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How to launch a 7 figure clean fragrance line with Founder Rosie Jane Johnston (part 1)

by Female Startup Club
June 7th 2022
00:46:02
Description
Today we’re learning from Rosie Jane Johnston, the founder of By Rosie Jane. By Rosie Jane was founded in 2010 by celebrity makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston, an Aussie who has made her home in LA. E... More
This is Rosie jane johnston for female startup club. Hey everyone and welcome back to the show today, we're learning from Rosie jane johnston, the founder of by Rosie jane Bye. Rosie Jane was founded in 2010 by celebrity makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston and Aussie who has made her home in La. Each fragrance formulated by Rosie herself is free of parabens, sulfates violates and phosphates and housed in recycled and recyclable packaging. Her perfumes and body care products are refreshingly simple and ideal for daily wear using the highest quality fragrance oils. In this episode we cover her journey to building this brand into a seven figure company stocked in the likes of Sephora and 13 lune and the campaign that's driving her customer acquisition right now. If you love something in this episode, please do consider sharing it on instagram stories and tagging us or leaving us a review to help other ears find us. I'm so grateful for each and every one of you who do this.

Let's jump into this episode, this is Rosie for female startup club. Hey, it's dune here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com. Where you can subscribe to our free newsletter, we send it out weekly covering female founder business news insights and learnings in D. C. And interesting business resources and if you're a founder building an e commerce brand. You can join our private network of entrepreneurs called Hype club at female startup Club dot com forward slash hype club. We have guests from the show joining us for intimate Ask Me Anythings expert workshops and a group of totally amazing, like minded women building the future of DTC brands. As always, please do subscribe rate and review the show and post your favorite episodes to instagram stories. I am beyond grateful when you do that, Rosie Hi, welcome to the female startup Club podcast.

I'm so excited to be here, thank you for having me. I'm so excited to have you here and to hear all about your brand. I was just saying to you before we started recording that this is probably one of the first times we've had a fragrance founder on the show and I'm so excited to dig into how you actually go about creating a fragrance brand and what that journey looks like. But before we jump into it, could you give us a bit of an overview or an elevator pitch if you will into you, your brand and the ethos behind it. Yes, so I am Rosie jane, um I am the founder of by Rosie jane. We are a clean beauty fragrance. I like to say lifestyle brand as well because I feel like that's really what we, we stand behind. We are all about. Easy everyday, transparent, authentic, beautiful products, that's kind of everything that stands for by Rosie jane really simple and it's so beautiful, I love your design and your overall aesthetic.

It's really nice. I know that you have had quite the journey to getting to where you are today and you've launched multiple brands under, kind of your namesake brand. And I'd like to kind of go back to the very beginning of where you like to start your story and where you like to kick things off, which I'm guessing is like pre 2002. Oh man, I feel like I'm like a dinosaur in the, in the entrepreneurial world nowadays, especially now the way that brands are built and they grow really, really fast and then they sell, and then, you know, we're like an older brand in the sense that I launched. So, my original product, I'm a makeup artist by trade, that's sort of my, where I started everything, it's where I fell in love with beauty, it's where I fell in love with the way that products can make you feel. But then in, gosh, I'm gonna say like, yeah, it would have been like around 2000 and two, 2003, I launched this cheek and lip gloss, and it was the very first product that I ever did.

Clearly I was a makeup artist, I had been putting lip gloss on the cheeks of my clients for what felt like an eternity because I loved the, like, doing this, that is now very on trend, right? Everyone has, but I didn't very glossier, but I didn't want the shimmer, which is what I did, like, that kind of build up that it would give on the skin. I love the translucent feel that lip gloss. So, I created a cheek and lip pot and people were like, I'm sorry, I don't really understand what you mean, it's like a cream, but it's sort of dewey now, people would be like, yeah, this is a no brainer, of course, Things that are two for 1. Yeah, they're like, I'm sorry, I feel like this product being done 10,000 times, but when I you're ahead of your time, people were really kind of, you know, taken back by it. It was different. So, but that's really where I started my whole entrepreneurial journey. We got this really amazing cult following behind it. We were just rosie jane was my name, the brand name then. And yeah, I was still doing makeup, and I was selling this little cheek and lip pot into boutiques, and that is really how it all began.

