Jodi Schwefel is the owner and aromachologist of allurESSENCES LLC, a woman- and independently-owned perfume company headquartered in Oconomowoc. “I personally designed our line of certified-clean, cruelty-free/vegan and eco-friendly essences.” The company financially supports Fight to End Exploitation, which strives to end human trafficking, while its fulfillment center helps differently-abled individuals achieve their full potential through a variety of employment opportunities. Learn about Jodi Schwefel…
Hometown: Oconomowoc, WI
First job: Schwefel’s Restaurant in Oconomowoc.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: My family is so blessed to live in a beautiful community with five lakes, so we love to ride bicycles during spring, summer and fall to take in the gorgeous views. I also love attending sporting events and music festivals. And when you can’t find me doing one of those things, most likely I’m soaking up the sun and floating my worries away in our pool.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Without question, my biggest career-related accomplishment has been launching a perfume/cologne brand with absolutely zero retail or fragrance design experience. I spent 20 years in financial marketing prior to my career taking a beautiful and unexpected turn in 2016, when I designed a signature scent for myself (later to be named Pure Love Boho). From the day I began wearing Boho, I was incessantly asked about my mesmerizing perfume…which led me to my journey of perfume design. I had zero industry experience, zero contacts/colleagues in the industry to reach out to, and not a clue where to begin…but I did it anyway. I dedicated three solid years of an insane amount of time and research to learn the trade, develop a business plan and build the brand. I launched my company in 2019, and closely thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Despite the immense challenges that caused for everyone, including the retail industry, I was able to grow and partner with 75 retailers across 15 states (and growing weekly).
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I’ve had many, but the biggest obstacle was finding an American manufacturer who understood my needs as a start-up company, and who could use my recipes to recreate my scents (using their ingredients). After a 12-month search, we partnered with a world-renowned, IFRA-compliant perfume manufacturer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Hobbies shouldn’t necessarily become a career. You must have a solid business plan, and be confident that you, personally, have the skills (or the connections) to make your dreams come true. Being a successful entrepreneur takes immense dedication and passion, but it’s worth every minute.
Favorite quote: “Do it because your children deserve a mother they can brag about.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m an adrenaline junkie. Whether it’s cars, boats, or UTVs…the faster, the better!
What makes someone fabulous: A loving, companionate heart, with genuinely good intentions. Nothing else matters but love.