We Meet Lara Morgan, Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Scentered
Scentered is a fantastic collection of aromatherapy balms, each one stylishly presented and carefully formulated to encourage or enhance a desired mood. A must-have for all occasions, the full set is the perfect gift, but also the perfect go-to for the highs and lows of a busy day.
The brand was founded by Fay Pottinger and Lara Morgan, two highly creative and ambitious women who created the brand to fulfil a need they saw for busy, driven women – and men – to access aromatherapy products portably, elegantly and appropriately.
Lara is also a well established and much sought-after entrepreneur and business leader, who founded Pacific Direct (the business behind many of those gorgeous luxury toiletries you see at 5* hotels) and has had a hand in many other successful start-ups in recent years. We caught her on the go to ask her some questions about Scentered and starting a great business.
What inspired you to start Scentered?
Having suffered for years the hideous and very unglamorous side of an executive traveler, my initial inspiration for Scentered was like all great new product ideas. I felt there had to be a better way of product delivery for great aroma-therapy products that was highly portable allowing application whenever and wherever during the busiest of demanding days.
What is the ethos behind the brand?
At the core the intention of the brand is to allow people to have a portable aromatherapy solution that aids their daily challenges using world-class therapy essential oil blends that restore lifestyle balance.
A natural, premium quality approach to all we do with a desire to produce products that are highly portable, that really do what they say on the tin and a packaging approach that is minimal with an intention always to give the ability to reuse, repurpose and recycle. Much of the brand thinking is influenced by the huge demands placed on me when I built my first global company whilst also having a family, juggling time zone changes and also wanting to perform to the best of my ability.
What is your favourite product from the collection (and why)?
It was originally Escape because the superb fragrance blend in escape immediately transports me to a favourite place in the world, Sri Lanka. More recently though I find myself gravitate towards the warmer, grounder Lover fragrance which I find calming and grounding.
When you started Scentered with co-founder Fay Pottinger, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
My lack of patience possibly, thankfully balanced by her world-class ability to control my ambition through endless testing, trials and re-blending to ensure we only bring a product to market that we know delivers the mood therapy promise we make.
You are passionate about sports and fitness – how does Scentered fit into your lifestyle?
Focus was being tested when I did my first major triathlon race, the natural blend of the uplifting and mind-clearing combinations of rosemary and sage with mint and indeed multiple other premium quality essential oils blend perfectly to keeping a mind alert and on the ball.
I have also continually had Escape in my bag for tougher longer days, Sleep well (with a gorgeous approach and modern Asian Lavender) lives in my toiletries bag and one by my bed. Love or Stress Less are my handbag go-to products literally depending on the mood I am in. It is a constant battle to keep products with me as I demonstrate them I always end up gifting one to a person more needy? I know they will purchase next time.
How do you relate fitness to your own personal and professional outlook?
It is for me vital to work at eating right, sleeping well and exercising regularly, I have lived like this all my life and albeit I fall off the habit wagon and have struggled from time to time with the endless challenges of life, children, family, personal development, work and everything else growing up involves, I know for me the importance of my own performance links all these facets together. Mood therapy is a much-under estimated power-tool in restoring lifestyle balance which I see more as a pendulum.
You have invested in a diverse range of businesses in the last few years – what makes an idea really jump out at you?
Hard question. Given I am breaking most of my own rules of early Enterprise success (meaning focus singularly on one thing), I think frankly gut feel plays a great deal in my approach to products I invest in. People always first. Then the product and my research into the positioning and expectations of the founder, I like original solutions orientated items that delivery time saving or life improving benefits allow customers to gain really great value. I worked in luxury for a long-time, seeing over priced, over packaged poorly made products sell for a huge amount but without what I would say was great value. I want nothing to do with products that do not solve life problems and I want always to back great value.
What are your plans for Scentered over the next 2 – 5 years?
To build a globally recognized well-being brand that becomes the new modern replacement for lipstick. A premium quality affordably placed luxury approach and a new category method of modernizing aromatherapy for everyday use. Scentered.me is a product range for those people whom travel widely, expect high standards and fill their lives with interesting challenges. Those that are time pressured who are looking for a confidence boost, a tool to help them perform better, focus well, stress-less and be the best they can be.