I kind of got the bug then. And so what happened within, So we launched into, we were in a bunch of stores in Sydney. So I was still living in Australia at the time. And then I'm trying to remember, I came to the U. S. And we started to get like a little bit of like a following here. We launched into a very trendy store at the time called satine, Which was on 3rd Street, which is very kind of funky part of town. A friend of mine was a stylist and she was the buyer and she was like, I'm obsessed with your chicken pots and I want to put them in there. So we, we, I found these little tiny stores and then kept kind of growing from there all the time doing makeup and then It really was this very organic growth. But then the crash of 2008 came right. So I was never fully supporting myself doing the cheek and the lip, it was more makeup.

I was doing both of them together. And then, so we, I think we probably had about like 100 little tiny boutiques, you know, and I would call the orders were so teeny, so we would call and they're like, we, I would call like every day around the stores and be like, hi, you know, I have a new product, would you like to try it? I would love to, you know, send you a sample and they would say yes. And then I would send it and they would order like five. We had three colors. They would do like three of each color maybe? And a tester. And then I would call them kind of monthly to be like, hey, you know, do you need a reorder, do you need new testers, can you do this? Can you do that? But you know, I had no real idea of marketing, I had no idea of, of education. So we had this new product a new concept and people were loved it and we got literally, we got so much press, we were written up in a law, we were written up in in style and it was me literally packing these little boxes and tying, hand tied bows around each box.

Very bootstrapped grassroots. Oh yeah, I mean I had when we very first launched, I remember we had this like tying party. So I invited all of my friends to come over to our house in Paddington where I grew up in Sydney And there was like 10 of us and we all sat around the table and hand tied, found us take note, get your friends over them in. Yes, I had to supply a lot of wine I remember and food and that was about it, that's all it took, that's all we need, we need a conversation and then we tied, you know, we probably didn't actually get very many done but my mom was a bit of a champion at the tying of the boats. They were so perfect but it was, it really was a very kind of side hustle thing. It didn't like I knew I wanted to do something that was different and made a made a difference and and felt good but I don't think I was picturing too far down the track. It was just everything was just right now.

Oh, a new store here and you still there and then we yeah, it was kind of crazy. My thought process here around 2008 or my assumption is similar to Covid. This thing happens, everything goes to kaput and all the stores that you stopped in close. Is that what happened? Yes, Yes. So, and at the time though, of course, we didn't have these online channels, right? So essentially when it closed, we lost probably six or 80% of our stores. So the difference was, is that there were still people who could fight through. Whereas I feel like with Covid with the brick and mortar, there was no, you know, no one could survive that period. If you only had brick and mortar, you, it was mandatory closing. This was kind of survival of the fittest, right? It was brutal. But everyone was closing doors. That was our only outlet. We did not have a website, we didn't have anything at the time and it seems so crazy.

So yeah, it pretty much killed Yeah, of my business. And I remember at the time thinking, okay, well that's done. I mean, thank God for makeup. You know, I guess this is what it is. And then randomly, this girlfriend of mine who was a colleague who also had a beauty line at the time was like, have you ever thought of doing fragrance And this is still 2008? Or is this kind of like a few years down the track? It well, it was establishing a timeline over here. It was, It was 2008 that she when it came up in conversation. So, and I was like, no, like why would? And this is where it was sort of this weird synchronicity is I had had a fragrance that I had mixed for myself as a makeup artist and war as like my signature calling card, right? So, I had always had this kind of and but when she was like that, I was like, no dude, why I would never do perfume.

