This is one of our Inspirational Interviews in which we talk to people who have imagined big dreams, made them a reality, and are living a life they love. Today we are talking to Angie Androit who owns an online perfume supply shop!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! I am the owner of an online perfume supply shop, Vetiver Aromatics. My goal is to make that website more than just a supply store, though. Many of my customers are budding perfumers themselves – and often want to go into business making their own perfume. So my ultimate goal is to make Vetiver a hub for them, offering not just supplies, but also instruction, resources, information….the sky’s the limit!
But I also have a PhD in Sociology and am a college professor. Aaaand I am working on a new website dedicated to helping creative entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
I also loooove cooking, and painting, and photography, and gardening, and reading, and farmers markets, and craft fairs.
Whew! I live a full life.
2. What does living a “super awesome life” look like for you?
To me a super awesome life is characterized by freedom, fun, and fruitfulness. It’s one where I am free to pursue my passions while having the resources available to help others and make the world a better place. A life that is both meaningful and driven.
And being able to work in my pajamas. That.
3. What inspired you to start a business that sells perfume making kits and supplies?
Honestly? I just wanted to be an alchemist and own an apothecary. Perfume making kits and supplies seemed the most viably close to that dream I could get :) . Seriously, though – if you’ve never made perfume, it really does feel like you’re playing the role of mad scientist, mixing your liquids, tracking your formulas. I even use test tubes sometimes, just for the effect.
4. What has been your biggest challenge since starting your own business?
When I first started my business, I had no business training. That was a HUGE challenge to overcome. So I read every business book I could get my hands on, started following some business rock stars, took workshops, classes…..and eventually realized that everything I needed to know about business, I learned in sociology. Go figure.
More specifically though, there was a time, just over a year into starting Vetiver, that I seriously considered throwing in the towel. It had been a year, every month so far had generated negative profits, and I wasn’t feeling it. I even made an appointment with someone to talk about handing the business over to them. And then I realized that it wasn’t malaise that was feeding this decision, it was FEAR. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to cut it. My business wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have the chops.
So I buckled up, and told myself “Self! You can’t possibly know if you don’t have the chops until you’ve either failed or succeeded. Cutting ties before even failing is just giving up.” And you know what? I’ve turned a profit every month since then.
5. Can you share a bit about the process of making your own perfume (after purchasing one of your kits)?
Alchemy meets mad science. Making perfume means playing with pipettes, graduated cylinders, funnels, vials, tester strips. It’s fun. One thing that makes my store unique is that I sell kits that are suited for beginners and hobbyists. Once you get deeper into perfume, you’ll start working with solids, and powders, and other more complicated materials. But I sell everything in ready-to-mix liquid form.
Perfume making is part art and part science. There’s definitely some specific knowledge that is good to have – fragrance families, notes, blending basics – but in the end, if you like what you’re smelling, that’s all that matters.
6. What advice would you give to someone interested in learning more about perfume?
It depends on what they want to know – more about the industry? About making perfume? If it’s making perfume, I’d say start by learning the basics – do you want to work only in naturals, or do you want to use the full palette? These are really two different worlds in perfumery. The comprise different sets of knowledge, different skills, and different ingredients.
Do some research on who is big in the industry. I know more about indie perfumers, since that’s my own niche. Follow them, see how they got started. Join some of the forums and dive in!
7. What little things in life right now make you you do a happy dance? Big things?
June marks two momentous anniversaries in my life. First, Vetiver Aromatics turns two in June! I’m super excited about that – and soooooo glad I didn’t throw in the towel last year. I’m also working on my own line of perfume, which I’m hoping to launch well before Christmas.
Second, my 10 year wedding anniversary is in June! My how time flies.
Also: summer vacation, the return of our local farmer’s market, and tomato plants in the garden.
8. In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you?
9. What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
If I could magically wave a wand and change something, I’d make everyone more comfortable with who they are, and with who the people around them are. I think those two things are closely related. I don’t think I’m going to do that through perfume, but it is something I’m working on in some side businesses. In the meantime, just giving people something to feel good about is a great start! And that is definitely within the realm of perfume making.
10. What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” – Carl Sagan
I like this quote because it reminds me that we are all connected – that underneath it all, we’re just a bunch of atoms and elements. It makes me feel small and big at the same time. I am part of the universe, but the universe also lives inside me. Within each of us are the elements necessary for creating a star.
This motivates me on a personal and spiritual level, of course. But it also does so on a business level – it’s a constant reminder that every single person who places an order on my website is an actual, living breathing human. They are on the other end of the computer, shopping for their hobby, for a gift, whatever. And if I remember to think about the experience from their end – who they are, what they want, what they need, what they fear – then they become more than just customers, and I can serve them better as people than as customers.
11. What inspires you to continue living a life you love each day?
The fact that I love my life! My inspiration is waking up each morning happy to see a new day, and the desire to keep it that way.
Thanks so much for sharing, Angie!