This is such an exciting day for us, as we are able to officially debut three new fragrances: CROWNED in VICTORY, MONOI de TIARE, and AMERICAN BEAUTY. They are available for purchase at Anthropologie stores nationwide and online.
If you've been following us for a while, you've probably heard about the Humanity Project, a series of fragrances whose inspiration comes from volunteer experiences with community organizations, locally and abroad. A portion of the perfume sales is then donated to the organization.
For this Third Edition, we partnered with El Puente, a community organization in Brooklyn, NY. We taught a six week perfume making class to twelve young women as part of the Youth Leadership Program. Starting as a series of interviews uncovering their personal stories, each woman conceived of a custom fragrance and learned over 75 ingredients to blend with.
These three new fragrances are inspired by this experience.
Confession: I read A Cup of Jo every day. So when Joanna asked me to contribute my career tips (and be amongst these other fab ladies I look up to), I jumped at the chance. Here are three lessons I've learned since starting MCMC Fragrances:
Just show up. Every day.
Owning your own business, sometimes it feels like there's just too much to do. There are these big goals, and there are a million little steps to get there. But you just have to show up. Every day.
Sometimes people ask me how MCMC Fragrances got to where it is today, and I shrug and I say, "luck." Maybe I don't want to sound too proud, or too boastful, but the truth is, it took work. It took showing up every day and just doing a little bit at a time. I like to keep an actual handwritten list. I update it every few weeks. I have one column on the left that's for longer term tasks, and on the rest of the page I write down every thing I need to do that comes to mind. As I do them I strike them off with a big pink marker for satisfaction.
I don't let fear get the best of me.
When you have your own business, there's so much you don't understand how to do. How do I get a barcode for my product? How do I make my blog link to my website? Can I even pull off this big project? I usually just say yes first, and figure it out later. I don't let any opportunity slip away. I study hard and learn to do it, even if that means learning the hard way.
On balancing life and work.
What I've learned is that there's never going to be a perfect balance. There's only the balance of right now. When I first started MCMC Fragrances I was 28 years old and unmarried. I worked all day, all night, and all weekend - and I loved it. Now I'll be celebrating my five year wedding anniversary and I have a 2 year old. I work 9:30 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday, and it's never enough, but I cherish the time with my family, cooking dinner for them and watching my toddler grow up. Soon this schedule will change again, and there will be a new balance. When I feel behind at work, I tell myself, "Everything in due time."
Nicole owns life of manek, a women's clothing boutique in Toronto. She's one of those vivacious and glamorous people with big, fun energy, but somehow she's still very relatable too. Do you know what I mean? We all know magnetizing people like that. Nicole's background is as a stylist and costume designer, informed by both modern design and timeless vintage. She should probably redo my closet.
Name: Nicole Manek
Occupation: Stylist and Owner of life of manek
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Where do you currently reside?: Toronto, Canada
Favorite MCMC fragrance: LOVE. I love that it is both strong yet subtle. The peppery gunpowder notes are what drew me in at first, but then the french basil and yuzu citrus kept me coming back for more.
When did you first start wearing perfume? What fragrance was it?: I think I really started wearing perfume seriously at the age of 10 or 11, but of course I remember watching my Mom dab herself with Chanel No. 5 before going out and I thought it was the most grown-up, ladylike scent I ever smelled. I think I still do.
If you were a plant, what would you be?: Grass. The kind on suburban front lawns. Freshly cut, of course.
What's in your fridge right now?: Are you kidding me?! I have a two year old. What's NOT in my fridge. White wine, healthy kids stuff, prosciutto for Mama and more milk than you could ever imagine. Oh, and hummus. Lots of hummus.
Three words that describe you: Honest, indulgent, dedicated
So honored to be in Glamour Magazine this month along with a kick-butt group of women beauty entrepreneurs. Below is an excerpt. Check out pages 160-162 of the March issue for the full article.
"I loved my interior design job but felt unfulfilled," explains Brooklyn-based McClain. "I randomly signed up for a natural perfume making class one evening and just fell in love with it." From there she got serious and enrolled in the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery in the South of France - but when she announced her plan to start her own fragrance line, she got blank stares from her class; many of her peers had come from storied perfume families in which scent-making is a passed down tradition, not something you just pick up. But McClain was undeterred: "I just wanted a perfume to match my style."
Last week lovely couple Nicolas and Marisa visited our studio in Greenpoint as part of the Brooklyn stop on their world travels. Heading out from their home in San Francisco, they are visiting dozens of countries in the next few months, stopping in at all the interesting shops, studios, restaurants and bars on their radar, and documenting them on their blog, The Urban Vikings. Nicolas is a long-time fan of our Dude No.1 Beard Oil and Marisa is a new fan of our HUNTER perfume oil. Safe travels you two, and thank you for the photos!
We are so lucky to work alongside such talented and smart women everyday at the Dobbin Mews, our shared studio space. It's hard to get everyone in one photo, but here's our best try. From left: RJ, Katie (me!), Helen, Nicolette, Fay, Julie, and Jennifer. Still missing Stephanie, Minh, Erica, Tara, and Emily.
The other day I received an email with the subject line "Happy New Year from a MAINE fan." A friend of a friend, Sarah Krasley told me about the very important role our MAINE candle plays in her New Year's ritual.
Every New Year's Day, amidst the pieces of confetti on the floor that came home with me from the festivities of the night before, I buy a bunch of the whitest tulips I can find, play that song from Graceland that goes "Somebody say 'hello, hello, hello'" and pull out a pristine white paper canister that holds MAINE. The clary sage in the fragrance mix clears out any lingering juju from the year before and overall it is just a perfect, clean scent for a fresh start. The scent has a teeny sharpness to it, like the cold air piercing the winter sky all wrapped up in flowery kindness, the well-needed reminder of what will come in a few months...Spring.
Please join us this Saturday for our annual Dobbin Mews holiday party. We will have sips + bites while you shop for gifts from the many talented designers we share a space with.