Like I am not a perfumer. That seems insane. And that kind of started everything rolling for me, she planted the seed. And then when you know, people were sort of the education behind what I had done with the chicken lip just was challenging. It was beautifully packaged. I had done all of this really great work. But I didn't understand, as I said, the marketing, I didn't understand the the full idea of selling this product out into the market. I think that that's what it was. Even though we had great press, we had great, you know, I was competing also at a time where in the idea of an indie cosmetic line was like, I'm sorry, what are you talking about? Different world. Pre social media. Pre social media, you know, it wasn't really taken seriously, it was sort of taken like, like I was mixing the product in my kitchen and pouring these little pots where you know, we worked with a manufacturer, we did all of these things, It was small and teeny, but it was legitimate and it just it wasn't sustaining in the way that I would have needed to create this big line.

So yeah, so that sort of, it was crazy that in order for that to happen, kind of pushed me into the water fragrance. That's so crazy. I'm interested to know like how you kind of wrapped that up and then got into 2.0 bye rosie jane and actually got started like, you know, are you sitting there being like, oh I'm gonna mix some fragrance in my kitchen today and see what happens, or you like going straight out to a manufacturer who, you know, is a perfumer, what's the, what's that transition? How do you get from A to B? I had so I had this fragrance that I had worn for a long time and people clients of mine would ask me, oh it's beautiful, I love it, can you mix it for me? And then I think we're, you know from lucy was her name, who planted the seed kind of for me shout out to lucy shout out to lucy uh and then for it to actually become like a real idea. It took another friend of mine being like, will you make the fragrance that you wear for me, make me like five little bottles.

She had a boutique on a very kind of funky area in L. A. Called Larchmont boulevard and she was like, I'm obsessed with this fragrance. Can you make it for me? And I want to stick it and put it in my shop over the holidays? And I was like, sure. So I made six little bottles and I had this old typewriter that I bought from a garage sale and I hand typed, you know the fragrance and that. I had to name it. Love it. Very la la boh, literally, it looked exactly like the la bo and I had to name it at the time. Of course I had had my daughter Leila. So originally it was called Leila, that's all. It was not Leila lou. So I typed Leila and then I was like, it would look weird to say Leyla, Rosie James. So I was like Leila by Rosie James, that's it. That was it. We glued it onto the bottle, cut it out and gave her the bottles and she sold out in like a week. It was, I was like, can I have more? And I was like, yeah, all right.

I mean, and so I already be having had the cheek and lip. I already understood the process of how to kind of get into stores and do all that. And then I was like, you know what? And I was still doing the chicken lip on the side, it was still going, it was just much smaller and then I was like, you know what, I'm going to do this for, I'm going to add it to the line. I'm going to call all the existing stores that we have, tell them we're doing a fragrance, I'm not going to hand type these labels, I'm going to print some stickers and but at the time that I went to a friend of mine, this is so crazy. And I was like, I don't have any money to do the packaging so I can't afford to do a box. You know the bottle's fine, I can get stickers but you know to do the box and kind of design it and make it look beautiful, will you lend me No joke like like $2,000 and I'll give you this is where the universe is so brilliant. And I was like I'll give you Like 20% of the company if you give me two grand to do the boxing. Whoa!

He said no, no, no. It was a guy. He was like, you know, can I do this where it's so crazy when you're young and you're broke. And he was like, you know, I just, I don't know if the company, you know if I trust you, you know and I think that you're smart, I think you're all those things but honestly it was something like I think your husband borrowed like $500 from me like a year ago and he never paid me back. So you know, I don't think my wife is gonna let me give you any more money. Thank God. Thank God. Oh my God. It's literally one of those would have been the best deal ever for him. Oh we joke about it now. We're still friends with these people and I'm always like, damn it. Thank God you had no foresight and no trust thank God because literally I would, I was just like, you know, I just, I can't do it. So What did you do? How did you get the $2,000? I did no packaging, I just did the bottle and I just did the sticker and I had this little paper hang tag and we did know boxing and it was just the bottles and they would see it and I was like, you know what?

