We had the good fortune of connecting with JK DeLapp and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi JK, how do you think about risk?
As a general rule of thumb – I’m a terrible gambler. I’m not good at cards. Haven’t hit more than a few bucks playing the Lotto. Never win in Vegas. But when it comes to betting on myself … I’ve never – EVER – lost. Taking risks and betting on myself, and its still terrifying, mind you – taking risks on myself has always gotten me ahead in life. I’ve learned lessons. Started businesses. Taken meaningful journeys and made friends I would have never otherwise met by having a little faith in myself and betting on me coming out on top. I’m terrible at risk … unless the risk I’m taking is on myself. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I weren’t constantly listening to my gut and taking calculated risks that sometimes only I can see the outcome of.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Many folks ask me “how did you go from Chinese Medicine to Perfumery?” It was actually in med school that I realized that so much of the world we have today is all built from the same stuff – herbs. Cosmetics, Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Flavor and Fragrance – all, historically, come out of a Pharmacy Compounding tradition – an education I essentially got going through school. Ever had a Coca Cola? What did Pemberton do? He was a pharmacist. Who was Dr. Pepper? Listerine? Proctor & Gamble? Johnson & Johnson? When I came to the realization that I essentially had the same education all of these folks had in starting their companies, I realized, “I could be a physician – or I could be a physician “AND”” …and I wanted to explore the AND. Fragrance seemed to be the easiest point of entry … and so Rising Phoenix was born. My background in pharmacy compounding, a much broader medical and cultural perspective from working in Chinese Medicine, and also an outsider’s perspective on history and both my medical and perfumery traditions, if that makes sense – as a Westerner working in an Eastern medical system – that I think gives me a very unique perspective on the products that I make. It’s that unique perspective that has been both a blessing, and a little bit of a curse, and that curse, in turn – working out again to be a blessing. As folks from our culture don’t quite see what I’m seeing just yet, it’s been challenging getting the financial support and capital needed to undertake the opportunities that are being thrown at me. As a result, I’ve had to grow organically – which has been an education in and of itself. That organic growth is now getting to a point that not only am I better able to stand on my own two feet, but it’s starting to garner some serious attention. Making money will do that, haha. I’m quite proud of what I’ve built – and had to build – more or less all on my own. As an artist, it’s been incredible to have orders coming in from 40+ countries, and have distribution from around the world asking how they can get product. Their support has been nothing short of amazing. This has actually led me to my biggest challenge, what I call “The Walmart Dilemma”. Purchase Orders and big contracts are all well and good … but how to get the capital necessary to rise to the manufacturing challenge. This is the dance that I’m still working to learn the steps. Rising Phoenix, as the name implies, isn’t just about new life rising from the ashes. Rising Phoenix is about giving new life to old and seemingly dead things. Both in my medical practice – helping people regain lost ground – as well as my work in fragrance – bringing new perspective and new life to old ideas and old ways of doing things. There is a lot of wisdom and a lot of joy just waiting to make life today more vibrant, more efficient, and more fun. We just have to see things in a new light.

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?
The people that know me best know that I live life “mouth first”. When I travel, the first thing we look up is fooooood. I’m a foodie. My friends are foodies. Anyone visiting, if they weren’t a foodie when they got here, they are when they leave! Krog Street Market is a great first place to hit. I used to work there back when it was Tyler Perry Studios, actually – so eating there is a bit of a walk down memory lane. I love the shawarma from YALLA! I think I was Japanese in another life. Gotta hit Hayakawa. He is like Atlanta’s Jiro. If you like dive’y Indian joints, you’ve got to hit Purnima. They are actually Bangladeshi, and I wish I could take these folks home with me. God I love their food! I live up in Roswell, and love the food and ambiance at The Whiskey Project. Killer place to grab a bite. Pretty much anywhere in Atlanta we hit up, will likely involve scoping the hot eats around whichever landmark we are looking to hit. I also love cook – so I imagine anyone visiting is going to have the best food in Atlanta … right at chez moi! ūüėČ

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Let me first start by saying that I wouldn’t be where I am without the help and encouragement of countless people – not just here at home and growing up – but across the world through my early adulthood and every day as a businessman and person. I have had help, education, pick me ups and encouragement from mentors, people I work with, colleagues and friends on pretty much every continent. If it weren’t for these people – I wouldn’t be where I am today. With that being said … Both my Dad, Joe, and my Brother, Kyle, have been a huge help and inspiration in getting Rising Phoenix up and running. Their advice and insight has been invaluable. Tanaka San is like my Japanese “Second Father”. He was an old work colleague of my father’s and he and I have been friends since I was about 5 years old. He’s now 77 and I’m almost 40. He’s been my friend and confidant, and has both hosted and helped me on business every time I’ve been in Japan. The Gents over at www.Ouddict.com – their camaraderie and insight have helped in ways they can’t imagine. Couldn’t ask for better “Collegue Competitors” There are countless more – but suffice it to say … these folks top the list.

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RisingPhoenixPerfume
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therisingphoenixperfumery/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jk-delapp-l-ac-9891313/
Twitter: @RisingPhoenixGr
Other:¬†HipNation Medical Profile : https://hipnation.com/doctor/jk-delapp-l-ac-dip-om-acupuncturist/ Office Profile : https://thetwt.com/meet-jk-delapp-marietta-acupuncturist/ Ouddict : www.Ouddict.com https://ouddict.com/forums/rising-phoenix.86/ JK’s online perfumery courses : https://www.floracopeia.com/Aromatic-Artistry-Home-Perfumery-Course?quantity=1

Image Credits
Photos : JK DeLapp

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