When I started thinking about what I wanted to put my efforts into for 2019, positive energy + gratitude were at the top of my list! 2018 was a great year, and I had the opportunity to try & share my experiences with so many different brands & products 💜 I also wanted to branch out and try way more indie brands that vegan friendly, cruelty free, and mostly female owned. I wanted to do more than just review a product…and that was how this series, Indie Brand Spotlight, was born 😍
I started playing with the Love, Sylvie Seasonal Perfumes Winter Collection in November. You can check out my review here. Taking my review a step further, I really wanted to go behind the curtain and learn a little more about it’s CEO, Kristen Dumbeck. Keep reading to check it out 🠋
So I sent over 5 questions to make this process streamlined and easy for me and everyone else involved 😂😉 Thank you Kristen for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself and your beautiful brand, Love, Sylvie 😘
1 – What was your inspiration for creating Love, Sylvie?
My husband worked in the perfume industry in Europe with some major brands. He noticed that the industry operated the way it did fifty years ago – selling perfume through sexist ads, celebrities, and pushy mall sales people. In the age of Casper mattresses and Warby Parker glasses, perfume just wasn’t speaking to the millennial generation.
Together, we listed all of the things people disliked about perfume (harsh chemicals, large bulky bottles, in-store purchases…) and came up with a plan to make buying perfume fun again. We wanted to create a conscious brand using clean ingredients shipped directly to your door. That’s how Love, Sylvie was born!
2 – What did you do before Love, Sylvie and how did you make it happen for yourself?
Since I was a teenager, I was fascinated by entrepreneurship and was always reading about new technology. Then in college, I won an entrepreneurship contest for a prom dress rental business plan that I wrote the night before. However, the thought of actually becoming an entrepreneur was daunting, like climbing Mount Everest. I just didn’t know where to start.
So, I worked in finance in one of those black-suit type jobs in Philadelphia for four years. When I tell people this, they assume I didn’t like my job and was just blindly climbing some Wall Street corporate ladder. The truth is, I really loved my job. I learned how businesses were built over time, and I loved meeting the founders behind them. Yet, I noticed that I wasn’t using all of my skills on a daily basis and was left feeling a little unfulfilled. In essence, I was just bursting with new ideas and creativity that felt stifled by routine. After meeting my now-husband, creating Love, Sylvie seemed like a natural next step. Last May, I moved to San Francisco and started working full time on Love, Sylvie prior to launching in November.
3 – What keeps you motivated, especially on the daily, to continue growing your brand?
I received a letter from a customer in December who is a cancer survivor. She wrote to us about the difficulties of finding perfume free of toxic chemicals like parabens and phthalates, and how much it meant to her to find healthy perfume. It made me realize that we’re creating much more than perfume. We’re creating the ability for a cancer survivor to live a more confident, healthy lifestyle. We’re saving time for busy mothers. We’re empowering women who don’t feel comfortable at beauty counters at the mall. We’re changing the conversation about what we use on our bodies, and what customers should expect from perfume. It’s this broader picture that keeps me motivated on a daily basis.
4 – Where do you see Love, Sylvie going in the future? What is next for you and your brand?
We have some very exciting news that we haven’t announced yet, but I’ll gladly share it here: we’re starting an at-home trial program!! Instead of shipping three scents every season, we’ll ship you three trials every season, and you choose the scent or scents that work for you! The trials will be automatically included in the cost, so whether you enroll in a subscription or just purchase one-time, you’ll have the chance to sample our scents upfront. This will be available starting in the Summer 2019 collection.
5 – If you could give any one piece of advice to a fellow indie brand owner, what would it be?
I would tell them to keep their ears open. The most important key to success in beauty is to create a product that people love. There’s not a single brand that ‘gets it right’ at the first try. Sometimes, good customer feedback isn’t in a review. It’s hidden in hundreds of Instagram comments or in subtle first impressions. Take time to listen and change the product so that it better suits what your customers want. Don’t be afraid to iterate, take risks, and learn from your customers.
Thank you Kristen for sharing so much about you and your brand, Love, Sylvie 💗
I can tell you, that I personally have really enjoyed getting to know Kristen, and am definitely a fan of her perfume collection. They are unique and perfect for all kinds of moments in our lives. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out you can find my experience here. I am definitely looking forward to see what Kristen has in store for her next fragrance collection 🌸🙋