This is actually probably a really like more of an eco friendly way anyway to do it a 100%. That's so cool. My goodness. So you launched this new fragrance like, well you launch a very small fragrance offering of the one cent that you have. What is that first year? Like obviously you said in the first kind of go of one point. Oh you know the cheek and lip gloss, you didn't know how to market, you weren't sure like how to kind of of the vision etcetera. What changes in two point oh, how do you start actually getting this out there too? I mean you're in 100 stores before. That's kind of crazy to me. 100 stores. A lot of stores. So how do you grow this and kind of nurture it into something a lot bigger again? I think for me it was, it was a kind of organic growth. So I, I think we had probably like 40 stores left at that time where I was like, hey, we have a new fragrance, I'll send you a sample, luckily this fragrance, Leila lou is intoxicating, right?

You know, it literally is like one of those, I, if I had a plan to make a fragrance as popular as Leila lu, I don't think I could have accomplished it. It was just one of those sweet Kind of moments that it just came together and I happened to mix the fragrance that people loved. So that fragrance is sold itself. I would send it to people and they'd be like, I love it, great. I'm taking 10 bottles and it would sell out. And then, so it was having gone from a product where people were like, oh, I don't think they understand or you know, it felt sticky when they first put it on or blah blah, blah, blah, blah to a product that pretty much just sold itself with no real explanation. Product market fit. I think that's what they call it now. Yeah, it just, it just, and we had, we weren't doing because they didn't understand how the alcohol thing worked. So I was just doing pure oil, but it really was this kind of just crazy experience. And then I, you know, I am probably, I'm very tenacious and I worked the ship out of that product and my sales channels, I rang like I'm talking like I would ring like 150 stores a day.

Hey, I have a new product. I want to send you samples. I want to send you samples a little. I mean I was like dogmatic about it and I would like find brands that I, that I loved that I knew were sort of boutique e and not perfume brands, but more like brands that like clothing brands, t shirt brands at the time. It was like splendid or Ella Moss or whatever. And I would find out all the stores that they were sold in and I would call those stores. That's how I would find them. And so I would just ring and be like, I know that this is kind of the store, this is the sort of fashion that I would wear. Obviously I made the fragrance. So it probably is going to resonate with people who also shop there and that's how I continue to grow and grow and grow that way and then we had great self through. So the product sold itself. But you know, I was just die hard to get it into these stores. Did you need to invest any capital in those early years to develop the product that you were sending to these stores?

And how are we thinking about working capital and the money piece of the puzzle. So for when I became by Rosie Jane no capital obviously because I couldn't even get $2,000 when I started my original company, I borrowed money from my dad. So or ask him for money. I mean you say borrow with your parents. I never really paid him back. How much are we talking? I started with $10,000 And then incrementally probably went up to like 50. And that is because I think what happened, the difference between the two was with the cheek and lip gloss. I really, there had to be like someone filling and pouring this product for me. It wasn't something that I could do at home. I designed and created packaging for it. I sort of had like a marketing plan. I wanted a publicist to help me launch it. So there was some initial things That I started for that company that I didn't with the second company, which was kind of crazy.

So, but it was more sort of dollops, right? So I would do like gave me $10,000 was like the biggest lump sum and then the rest, I feel like just sort of trickled in like I was like. no, hey, can you help me pay my publicist this? Yes, mom, can you buy me a computer? Can I get that as a business? You know, it was sort of more like that as opposed to here's my business plan, here's, you know, money and and run got it, got it. It was different. I did letterhead for christ sake. I printed like, you know, you had to have, you know, you just didn't print stuff like that from the computer. It was so crazy when I Did the cheek and lip in like 2002 or whatever it was, it was, you know, you had my space was how I was talking about and I think my, my like 11 year old sister at the time set up my space. Oh my God, wow. Myspace, we're really going back a while here. Tom It's such, it was such a different time and the, the elements that you needed to start a business were completely different to what they are now.

