We had the good fortune of connecting with Essence Lofton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Essence, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve operated service based businesses in the past, one of which is an interior design studio. Having that design business led me to creating Scentual. In those beginning days when Covid hit, you couldn’t get away from hearing so many sad stories broadcast everyday. We were all scared and stuck at home. I noticed people online saying they needed help making their homes reflect their personalities. Home has always been my sanctuary but I don’t think I realized home could also be a negative space for others. I wanted to create a home decor line with beautiful products that would help customers fall in love and be happier with their spaces.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I asked myself a lot of questions when I was figuring out my business model for Scentual. I’d never had a product based, e-commerce business before. There was a lot to figure out and it was difficult for me. I was lucky to have entrepreneurs in my friend circle that I leaned on to ask questions to.
The second hardest part of building Scentual was learning how to make my products. I was focused on making sure that at least 95% of the products sold were handmade by me. I wanted to source toxin free materials that were eco-friendly for all different types of customers. The trial and error was real! Figuring out formulas, ratios, temperatures and quantities was another challenge. Thank goodness I love a good spreadsheet and have stored all of my information in them.
I believe all of these factors is what makes my Scentual stand out. I truly took time before launching because I care about delivering quality. I care about how my customers experience my products in their homes.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a big fan of Midtown here in Atlanta. I used to live there for a few years before I moved out into the suburbs but I frequently find myself back there almost every weekend.
Atlanta is a foodies destination and my friends like myself, enjoy a great meal and some cocktails. Lately I’ve been into exploring the food halls in the City. I love Ponce City Market, Chattahoochee Works and I just visited Politan Row at Colony Square.
I also love a good vibe. I’m not into the party scene but I do love a nice event situation. I subscribe to newsletters and see where they’re having events at museums, art galleries and hotels.
I like being outdoors if the weather is good. We’d definitely hit the Beltline. It’s one of my favorite places. Each part is different but I enjoy the art installations. Piedmont Park and Grant Park are great for people watching and picnicking. There are lots of murals in the City where we can take pictures!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This sounds super cliché but I am so thankful for my family and friends. Without their support, I don’t know where I’d be. They have encouraged me when I wasn’t certain about the direction to go to. They’ve supported my business by purchasing my products and recommending me to others. They are my support system and I know how truly blessed I am to have them.