Marilyn Jones is an outgoing bubbly spirited Chicago native and Founder & Owner of B Fragranced LLC which is WBE (Women Owned Business) certified. She created the Brand [ME] by: B Fragranced late December 2013 in memory of her late mother who lost her battle with breast cancer. WOE Magazine caught up with Marilyn to chat about her journey as an entrepreneur and the inspiration behind the B Fragranced brand.
WM: What inspired you to launch a fragrance line?
MJ: I was inspired to create a fragrance line to create a memory – I would often times hear family stories by my older siblings as they shared loving memories of our mom which at times left me feeling empty and sad because I didn’t share those same memories. However, what I did have that never left me was my mothers’ scent.. This birthed a passion and a zeal to create Fragrances as unique as the individual who wears it! I grew up with a love for scents, perfumes and lotions, which grew stronger in later years. Our New flagship Fragrance Embellish, does not smell like my mother once did, but the blueprint for the business certainly embodies her.
WM: What is the mission behind your brand?
MJ: I wanted to create a Brand that aids in you “Celebrating Who You Are” There’s a self-empowerment that you give to yourself when you’re asked what are you wearing and you boldly respond, ME! The brand ME by: B Fragranced is a luxury fragrance and beauty company reasonably priced so that many people around the world can leave their Mark!
WM: The beauty industry is very competitive and filled with many celebrities or brand influencers launching fragrance lines. What are some business strategies you implemented to stay ahead of the competition?
MJ: Yes, you’re absolutely right, the beauty industry is very competitive! Part of our strategy was birthed in the branding process. We created a powerful brand experience with our unique symbol of a two letter word characterized as ME. It’s not just a message it’s a movement to get up and celebrate who you are, live your best you, leave your mark! In addition to, we are fully dedicated to staying innovative by creating new products as we have proven to be on par with the introduction of our new fragrances. Our flagship brand ME core competencies include product variations that create value both internally and externally giving it a competitive advantage to our competitors with a price that is considerably more suitable and desirable than our competitors
WM: We understand many fragrance brands partner with third party companies to help develop the scent for their line. How in depth are you involved in the process? Do you choose scents based upon what’s trending or seasonal?
MJ: I’m totally involved with the product development process. In fact, I came up with my own notes and blends prior to partnering with a perfume house to help me perfect my balances making it more shelf stable.
I started the process of blending notes based on what I like because I felt it would be very hard for me to present a product that I wouldn’t wear myself. However, the second fragrance was based on our customers request which we’ve met both in person and our online family. Yet, Having said that, all of my Fragrances and Colognes will always have a piece of ME in it.
WM: Creating a new product in any market can be very exciting and at the same time scary. Tell us the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome giving birth to your vision.
I want to say the most difficult part for me was eliminating the fear of failure and standing on my faith to execute the vision. For years the fear that the only customers I would have for certain was my large family and maybe a few friends because I felt people would say at best ohh that’s cute or that smells good but I only wear Chanel or Bond No.9 . I had to pull myself together and fully get it that God didn’t give me the spirit of fear. I had to really think and see beyond the challenges in front of me, I had to ask myself what if Gabriel Bonheur Chanel as we all know as Coco Chanel wouldn’t have started her business with her little black dresses?
WM: What are 3 key lessons you have learned in the process?
The importance of not getting distracted- don’t try to take on to many projects at one time and most importantly staying in my own lane.
WM: As a woman of faith, how do you stay motivated as an entrepreneur?
Funny because literally I’m listening to different YouTube sermons from different powerful women that inspire me like Sarah Jakes Roberts & Priscilla Shirer while I’m answering these questions (I just have the volume down really low) I know that iron sharpens iron. I also know the importance of praise and worship music, it gives me hope when I feel hopeless, It gives me power when I feel defeated. Lastly but definitely not least I surround myself amongst like-minded people, not just those like-minded friends in terms of business but in faith also.
WM: What’s next for Marilyn and the B Fragranced brand?
MJ: I’m really excited and cant’ wait to share with the world the new formulas that we’re finishing up for both men and women!
Our EIC, Ayo Thomas had the opportunity to test the Embellish fragrance during the 2017 Ubiquitous Expo and highly recommend our readers to support the B Fragranced Brand during the holidays. We trust you will not be disappointed! #WOEAPPROVED