Um So yeah, so that was my startup capital shout out to your dad funding. Love that for you. I'm so excited to introduce you to our newest partner and it's something I literally use every single day. I started taking a G1 by Athletic Greens because I'm someone who can get run down easily if I'm not taking care of myself and I also suffer a lot from tummy issues and because I travel frequently I really need things that are easy to take with me on the go to keep my routine in check. I actually started taking them last year after hearing about it on tIM Ferriss podcast and now I'm totally obsessed. What's crazy about a G one is that with just one scoop, you're absorbing 75 high quality vitamins, minerals, superfoods, probiotics and adapted gens and it's specifically designed to support your sleep quality, your gut health, nervous and immune system, your energy recovery focus and aging literally all the things to make it easy. Athletic greens is going to give you a free one year supply of immune supporting vitamin D. and five free travel packs with your first purchase, all you have to do is visit athletic greens dot com forward slash startup again.

That's athletic greens dot com forward slash startup to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance. So now, I mean you're stopped in the likes of Sephora, you're stocked in the likes of Mecca, you're stopped in all these amazing companies, you know, you're doing all these things When it's come to your marketing and to getting to this point, if you were to distill kind of a couple of your major milestones, whether they were good or bad, but over the years, getting from, you know, those early years of you making 150 phone calls every single day and just like pounding the pavement to today. What's been that journey in the kind of like dot point summary. Oh gosh. You know, so I think that the big jumps for me came with retail partnerships, right? So the people that I ended up getting recognition from whether that be press or whatever. But for me, the jump from being just like, like little Rosie jane in a couple boutiques was, you know, Henri Bendel's, which is not the same as it was.

So we did it, there was a huge, if you could get a trunk show at Henri Bendel, it was like a game changer for your brand and I got one and it was because again, I would ring them like I would stay up until three o'clock in the morning in Australia and call Henri Bendel's the buyer over and over because they never pick up their phone and I knew that if I left a message, she, they would never call me back because they'd be like, is by Rosie jane, Right? So I would just call and then if I got the voice message, I would hang up and then I would try like, maybe an hour later, you know, and until I got, and then she picked up the phone and I was like, oh, hi, I'm reading a lot, you know, I would love to do it. And you know, I was calling from Sydney and she's like, great, well, you know, I'd love to meet you and get samples, Are you going to be in new york? And I was like, yes, I am, I'm gonna be in new york and you know, try and plan it and then I would be like, and I would just set up all these meetings while I was there and I would do it, I did it with barneys, I did it with Henri Bendel's and Henri Bendel was like, you know what, we'll give you a shot and what was the impact of that?

You know what I think what it had is it wasn't massive for sales, but what it did is let other people in the industry sort of, because they're always work shopping Henri Bendel's, right? So they were kind of coming in to be like, what's new? What's cool? I mean they were at the time the place to be discovered as a brand, it was like if Henri Bendel took you, people were like, oh ship this is like legitimate like this is going to be the next big thing. So when I got that trunk show, it was huge. That was sort of our jump, although financially can I tell you it didn't ever feel like amazing at any particular point where I was like, now I'm, you know, I mean, I mean, you know, financial freedom ever with the brand? Was there a point where you were able what or what point rather were you able to start paying yourself a salary and kind of take money out of the business? I only stopped doing makeup, I've been a makeup artist sometime in 2018.

So we launched into Sephora in 2018 and that is when that was obviously a huge game changer again for us. Um, and that is when I was like, okay, you know what, I have to stop doing makeup, you know, leave my clients and go all in even though I was all in for much way before 2000 and 18, I never felt like I had the confidence to just give up that income and then in 2000 and 18 I was like, I just have to, it's not fair to the clients that I'm working for because I was there like doing their makeup and I was like, looking at my phone like, I'm sorry, I have to go, I have a meeting, I'm so sorry, I have to do this, you know, and I was, you know, Sephora is such an incredible company to work with and but they ask a lot, it's a lot of time, a lot of energy and you know, I'm growing a brand, you know, in on a scale that I had just never done before. So I had to give my all into everything.

