This week my Kickfurther Merchant of the Week is Harvey Prince Organics, a maker of luxury cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free perfumes and beauty products. Harvey Prince Organics was one of the early vendors on Kickfurther and they just finished raising money on their third offer. Harvey Prince was founded by two brothers who sought to create the perfect perfume as a Mother’s Day gift for their inspirational mother. In doing so, they realized something incredible: boutique-quality scents should not be overpriced, intimidating, and filled with toxic chemicals. The brothers crafted a fragrance, Ageless, that captured her effortless beauty and radiant aura, When selecting what name would properly encompass their brand, the two brothers looked inward: the younger of them graduated from Harvard University while the older one graduated from Princeton University. They each had a light-bulb moment: why not combine the best of both worlds? Taking Harvey from Harvard and Prince from Princeton, the brothers agreed on the name of their brand and in 2007, Harvey Prince® was born.
Besides selling on their own website, where they offer both full and sample sizes, Harvey Prince Organics products have been in Ipsy and Birchbox, where they are well-reviewed.
Today we are visiting with Karthik Aggarwal, Communications Director for Harvey Prince Organics.
Q: So, which is better, Harvard or Princeton?
A: It is like asking who is your favorite child? I can't answer this question except that "It alternates everyday”. The closet is full of tee shirts, clothing and tea cups and slippers etc from both schools. We don't wear two tee shirts at the same time or same day. Sometimes when we layer up we wear a Princeton tee shirt with a Harvard hoodie, or vice versa.
Q: Ok, I just had stir the pot a little. Your "The Story of Perfume" boxes intrigue me. Which countries have you visited lately via those boxes?
A: Recently, as far as less than four months ago, we visited Italy and India (the next country to be featured - February box). We are working on a trip to France. We already visited Grasse but another visit is due to the Musee du Parfum in Paris (March box).
Q: I had to look up Grasse to learn that it is a city on the French Riviera. Have you had any feedback on the Italy box?
A: Most people are in love with Baciami. The response was so huge and it became such a popular perfume for women that Baciami will become a regular perfume available in all sizes. The scent will not be repeated in a box except as a sample vial, but not the mini roller. The Mini roller will be available to everyone for $30. Also, something very, very important because you mentioned Grasse again. The Story of Perfume Box was designed specially to raise awareness that we at Harvey Prince no longer believe that Grasse is the capital of all things perfume and fragrance and flavor. We want to shatter this myth by introducing perfume ingredients sourced from many countries rich in the art of the perfume tradition. Cleopatra who was a perfume lover bestowed a lot of resources to the perfume industry in Egypt. Maharajahs in ancient India created endowments to the fragrance industries in India. The Kama Sutra mentions perfume, fragrant oils, fragrance ointments etc. as necessary products for love making. Ancients cultures used perfumes, oils, soaps, incense sticks all richly perfumed. All this way before Grasse was developed.
Q: Are your products available in stores? Which ones?
A: No. We are more and more convinced that we want to deal directly with our clients.
Q: Which product is your bestseller?
A: Hello, Sincerely and now Baciami are our most popular, best-selling perfumes for women.
Q: For the sake of new readers, Kickfurther is an investment platform that crowdfunds inventory for businesses. Instead of investors lending money to businesses, Kickfurther, on behalf of investors, purchases the inventory, and then returns it to businesses to sell on consignment. As the inventory sells, investors receive their investment back, along with an agreed-upon profit. How did you hear about Kickfurther, and what made you decide to try it?
A: We were contacted by them and we liked the concept. We really thought this concept was strong and would grow and gain popularity sooner or later.
Q: How, from your viewpoint as a manufacturer, is Kickfurther better and worse than conventional financing?
A. Better, if the interest payback is in line with or better than other financiers. All things being equal, if we had a choice between private corporations like banks and individual people, we would chose to empower the public directly. Power to the people. Power to disruption.
Q: You just funded your third offer, and I was one of your backers. I guess that means Kickfurther is working for you. Would you recommend it to other businesses?
A: YES. Absolutely. We know banks are not lending as much these days and instead investing in other products. Moreover, banks do not care about smaller companies. America was and still is all about little companies and entrepreneurs creating jobs and really driving creativity and the economy.
Q: Have you tried Kickfurther from the investor side? Would you recommend that friends invest via Kickfurther? Why or why not?
A: YES and all our employees are also investors. It is a great platform and safe as long as you pick the good companies. Do not pick brand new startups that have questionable products or service. Go with companies and products you believe in. Also try to remain diversified.
Q: Could you tell us some of the companies you have chosen to back via Kickfurther and why you chose them?
A: I'd prefer not to name specific companies, but generally we pick those in the same industry as we are in. Also we should add that we do invest in more than couple of companies. It is just good karma.
Q: Have you picked any that have disappointed you?
Q: Would you like to sponsor a Rafflecopter giveaway of a product?
A: We don't want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Our products are designed to make people happy. Rather than a Rafflecopter giveaway to one person, let's giveaway the Baciami Mini roller ($30 MSRP) for free to ALL your readers! We will also include a sampler of the Sincerely Body Cream. They have to add both to their cart and then enter the code at checkout. They just pay shipping and handling ($6.50 flat rate, so feel free to fill your cart with other goodies)! The coupon code for this is code kickitfar. The code is good until March 15 and readers can use it as often as they want.
A: Both are great companies with a great future. Both have great products and both are disrupters. All this is good for consumers and investors.
I'd like to thank Karthik for visiting with us today. Harvey Prince has been a good investment for me and I hope everyone enjoys their products.*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and The Yachtless*