November was a significant month for the Olsen's. Ashley was named to the CFDA Board, and both Mary-Kate and Ashley launched a pair of fragrances at Sephora.
Attention to detail and perfectionism run through the various veins of Dualstar, the multi-million dollar company Mary-Kate and Ashley founded. The sisters spent close to two years developing the scents, Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. They worked with fragrance veterans Robin Burns and Michael McGeever, moving through 50 versions before landing on their first, Nirvana Black.
What the two have built together is impressive, and we particularly appreciate their hard working ethic, and strategy when choosing partners. Mary-Kate articulates it as follows: "We all have skin in this game. It's a team effort. That's a fresh way to do things."
ON BRAND EVOLUTION
MK&A's evolution has been steady, built experience by experience. From the time they were baby-actresses on Full House, the two have been exposed to business and been involved, or spear-headed various clothing, entertainment, beauty, and manufacturing projects. Michael McGeever, SVP of Sephora said it beautifully, "In the first part of their careers, they built a brand that was centered around them. When they created the second act of their career, it was really more about the celebration of quality and craftsmanship".
WWD's article, "The Olsen's on Scents, Fashion and Branding" chronicles the details.
What I really love about MK&A approach to a new product category is how they immerse themselves in the market. They study it first to determine what they could offer that is different. Regarding the Nirvana project, "We looked at how people are speaking to this consumer and how we could speak differently," Ashley told WWD.
That kind of knowledge is incredibly powerful when you're entering a saturated marketplace. The ability to scan the complete fragrance landscape and reflect on what is already working and what isn't working is both prudent and smart. It allows you to start, not from scratch, but with some of the learnings of the industry's giants. An excellent tool for those working in sales & brand management, buying, and product development.
While it is rare to have the experiences and business exposure throughout life that MK&A have experienced, passion and a willingness to learn can go a long way to building a career and retail business. To learn more about the industry, pick up new skills, knowledge and some fresh inspiration, subscribe to our courses and workshops. Our Weekly Newsletter is available to keep on top of industry news stories we're following.