Do you have any tips for founders who are listening, who are dreaming of getting into Sephora? What do you think was working in your favor and got you in the door innovation, That's the biggest thing. You know, we got into. So for primarily because finally clean products, right, became a thing. And so we had been clean and non toxic since the beginning really well, I had mixed and it was not right. And that sort of opened up this can of, of worms for me with clean fragrance and then we became fully clean. Like we are today in so, so far, it feels like a million years ago, probably 2000 and 10, when we officially launched, we were 100% clean. But again, people were like clean. They kept thinking natural, right? Oh, you're an essential oil brand. I'm like, no, we're not, You know, 100% natural, we use natural, but we are clean, we don't use stay lights, we don't use hormone interrupters, we comb our ingredients, you can read our ingredients a little bit of that education from my past days where people were like, I don't get it, okay, I'm just gonna call you natural and you're like, okay, not really what we are, but if it makes you feel good go crazy.

So I think for us, the Sephora, I had pitched Sephora before and they were like, no, no, we've never really gotten too far in. And then they really started to look into clean in a whole new way through skin care primarily and they reached out to us and we're like, hey, you know, have you, would you be interested in sending your product in? And I was like, hell yeah, oh my God, it was so tragic. I loved it. Also, like for me, what stands out about you is that you're someone that is relentless in the pursuit of getting what you want. And also along that notion of like, no, now doesn't mean, you know forever and it's just about being like open for when the no is yes, I think, and I, you know what's crazy is that? I think that that's where your courage of conviction is, right? That's where it comes back to if you are not doing something that you truly believe in, that you truly love, you're, you're not going to stay the course and that is such an important part of it and whatever that is right for you, it's, that is what has to be your driving force.

You're like, no, I know I can do this, I know this is a great product, I know that I'm gonna, you know, this is better than what's on the market, whatever it is, you know, I think that's what has to drive you, but there is that there is something within your entrepreneurial spirit, you know, it's like nature versus nurture right? It's just in you, there's also, it's like a competitive sports person they have a level of competitiveness and drive that makes them untouchable, right? And it's why they do the crazy ship that you're like, I could never do that. I mean, could I play basketball? Absolutely not or any major sports, but you know, if I can see something that I want, I will hammer away and it also goes back to that, like That's saying it takes 10 years to reach overnight success because everyone just wants everything to happen immediately. But really like you know, everything does take time and you really do have to have that persistence and that like, you know, True conviction in what you're doing because nine times out of 10, yes, there is always the rare outlier that pops on Tiktok and it grows immediately overnight.

Fine. Sure. But also that person has still been hustling for, you know, the years in the lead up to figure out their pathway. And there has been something that's come before hand. So it's interesting, my mom would always say it to me, I don't actually know where it would come from and which was this saying, which is, you either pay your dues in the beginning or you pay them at the end, but everyone pays them. So even if you have massive growth, like realistically you're like, hey, I just talked about a hair brush, right? And you're like, I got a lot of celebrity status, you got a lot of pool and it climbs massively and everyone's gonna buy it at some point, business Knaus and real marketing and a really good product and all these things are going to come into that. They may not come into it right at the beginning and you've got all, but then suddenly you're going to hit this plateau and people are going to be like actually this product isn't great, why do I want it? Do I want to buy another one? Am I ever going to tell anyone else about it? And then it just dies?

Right. So the true test, are you going to tell a girlfriend about it and are you going to buy it twice? Exactly. Right. So, and that's the thing, it's like, I think that legacy brands overall if you look at most of them have these incredible wise a generally why they started why they're doing what they're doing. They have a lot of struggle in the beginning and because they've had to change and move with the times and manipulate and have massive failures and have great successes and still come back and fight and push forward and those are so important to have an entrepreneurial world. It's kind of crazy when you think about how much tech we use daily, we use all these different platforms to do all these different things and to be quite frank, it can get really overwhelming. So imagine if you could streamline those routine operations and admin tasks that eat up all your time. Things like lead management, employee onboarding or even customer support.

