Today, we’re introducing a new series in which we interview the members of our team to get their insights on fragrance, candles, and life itself. We call it… Meet the Team. (Clever, right?)
First up: Shawn Freeman, who as our Chief Operations Officer keeps us running a tight ship, whether he’s overseeing all the orders we send every day, or assembling Ikea furniture for our upcoming pop-up shop. (Shh… you didn’t hear it from us.)
We spoke with him about his favorite fragrances, his scent memories, and (of course) his miniature golden doodle, Dixie.
Shawn, what do you love about your job?
Everything! I love working in a small team again. I’ve been in large public companies and small startups and I really enjoy the early stage/building process. I love our products and I’m passionate about elevating our customer experiences, from the website, to the packaging, to the products, even down to our clever packing slip that is a humorous personal letter.
What got you into the fragrance industry?
This company! I’ve been in e-commerce since the word was invented, working in travel, mobile content, live event ticketing, video games, apparel and now fragrance. I’ve been lucky that my skillset allows me to switch and learn new industries fairly easily.
How do you feel like fragrance enhances your everyday experiences?
I really love thinking about how I feel every morning and how that translates into a different scent, like deciding what clothes you want to wear. I didn’t use to think about fragrance that way. I tended to wear one scent over and over.
Do you have any strong memories associated with smell?
All through high school I wore Polo cologne so I have a strong set of memories (good and bad) when I smell it or something similar.
When has someone’s scent ever made a strong first impression on you?
My first girlfriend in college wore White Linen and it was the first time that I really remember associating a scent with a specific person. I actually don’t like the scent that much now, but back then I loved it.
Where are you from?
Born in San Francisco but lived all over as my dad was in the Army. I’ve lived in a lot of different states, including Alaska and we also lived in Germany.
What are your favorite places to go in Austin?
Well, I live a couple of blocks from Lady Bird Johnson Lake (or Town Lake for old-timers) and so I make it down there several times a week to walk or run or ride my bike or paddleboard. I live on the East Side, which means I’m constantly trying new restaurants and bars. My current faves are Jacoby’s, Tamale House East, Cenote, and Weather Up!
Do you have any pets?
Yes! We have a miniature golden doodle named Dixie…and by miniature I mean 40 pounds. She is all-white (unusual for a golden doodle), so she looks like a giant Bichon. She’s super smart and what I call a velcro dog… she never leaves our side. As you can imagine, she is a bit spoiled.
What are some of your hobbies?
We still have one child at home, a senior in high school, so I try to spend most of my free time with my wife and son. But as I said, I love to be active so I run, ride my bike (I used to be a semi-pro cyclist) paddle board and fly fish!
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Montana. We have a family place that has been in my family for five generations and we go back every summer…partly to get away from the heat in Texas but also because it is still beautiful, remote country where you can get away from you cell phone, TV, internet and just be back in nature.
Who inspires you?
Elon Musk. His mission/goals are obviously admirable (and huge) and I don’t think there is anyone that has his ability to see the big picture, strategically plan how to solve overwhelmingly complex and big problems and yet can execute at a very detailed level.
If you were a PHLUR fragrance, which would you be?
Olmsted & Vaux. I just think it is clean, refreshing and always makes me want to be outside.
Final question: What are your favorite scents for…