Joyce Lanigan, CEO and Co-Founder of Wild Spirit fragrances, a clean and sustainable line of fragrances giving women an opportunity to explore new and luxurious scent profiles and to re-invent their scent joins Enterprise Radio.
Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Joyce Lanigan discuss the following:
- Tell us a bit about Wild Spirit Fragrances and your vision for the brand.
- Can you tell us about what quality means to you? What makes your brands’ products high quality?
- You’ve been nicknamed the ‘accidental fragrancier,’ can you tell us why?
- What is one piece of advice you would give to a future entrepreneur?
- What is next for Wild Spirit?
Joyce, a self-made entrepreneur and scent creator, has been making strides in the beauty industry since the launches of her multiple successful brands. With no fragrance background, her vision to bring meaningful luxury to the market resulted in the launch of two incredible fragrance lines. In 2014, Lanigan teamed up with business partner and renowned fashion photographer Russell James to introduce Raw Spirit Fragrances; a prestige indie fragrance brand that sources sustainable ingredients from some of the most beautiful places in the world and gives back to those communities they source from. The partnership was born from James’ art passion project Nomad Two Worlds. This past summer, Lanigan reached another milestone when she introduced sister brand Wild Spirit Fragrances to the mass market, officially launching in Walmart stores nationwide and online in June 2018.
Lanigan, a true nomad with a plethora of passport stamps to prove it, personifies her brand names. Originally from Ireland, she grew up in inner-city Dublin, but is a self-proclaimed Australian native, before finally settling in New York. She was fascinated with horses from an early age and took her first job as a horse trainer/stunt rider, and remarkably worked on various movies such as Far & Away and Braveheart. While she loved working in this field, she quickly discovered this passion didn’t exactly pay the bills.
“I knew I needed a legit paying job, so I went to work for the French bank Credit Lyonnais in their treasury department as a Money Market Trader, but I hated being tied to a desk all day. Shortly after, I was approached by an IT company that did banking systems and had a hectic job traveling the world consulting on software implementations for banks. I picked up and moved to Singapore and focused on working in Asia. I tried to settle back in Ireland, but I had the travel bug, so I then I moved to Perth, Western Australia. I was still working for software companies and traveling around Asia, but also expanded to include South Africa in my travels. I definitely had a few up’s and down’s – and I think it’s those lows that you learn the most. My biggest failure was investing and working in a tech start-up, which was my biggest life lesson and educational experience. In a nutshell, failure should not be feared – it can open many other doors and completely change your perspective and direction. No regrets!”
In the chaotic midst of it all, Lanigan decided to enroll in Curtin University where she later received her MBA. Soon after, she found herself employed at a rather-large commercial law firm where she went on to win a monumental deal for the firm. One of the firm’s partners took notice of Lanigan’s hunger for growth and introduced her to Russell James, whom had just launched his Nomad Two Worlds art project and was uncertain of its evolution. Lanigan was skeptical of James stating, “I didn’t really think we’d have anything in common. We never seemed to link up, until one day he just turned up in my office! Once he explained to me his ideas for Nomad, my doubts quickly diminished. I advised him for a year, until one day on a whim I told him ‘I am going to ‘jump’ out of the plane and knit my parachute on the way down’ – I literally then quit my job and we started Nomad as a socially conscious business.”
Her Nomad journey began with Aboriginal artists, and then expanded into Haiti, North America and Indonesia. Lanigan and James did a great deal of art exhibitions and produced many short art films to highlight the beauty and wisdom of some of the world’s oldest cultures. Fragrance was not entirely part of their original plan, but as the nicknamed ‘accidental fragrancier’ states, it was indeed a happy and life-changing accident. “The inspiration to start a fragrance brand was from Australian Indigenous Artist, Richard Walley. We had explored all art forms – visual, music, dance, but nothing that stimulated the sense of smell. However, in every community we visited they always incorporated the burning of a local plant or wood into their welcoming ceremonies. Richard introduced me to Fire Tree, a native tree to the South West of Western Australia. He handed me what looked like a bottle of brown ‘goop’ but the moment I smelt it, the genie was out of the bottle and I was hooked on the idea of creating a fragrance line.”
Why Raw Spirit? “The name ‘Raw Spirit’ came from us trying to express what happens when you unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and form a bond through art. Everyone connected on such an authentic level and this incredible energy was created. We loved the idea of Raw Spirit and it seemed to be a perfect fit for the fragrance brand, as it was about creating fragrances that had the spirit of their natural hero ingredient. The fragrance wouldn’t be overbearing to the wearer, but instead, accentuate their real selves and unlock their true raw spirit.” The fragrances were given poetic names that portray what each may smell like, or it is a tribute to either the hero ingredients or the origin that it stems from.”
Once Raw Spirit was up and running, Lanigan set her eyes on the mass market. She wanted to take the same core principles that she instilled in her prestige line, Raw Spirit, and make them accessible to the value savvy beauty shopper. She accomplished her goal with meaningful luxury; spoiling yourself while effortlessly giving back. Now Lanigan wanted to conquer affordable luxury, because she felt “…everyone deserves good-quality products at reasonable prices”…and thus, Wild Spirit was born. Admittingly her biggest success to date, the launch of Wild Spirit Fragrances in Walmart stores nationwide and online. “Getting Wild Spirit into Walmart in such a short period of time was an incredible amount of time and effort, but we worked so diligently and feel we created a little bit of magic in the process through this accomplishment!”
Wild Spirit was created with a similar ethos as Raw Spirit; all fragrances are free of parabens, sulphates and dyes, are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It is a fragrance collection that launched with 4 individual eau de parfums with real ingredients at real prices that celebrates individuality. And, Wild Spirit is redefining how we wear scent; each fragrance was formulated to be layered, mixed & matched so the consumer can create their own personal scent.
When Joyce is not actively concocting another scent, attending the latest art exhibits, or globe-trotting the world, she resides in her tranquil home located in upstate New York. Accompanied by her rescue dog Stumpy, thoroughbred horse Gibbs, two giant rabbits, eight chickens and one irreplaceable husband, Quentin.
Follow online @WildSpiritFragrances.
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