The average tapia user saves over $10,000 in recovered time every year and it's so easy to get started. They have thousands of popular apps like Google Sheets, quickbooks or even Facebook and Google ads ready for you to automate almost any workflow imaginable. They've also got thousands of easy to use templates ready to go so you can get started right away. See for yourself why teams at air table, dropbox hubspot zendesk and thousands of other companies use appia everyday to automate their businesses, tries a P A for free today at Zap E A dot com forward slash startup, that's Z A P I E R dot com forward slash startup. I Wanted to ask you about something you have on your website to see how it's going, what's the impact been. And that's your $25 sample tester kit. I was reading through your reviews and it sounds like this has been just a great place for people to kind of discover the brand in an easy way.

So I just love to kind of talk about this as a concept and as a marketing initiative and what it's been like. Yeah. So you know, one of the biggest challenges for fragrance online is smelling it of course, right? So I feel like it's really, most people don't buy fragrance blind unless it's like something that they know like a Chanel number five where it doesn't even matter if they like it, they just want Chanel number five on their dresser. But it was one of the huge challenges for fragrance and and selling online. So it was something that we did actually a really long time ago and initially we offered them for free. You know, we were a little tiny brand and I was like, hey, if you wanna like sign up, we'll send you a free sample. We only had one or two fragrances at the time. And then as we started to look at it, I was like, you know what? This is a really great way. Now we're a collection line to have the experience of fragrance in your own home, in your own life. Be able to give people enough product in each of these that they can really live in the fragrance for a week because fragrance is so subjective, it not only impacts your life, it impacts the life of people around you, write your animals, your partner, your work environment.

All of these things are impacted by your fragrance. So it's so important to be able to try them and bring them home and have this beautiful experience with a brand and, and a fragrance that is memorable and that's really how it evolved into these sample sets which is now our number one marketing tool. Absolutely. And from like the kind of economics of this as a channel to acquire new customers are you kind of positioning it as like a break even, is it a loss, but then you make it up because you see that people do come back and buy the full product or like how does it kind of how do you map it out? Yeah, so it's probably all said and done like a break even for us, but it is such a great marketing tool and we, we are constantly acquiring new customers, right? That's how we're finding people. That's how people are discovering us and what's cool is that they have this sort of physical object. So even if it's like something that maybe isn't for them, they give it to someone else.

So they're like, you know, it's it's it's like paying it forward, it always ends up in the hands of someone that loves it, you know, even if they're like, I hate this fragrance, I gave it to my mom or my sister or my cousin or whatever, that person and the crazy stories of how we we hear from our customers of how they found us. It's so many like that I actually read that in some of the reviews, someone being like either I gave it to someone who loved it or you know, I received it from someone and I loved it and then I bought it like there was just you've got like hundreds and maybe thousands actually of five star reviews of people saying, you know, these funny little stories about how they came across the test. In fact, it's very cool, you know, and word of mouth is nothing more than you you take to heart than your closest girlfriend or family member being like, oh my God, you have to try this product, it's so amazing. Or this is a, you know, a brand that I love because of X, Y, Z, and this is what they're doing, You've got to try their product.

So yeah, we have, we're working on a new one actually because we have a new fragrance coming out in the fall. But yeah, it's, I spend so much time in design on these, on this because I want it to feel like this true experience of not only the fragrance but of who we are as a brand, what we stand for, what means something to us, You know, we're very much about community building community, give back all of that. Yeah, I wanted to ask you about your community. Give back. I read that you had partnered with, I'm not sure how to say it properly, Lover may. Oh yeah, Oh my gosh, they were, this is again years ago and I, they just found them randomly online and I loved everything that they were doing which was providing. Well, they always say, providing dignity right to people who are finding it harder to find. So yeah, they were redoing all of these old busses to be mobile shower stations for the homeless and people who who couldn't you know otherwise have opportunity to just Experience hygiene like general hygiene.

