Khulan Davaadorj, a young Mongolian entrepreneur and graduate of Columbia University, founded Lhamour with an ambitious goal of producing organic, natural skin care products made from unique Mongolian ingredients. Heavy air pollution, dust, and low water quality in the capital city Ulaanbaatar cause many residents to develop various skin allergies, including Khulan Davaadorj herself. She discovered that local, high quality, natural skin care products were missing from the market and decided to seek a solution. The brand strives to make a positive change through the philosophy of “loving yourself, loving others and loving the environment”.
Since its establishment in 2014, the brand has been attracting customers in Asian markets and opened its stores in several countries before its appearance in the United States. Flourishing bilateral relations between the United States and Mongolia spurred by legislation such as the Third Neighbor Trade Act have brought the two countries closer together and enabled a conducive business environment for brands like Lhamour to establish operations in the United States.
Women-owned businesses play a key role in the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mongolia and the United States. Washington has been promoting and supporting sustainable, private sector-led economic growth in Mongolia that diversifies the local economy. Lhamour’s launch in the US market highlights the burgeoning relations between the two countries and their respective commitment to free trade and sustainable development. Despite signing a strategic partnership agreement in 2019, Mongolia exported only $11.5 million worth of goods and services to the United States in 2020 , which shows there is a lot of room for improvement and opportunities for Mongolian companies in the US market.
Lhamour’s launch in the US market demonstrates that women entrepreneurship can generate sustainable income and transcend borders in developing Mongolia.
Sayan Dochinkhuu is a participant in the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center in Washington. He is a graduate student at Texas A&M University's Bush School of Government and Public Service studying International Affairs, with a concentration in US foreign policy in East Asia and International Development.