As first published by The Milwaukee Business Journal. Click here to view full article.
Jodi Schwefel was inspired by a fragrance.
Schwefel, of Oconomowoc, met a woman wearing a scent she liked, and she researched the product. She said she discovered the product was expensive and decided she could make it herself.
In trying to recreate the scent, Schwefel said she wanted to make it “ultra clean,” meaning free of allergens and other ingredients she says are harmful. She mixed a fragrance and began wearing it daily.
Schwefel said she grew accustomed to strangers asking what she was wearing. One of those strangers owned a store and asked to carry the fragrance, she said.
“Very quickly, just by word of mouth and people starting to wear it, at one point I was in 14 boutiques in Wisconsin,” Schwefel said.
At that time, she was still managing her marketing consulting business. But recently, after the brand gained traction, Schwefel said she decided to rebrand her products to take them more seriously as a business, rather than treating the fragrances as a “do-it-yourself project.”
Operating under the business name allurEssences LLC, Schwefel said she is working with a professional perfume house in Pennsylvania to recreate her fragrances using its ingredients so she can pitch them to bigger retailers and brand them as “clean.” Her products are now in six boutiques, which are mostly in Wisconsin.
So far, she has recreated her Pure Love Boho fragrance, which is available as a mist and as an oil. The line will eventually also include Pure Love Moroccan and Pure Rebel.
Schwefel said 2020 would be a year of “tremendous growth” for her business, as she is in talks with about 30 retailers around the country to carry her products. She declined to name which businesses.
Schwefel said she aims to see her products in high-end boutiques, as well as the clean fragrance line at beauty retailer Sephora some day. She said she sees an opportunity in the market as consumers pay closer attention to the contents of products they purchase.
“Consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to their health, from the food they eat to the make-up they wear or, now, the fragrance or cologne they put on their skin,” Schwefel said. “Not only does the scent itself just sell incredibly well and people really love it, it’s also a healthier perfume option.”