It was just so they were amazing and now I think they have like 250 busses. We were one of the we help them finance like won their first bus. I think it was, we did a fundraiser just little, we gave a percentage of our like sales at the time. It was honestly it probably didn't really pay for anything now when I think of the amount of money that we donated but it just I just thought it was such a brilliant concept. That is so cool. I love that. Yeah, what's on the cards view, what's next? What can you shout about? Oh gosh! So you know we recently got into Body and personal Care, so you know that is we have a new fragrance coming out but our big kind of pushes much more into personal care, personal experience through Beautiful products. And then we're, of course we're launching with one of our most were our new favorite retailer which is 13 lune were an ally brand for them. They are new beauty retail concept going into all of the J.

C. Penney stores and they're about diverse, inclusive beauty. A lot of female founders, which is amazing but really just about people doing something different, talking to a different community, a different market and really sort of broadening everything out in a really exciting way. Congratulations, sounds very exciting, thank you, I'm really excited. It was founded actually by a girlfriend of mine, we started our brands together, what feels like a million years ago, her name is nick ao she had like a coffee body scrub, which is amazing, but her and I would go to like fred Segal to the buyers and be like, hey would you want to take our product? We've known each other since then and then now to both be, be doing this um collaboration, it feels amazing. That's so cool, we'll have to get her on the show. Oh my God, she's the most phenomenal and talk about, I mean tenacity holy ship, I mean we literally, her and I were like, I remember she was bigger than me at the time as well and you know, we were still just mixing stuff in our kitchens and it was just pushing a boulder up a mail.

The story of every entrepreneurs life. Oh my God, it's just, yes, it's but you know, and you don't ever feel like you get to the top, That's what's so crazy. I feel like about entrepreneurship, every person I speak to whether or not there in the billions or you know in the hundreds, they never feel like they've ever stopped pushing that boulder Amen. What do you think is important advice for entrepreneurs in the beauty slash fragrance space now, it's you know, I, I mean, honestly, I think start small is always the greatest thing you can do, really have a clear idea of what you want to create and why you want to create that. There is so much saturation in the market right now within beauty, particularly skincare, every element of fragrance.

I think you have to, there really has to be a strong, why, what am I doing this for? Why does this product matter? Like, I think you can, if you're, you know, want to be an entrepreneur and you're not really sure where you want to put your stamp on things in which market, that's the most important thing to find. Like, don't just bring out a product for the hell of it, because now it's too competitive, there's so much out there and the one thing we're actually missing I think is innovation, you know, we're not seeing as many brilliant breakthroughs in new products at the moment, you know, a lot of it's just the same. So I just think, you know, sit with it for a minute, you know, and be like, is what I am currently doing, is it just another thing on the market or is it something that really is going to make an impact in someone's life environmentally personally, what have you? Yeah, is there a true point of difference? What's the difference?

Yes, and those differences can be teeny, right? Like they really can, but something that just feels like this is what I want and it can also be like a product that's based around a completely different point of view, right? That maybe hasn't been spoken about before. If you can go into that Space and Shout Loudly. A 100%. Yes, exactly. Hey, it's dune here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the Female startup Club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup Club dot com where you can subscribe to our free newsletter, we Send it out weekly covering female founder business news, insights and learnings in D two c. and interesting business resources. And if you're a founder building an e commerce brand, you can join our private network of entrepreneurs called hype Club at female startup club dot com forward slash hype club. We have guests from the show joining us for intimate.

Ask me Anythings, expert workshops and a group of totally amazing like minded women building the future of DTC brands. As always, please do subscribe rate and review the show and post your favorite episodes to instagram stories. I am beyond grateful when you do that.

How to launch a 7 figure clean fragrance line with Founder Rosie Jane Johnston (part 1)
How to launch a 7 figure clean fragrance line with Founder Rosie Jane Johnston (part 1)
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