Hawthorne for All
Brian Jeong and Phillip Wong, the young founders of the hipster indie fragrance brand Hawthorne, are making new waves with body care.
Don’t let their supremely laissez-faire attitude fool you. The young entrepreneurs are expanding their portfolio. Jeong, the man who minds the business end, and Wong, who handles the creative side of this synergistic partnership, are nearing the three-year mark of their not-your-average-cool initiative and are working overtime.
If you recall, Hawthorne makes demi-bespoke, personalized scents using analytics. Call them “fragrances by data,” which are purchasable only online, and with good reason. When you visit the Web site, you are subtly hooked by its chill vibe, and when you see that “take quiz” button you can’t help but dive in and find out what’s up.
It asks very clever but sensible questions, and then, through the use of your input and their scent library, semi-personalized, algorithm-produced fragrances are on their way to curious minds. In the box are Work, a scent for the day, and Play, one to wear by night. It’s almost like dating in a way, but dating yourself through a fragrance, and it all becomes a process of self-discovery.
And don't fret. Just because this is the brainchild of a couple of hipster boys doesn’t mean they’re putting out stuff using inexpensive materials—au contraire. Through access to a few of the top noses in the industry, such as Olivier Gillotin, Quentin Bisch, and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, of Givaudan, and with their own expertise, the scent library at Hawthorne is expanding to reach further and wider, catering to their ever-growing demand by different consumer personalities.
With that, here comes the body-care line, comprising bar soap, shower gel, and deodorant—all packaged in sleek, opaque, recyclable, matte-black, ziplock bags which cite the scent notes and ingredients that make up these luxury-grade products. Plus, you won’t find sulfates, silicone, parabens, phthalates, or aluminum here, and it’s all cruelty-free. The look is cool, and so are the products, inside-out. Think high-end-luxury-hotel-bathroom-amenity aroma in ultra-cool packaging for the New Age traveler, but priced affordably—from $15 to $17 for body care—for the Millennial crowd. The fragrance set for two is priced at $100.
What else is cool is that ladies are getting into Hawthorne big-time. “Originally when we launched, we started with a palette of unisex fragrances but called ourselves ‘Hawthorne for Men’,” Jeong explains. “Even though our fragrances were for all genders, we saw that men needed the most help with fragrance discovery. But we quickly found many women were discovering, buying, and loving Hawthorne for themselves, and for other women, so we decided to drop the ‘for Men’ and let our experience and brand do the talking.”
And what do they most enjoy about their entrepreneurship? “We are so grateful that we are able to serve such a diverse customer base through Hawthorne. When we first started Hawthorne, we intentionally wanted to create an experience and brand that resonated with all busy, young professionals who cared about how they looked and felt no matter who they were. But to our delight and surprise, they are from all over!” says Jeong. “Our customers are from all 50 states, and they all live so differently. And whether they are artists or corporate professionals, we are able to serve their needs, preferences, and skin types through simple and quick experience,” adds Wong.
Now that’s cool. Get hip, get Hawthorne.