From hitting $15,000 in revenue per month with plans for $1.5M in sales in 2019, Adoratherapy is an artisan perfumer who’s firmly on the up. We meet Laura McCann, co-founder who alongside Adora Winquist - master formulator, have turned their $1M investment into a successful business that taps into a lucrative market serving Millennials, Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers, who are seeking natural beauty products that shift how they feel.
Since 2015, Adoratherapy Mood Boosts have been sold to over 500 retail doors, sales have doubled year over year and their gross margins have reached 85%. That’s pretty impressive, so find out more about how they got there and what’s next on the horizon for Adoratherapy.
Read our full brand journey interview with Laura below..
Who are you and what brand did you start?
Hi, I am Laura McCann, the CEO & Co-Founder of Adoratherapy. Adoratherapy is an artisan perfumer mainstreaming the use of multi note essential oil blends and the practice of aromatherapy in the natural perfume space. Our hand crafted, experiential fragrance collection when inhaled offers the purest ingredients and when linked to a strong intention for the best breath of your day shifts mood and emotion. We call this Beyond Perfume. Beyond Organic. Scent with Intent™.
Our all natural, clean, vegan and expertly blended aroma-perfumes are handmade in the USA in our Asheville North Carolina Factory.
Our primary customer is a Spa or resort, or a woman interested in aromatherapy and natural perfume. To date, we’ve sold our products in over 500 locations since starting. We have received awards for our scents and packaging.
How did you come up with the idea, brand name and logo for Adoratherapy?
The Beauty consumer is increasingly focused on her mind, body and spirit. The products she uses need to address her desire for new solutions to her daily grooming rituals that address not only her outer beauty but also her inner beauty.
Traditional perfumes, even the new indie entrants to the category, when designed with the cleanest ingredients focus mainly on scent. To achieve scent, synthetic ingredients must be introduced as well as alcohol as a base. Overall the idea is to smell good.
Aromatherapy, an ancient perfume tradition relies on essential oils to provide scent. Today most aromatherapy practices are focused on using single note essential oils in diffusers or applying simple blends in carrier oils to achieve therapeutic benefits.
With expert formulation, complex aromatherapy blends can be developed that smell amazing and provide emotional and mood changing benefits, elevating natural perfume to an entirely new realm we call “Experiential Perfume”, where scent is designed for the wearer and supports her in achieving a balanced and harmonious life. Beauty on the inside not just the outside.
Take us through the early stages of Adoratherapy's brand journey
The products were created by master formulator Adora Winquist. I joined Adora in 2015 as a mentor and angel investor. After working together for several years we moved the company from NJ where we started to Asheville.
In the first two years of the business we boot strapped and invested in building out the brand, learning the market fit and growing sales. In 2017, we redesigned all of our packaging, and took a loan from Mount Bizworks a local lender and bought bottles and boxes overseas. This changed the trajectory of the business.
We self funded the business and began to implement a sales strategy that took us form 40 doors to 500 doors in 2 years. We had part time staff, consultants but mostly we worked hard. In 2017 we also began manufacturing in house versus sub contracting. We put in about $1M to get the company on track.
Describe the process of launching Adoratherapy?
We have built the business on the back of savings, angel investment and loans. Adoratherapy is positioned between wellness and beauty, between aromatherapy and natural perfume. The global natural and organic personal care products market reached $11 Billion in 2016 representing year over year growth of 9.7%. By 2024 the market is expected to reach $21 Billion.
Feeling good is the new looking good and the brand that brings Aromatherapy to the masses is poised for high growth as Millennials, Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers seek natural beauty products that shift how they feel. Indie brands are growing even faster and are estimated to account for 7% of the market--up from 5% just a two years ago (that’s almost 40% growth, over ten times the market average!).
The Aromatherapy market is expected to reach 4.3 Billion by 2023. The prestige fragrance market is $4 Billion in sales and natural fragrance sales are growing 32% a year, while artisanal perfume is growing 14%.
Women are looking for new categories of beauty to invest in other than makeup and body care. Clean and Green products are surpassing traditional chemically laden products. Our brand has simplified the complexity of using essential oils by offering pre-blended essential oil blends under the Mood Boost™ / Scent with Intent™ Brand platforms. Our focus on premium ingredients, luxury packaging, masse pricing and an authentic brand platform focused on self-love anchored by our trademarked slogan “Adore Yourself!” will support our building of a multi million dollar brand by 2020.
Our Mood Boost Bar is the new makeup counter where a woman’s makeover focuses on her emotions and moods. With healthy gross margins, recurring revenue and the ability to satisfy both mass and prestige channels across many verticals we have identified a beauty category ripe for expansion with no clear leader.
Since launch, what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
From 2015 to today, Adoratherapy Mood Boosts have been sold to over 500 retail doors in both wellness and beauty channels.
Since 2015, sales have doubled year over year and our gross margins have reached 85%. We have received awards for our packaging and formulations and been nominated as a top Indie fragrance brand by CEW (the Oscars of Beauty). Customers include: Whole Foods, Fairway, Earth Fare, Exhale, Eau Spa, Amazon, Jet.com, Universal Distributors, Hallmark, Francesca’s, Earthbound Trading, Beall’s, Harmon’s, Lazy Acres, and many independent retail doors in beauty, gift, wellness, yoga, spa and salon.
We have international distribution in Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Canada. In 2018, the company refocused its strategy and signed a distribution agreement with Universal Companies (https://www.universalcompanies.com), the largest Spa distributor. Under this agreement, Universal will market Adoratherapy to its 35,000 wholesale spa and resort customers, and provide marketing and customer service support. In addition, UC will manage the Amazon channel and the company's website.
This wholesale/retail/online omni-channel brand development strategy is a complete game changer. UC becomes the outsourced sales, marketing and distribution partner to Adoratherapy in exchange or a larger margin share reducing the need for the company to require outside capital to grow.
How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?
Our goal is to reach over $1.5 M in sales in 2019. An increased focus on manufacturing efficiencies and reduced cost of goods through increased volume will assure the business will be profitable by Q3. A focus on R&D and brand innovation will provide additional growth as well as international sales.
- Strategic partnership with Universal Companies
- Raised over $1,200,000 in Friends and Family Round
- Opened over 500 retail doors in two years
- Increased average wholesale customer lifecycle value to $1000 a year per door
- Gross margins between 70% - 85%
- Vertical manufacturing; 2000 unit per day capacity
- Completed multiple accelerator programs: Scale Up (Mt Biz Works) & Elevate (Venture Asheville), Soar Triangle (NC Idea).
- We received the western Women's Business Center Small Business of the year Award
- I was invited to be a Tory Burch Fellow
What’s been the biggest learning experience since starting your own brand?
Never give up!
What platform/tools do you use for Adoratherapy?
I mainly use Google apps and Shopify.
*Find full list of tools and platforms at the bottom of the page.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other educational resources?
- Dr Joe Dispenza Podcasts
- Law of Attraction Podcasts
- Gary V
Who have been the most influential people for you during this business journey?
Any advice you’d like to share for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a journey that defines your every breath. Not for the faint of heart, the rewards are not riches and fame but a mirror to your soul, courage and heart.Entrepreneurship is a journey that defines your every breath.Click To Tweet