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Get a Whiff of Success: Grandma's Scent Sells

Get a Whiff of Success: Grandma's Scent Sells

Regular (ambitious) gal Jessica Dunne has demonstrated that a little niche goes a long way. The 32-year-old developed her first fragrance, Ellie, using $100,000 in savings and all of her savvy. Without any prior connections to the beauty industry, Jessica realized her dream of creating a perfume based on memories of fragrances worn by her grandmother, Eleanor.

A cold-call to Claudia Lucas, the perfume buyer at Henri Bendel in Manhattan, is what ultimately put Ellie on the market and has allowed Jessica to develop a second fragrance. Lucas was initially pleased with Ellie's bouquet, but she was sold on the story behind the bottle saying, "a brand is always a story well told."

Before she created her $180-per-bottle product, Jessica tested her hand in other areas like working as a sales assistant at Credit Suisse First Boston and managing an art gallery in Manhattan. Seems she's found her niche, and created one too, as a one-woman fragrance house with an appealing personal story.

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