I quit the corporate world to start Jules & Vetiver in 2018. Funnily enough, part of the reason we exist is because I was always fascinated by fragrance, but didn't know much about it. At some point, I realized that it just wasn't me. The world of traditional perfume felt fundamentally unapproachable - almost like it was deliberately closed-off to keep people buying things based entirely on looks, designer labels, and sexy ads. Very few of us, even those that love perfume, have an opportunity to learn much about it. That’s sort of crazy when you think about how much many of us have learned about food, cooking, wine, etc.
I just knew that if I created a brand that focused on quality ingredients, transparency, and education, we could cultivate a whole new passion for people to appreciate. I've been excited every single day since!
A contemporary take on Old World luxuries has always been our inspiration, which is why you'll see a lot of Art Deco influences in our designs. We want people to see that our products are high end, but unpretentious. We were also inspired by the casual elegance of French brasseries; Western perfume is rooted in French tradition, so it was important for us that the brand would pay homage to that. Our logo is an abstract shout-out to vetiver grass, the beautiful ingredient that inspired our name.
It's very easy to get too loose when you're still carving out your brand identity. We've gotten a lot more disciplined which I think is essential, especially in the beginning. It feels like it's no big deal to give yourself some visual leeway, but you run the risk of not having a clear identity in the market. Establishing who you are as a brand is the most important thing you're doing in the beginning, so it's vital to establish brand rules and then do your best to enforce them (which isn't always fun!). The easiest way for me to conceptualize it is to think of a brand as a person. Everything that your brand does, says, and looks like has to fit that person, whoever (s)he is. Sometimes, that makes it easier to make decisions on does or doesn't fit.
Sustainability has always been at the core of what we're about. One of our brand's founding principles is "luxury without waste". Because we cringe when we see how many luxury fragrance brands invest a ton in flashy packaging that serves no purpose. It's so senseless, but it’s always been the table stakes for luxury brands. Traditionally, the only way fragrances (and a lot of consumer products, really) think they can demonstrate value is by adding on layers of unnecessary packaging to prove that the product is special. But it's still waste. We were very tempted to follow suit and just do a fancy perfume box. After all, it's what everyone expects! But it never sat right with us, philosophically. We knew that just because that's how it's always been done doesn't mean that we can't find other ways to impress, ways that are more focused on sensible sustainability. We're constantly trying to reimagine different ways of delivering luxury.
Our emphasis is on minimal waste in our shipping packaging, and exploring a variety of reusable, functional packaging options. One of our first offerings was a hand-stitched leather case as an alternative to a cardboard product box. We wanted something that was beautiful, artisan-made (just like our perfumes!), and, above all else, could be useful for literally years to come. Our perfume bottles, tissue paper, and shipping boxes are all recyclable. Our packaging will continue to evolve based on what our customers do and don't want. This way, we ensure that we're making conscious, customer-driven choices that help to define what sustainable luxury is (and prove that it's possible!).
This made noissue an easy choice for us. The site was super simple to use (no design background needed!) which it made creating custom packaging quick and downright fun. As a small business, one of the biggest walls you come up against constantly is MOQs you can't possibly hit. You end up having to make a lot of compromises in the type of packaging you want as a result. Finding noissue was a huge relief...it was awesome to feel like we didn't have to give up the look and feel we wanted for our brand just because we're a small operation! Customized packaging allows us to give our customers a more premium experience, which is what they deserve when making a high-end purchase. We love not having to compromise!