Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Serena Rogers, Founder of CŪRATA, located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
CŪRATA is a niche brand of handmade sustainable perfumes with clean materials, ethical sourcing, and decadently disruptive scents. Our unapologetically bold and evocative perfumes dare you to indulge your senses without guilt or regret. CŪRATA perfumes are olfactory journeys marked by depth, nuance, and fluidity, seeking to defy traditional scent boundaries. Our customers break the mold! They are passionate about scent and are equally obsessed with caring for the planet and our health while enjoying truly special and honestly transparent fragrances.
Tell us about yourself
In 2016, I had been in the hospitality and wellness industry for over a decade. I had the absolute luck and pleasure of traveling the globe, developing special products and unique operations for some of the world's finest hotels, spas, and brands. Experiencing so many unique cultures and locations firsthand genuinely marked me. From gastronomy and beauty to healing and self-care rituals, I became enthralled with exploring cities like Marrakesh, Beijing, and Frankfurt to understand better the cultural dynamics that informed how people perceived and interacted with scent and self-care rituals.
Consulting for a clean beauty brand from Germany, I began to see just how shady and even harmful 'traditional' beauty products and perfumes actually were. Something in me changed, and there was no turning back! The first glimpse of an idea for what would become CŪRATA started with a bar of soap and a quote. I remember buying an oversized soap bar at a small boutique on Nantucket Island. It represented to me the importance and power of self-care rituals and their scent …well, its scent was nice but left me with questions. It was obvious (to me at least) that it was synthetic, but was it safe? Was it clean? Flipping to the back of the wrap, the ingredients only listed 'parfum', so there was no way of knowing what was actually in the scent itself.
As with so many beauty products and perfumes, this ingredient's non-disclosure left me feeling skeptical. Learning about how scent influences our emotions and recalls memories in such powerful and timeless ways, I began to feel that scent should be an ode to self-care and reconnection rather than accost our senses or disrupt our natural harmony. This awareness, coupled with a quote: 'A year from now you'll wish you started today, launched me into the journey that would become CŪRATA. I decided it was time to channel my passion and harness my experience to create something special, truly safe, and honestly transparent.
No more hiding behind 'parfum'. The fragrance is what defines CŪRATA, and the benefits speak for themselves: a scent story told across unique top, heart, and base notes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As an independent small business owner, to this day, I remain infinitely proud that I was able to bring my vision to life as something tangible and special to share with the world. CŪRATA has Latin roots "ad curare" meaning "to restore or care for." A notion infused not only into our ethos but every elegant experience through cherished salves that celebrate harmony and vitality. Uncompromising quality that never compromises on our ethics. Remaining small allows me to speak power to this truth – to CURATA's unique personality and voice.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In my case, I would say one of the biggest challenges with running a niche brand is wearing all the hats (at once) and feeling that your one job could easily be split up into three. It requires a practice of patience and perspective to remain balanced and focused on building things one small and intentional step at a time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
• Know your market well and understand the white space in it.
• Create a product or service that meets a need but also that speaks to your inner passion and purpose authentically.
• Sales, sales, sales. The world is littered (literally) with great products that never made it to market because the sales process and cycle weren’t thoroughly understood or anticipated. People with real contacts are worth their weight in gold. Find them and compensate them - well.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.