finding comfort and contentment within your mind and your body. Wellness is happiness to me, the sense that everything is in balance and at peace.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
Physical fitness is my go-to activity to keep my energy high, my mind sharp, and my body feeling good. I aim to get some type of physical activity every day, which can be a challenge in Canada in the winter, but whether it’s a fitness class, the Peloton, or a hot yoga class, it is critical for me to integrate some physical outlet to help me stay balanced and feeling well.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
My favorite activity is cycling—outdoors, with the clips, up and down hills, and preferably in the country, or better yet, on an organized cycling trip in Europe or Asia where there is an opportunity to meet like-minded adventure seekers.
What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?
I love roasted root vegetables. I take parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, red onions, and carrots; peel and chop them; and mix them with olive oil, a little sea salt, and fresh rosemary sprigs. I then roast them for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, I mix ¼ cup of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of paprika, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, (for the salty, sweet flavor), and mix it in and serve. I eat these on their own over and over.
What is your greatest wellness achievement?
Launching my own brand of naturally derived and certified organic skincare products, LASPA, which help people of every skin type and tone make safer healthier choices when it comes to taking care of their largest organ…their skin!
What is the best piece of wellness advice you have ever received and from whom?
My mother was French Canadian, and her best advice was to keep it simple—in life, at work, in relationships, and when it comes to your health. Listen to your body. It will tell you whether you are making the right choices, whether it’s what you are eating, or how much you are working, or what kind of work you are doing. I started my career as a practicing corporate lawyer in a large law firm. After several years of this, my body made it clear to me that the constant stress would not be sustainable for me. I had to change something, and I went about reforming my life to devote my talents towards endeavors that I felt connected to and passionate about. Healthy living and helping my kids find better skincare products due to their allergies was a natural fit for me, so I devoted my business talents to it.
What do you think is the most exciting wellness innovation you have recently discovered?
LASPA’s recent discovery of an all-naturally derived glycolic acid through a small batch fermentation process where the glycolic acid comes from sugar cane. Most glycolic acids on the market today are made from petrochemicals and have formaldehyde in the resulting ingredient, which is a known skin irritant and allergen.
What is your idea of balanced healthy happiness?
Feeling productive, energized, and eager to learn about all of life’s challenges and pleasures that are still unknown.
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
Whether it’s in my golf game or in my personal life, I’ve always felt better and performed better when I kept my mind on the “doing” and less on the expectations that I have for myself or others. In my view, my mother’s advice is still the best: “Keep it simple. Work hard, do the best you can, and accept whatever comes your way with gratitude.”
What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?
Climbing a mountain on my bike, being immersed in another culture, and stretching the mind learning new things.
What is your favorite self-care routine?
Every morning, I drink a glass of water with lemon in it and pack a salad with tuna or salmon to take with me to our warehouse. I spend an hour or so every morning catching up on emails and completing my list from the day before. I finish my list every day, so my mind is clear when I leave, and I feel productive. I don’t leave without creating the list for the next day. I talk to at least one customer every day. After work, I go to the gym where I will do a fitness class, yoga, or meet my team for dragon boating on Lake Ontario. I avoid carbs at dinner, which is usually late, and I go to bed as soon as I feel like snacking! I sleep like a baby.
What brings you joy?
Listening to the successes of my children, traveling with my husband, snuggling with our golden doodle, Dixie, and growing my business at LASPA Naturals.