Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Gibson, founder of Callio Fragrance, located in Elmhurst, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Callio Fragrance is a small indie fragrance company that creates scents for people looking to bring a bit of delight and joy into their everyday life. Our fragrances are based on things that make us happy, like our favorite flowers, a cookie from the local bakery, or memories from our childhood. Our scents are blended by hand in our studio in NYC and are cruelty-free.

Tell us about yourself

I began making perfume as a hobby, and I would get stopped on the street by people asking me what fragrance I was wearing, so I opened a shop on Etsy, thinking it would be a side hustle, and now it's my life! I love talking to customers about the types of fragrances they like and helping them find their new favorite scents. At pop-up markets, I love seeing their reactions, and online it's the comments on social media or emails. It just makes me so happy to think a complete stranger is wearing something that I made; it still seems so surreal even after ten years!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Learning how to pivot during the pandemic and having to make snap discussions constantly. Raw goods and packaging have been extremely hard to source during the pandemic, and we had to stop selling one of our sizes, at one point, due to a lack of alcohol used to formulate the perfumes. I am so grateful for how supportive our customers were.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The stress of worrying about so many different things, wearing all the hats, and being able to ask for help. Try to remember you can't do it all, and that's okay!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Remember that there is no such thing as an overnight success, no matter what you hear or read. Invest in education for yourself early on and keep learning. I wish I had done this much earlier in my business. Start small, don't feel like you need to make or do a hundred things to attract everyone, test and pay attention to what works and what doesn't.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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