Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Belinda Lau, founder, and CEO of ELIMS, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

ELIMS is a social impact company that is rebuilding the future of sustainable oral care. Our name, ELIMS, is the word smile backward because it's all about the smile you see in the mirror.

All of our products are crafted by dentists, biotechnologists, and environmental experts, and ELIMS combines seriously effective oral care with real sustainability. Basically, everyone on the planet has to brush their teeth. It is one thing just about every human must do, so ELIMS  has a real opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and waste in your oral care routine without compromising the planet further. We are also not selling snake oil our products are backed by science, data, and clinical data. So you know it works. If we do our job right, we have a real chance at advancing human health and reducing the harm done to the planet.

Tell us about yourself

I have known, seen, and breathed entrepreneurship all my life. Before I was born, my parents arrived in North America with only $14 in their pockets. Through a steady combination of hustling, long hours, and hard work, they opened their very own gift shop in the city of Vancouver. I spent my childhood there, sitting quietly behind the sales counter, watching as her parents ran their business. When my father branched out into luggage manufacturing in China, I followed him to Asia. I learned firsthand the ins and outs required to grow an international company.

After graduating with an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson, I spent 15 years working for Medtronic, a Fortune 500 medical device company. When I was working for Medtronic, I co-developed and launched the world's first artificial pancreas, the MiniMed 670G, which won Time Magazine's Invention of the Year in 2015. I also hold 3 US patents on this product.

Realizing I wanted to combine my love for the planet with my passion for effective healthcare, I went back to the beginning, relying on my entrepreneurial roots to found ELIMS in 2019. ELIMS is a social impact company that is rebuilding the future of sustainable oral care. Our name, ELIMS, is the word smile backward because it's all about the smile you see in the mirror. To further the mission, ELIMS partners with the non-profit the Carbon Fund to offset our business carbon emissions and co-invest in reforestation efforts in North and South America. We also partner with TerraCycle, a private recycling company, to recycle both ELIMS products and any oral care products that are not normally recycled at home. This is another way ELIMS closes the loop on waste in oral care.

Because of my work in social impact, I was honored in Forbes's Next 1000 List in 2021 in the social entrepreneurship category. I am married to Dr. Casey Lau (co-founder of ELIMS and dentist). Together, they have three rambunctious and ridiculously cute boys.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being named in Forbes Next 1000 List in 2021. The thing I am most proud of is being awarded in the social entrepreneurship category!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For me, it's balancing all my responsibilities, from driving sales and growth in the business to keeping up with my kid's schedule, spending quality time with my husband, and taking care of myself (physically and mentally).

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Manage your cash flow tightly from the start. You have to know where every single dollar is going. This discipline will take you a long way.
  2. Constantly talk to your customers. They will tell you what is right (and wrong) with what you are doing. Feedback is a gift, and it will help make your business better!
  3. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they are. Running your own business is grueling, and appreciating all the small things will help keep you going.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I also run my business with my husband! That has been an unexpected twist in our marriage, and for the better! We work really well together.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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