The school year has started up, September has begun and that means it’s time for another member spotlight! This month, we are delighted to introduce our member, Therese Gibbons. In 2000, Therese and her sister, Annie founded and today, continue to operate, Alora Ambiance, a luxury home fragrance brand.
During a 15-year adventure living in Lake Como, Italy, Therese and Annie were introduced to the age-old italian wicking method of reed diffusers. Therese and Annie fell in love with its simple elegance and power to fill a room with scent, and knew they had to introduce this to the US marketplace.
In 2000, they moved home to their cherished family farm in Southern Minnesota where their grandfather and mother were born and knew the farm was the perfect place to turn this idea into a viable business. Now, almost 20 years later, the sisters continue to make these lovely fragrances and remain the category’s most treasured innovator.
Therese and Annie experienced the power of celebrity endorsement and “influencers” at a very early stage in the business. In just the second year of operation, Alora Ambiance landed on Oprah’s O List, an annual segment in Oprah’s magazine with an assortment of her favorite products. Therese shares that as a result, people would call and ask for “6 of whatever fragrance Oprah likes”.
We asked Therese what she finds most rewarding about owning a business and she explained that although it’s a hard question because there are so many things, the one thing that stood out to her most is the joy she still gets when people tell her how much they love Alora’s products. “An email from a loyal customer telling you how much they love a certain fragrance makes all the other difficulties of running a business seem suddenly worth it,” Therese shared.
She admits that one challenge she faces is balancing all the business operations while also being a wife and mom at home. With Annie living in Hawaii, Therese is grateful for the opportunity to work at ModernWell with other brilliant, hard-working women.
When talking about ModernWell, Therese shared what she enjoys most about the environment: “I love the energy – lots of focused business activity going on but plenty of women just connecting socially, too, which is terrific!” Here you can periodically find Therese working, chatting over coffee, or meeting with her team. She loves the space, the natural light and energy and is thrilled to be a part of the community!
When looking back, It’s encouraging for Therese to remember where they started and how far they have come. She still remembers her father (now 87 years old) saying when they moved home from Italy to start Alora, “well when the girls get over this phase that they are in, they can go get a real job.” Now, after all these years, Therese is so proud and grateful to still be making beautiful fragrances and to have such loyal fans who continue to use Alora Ambiance products.
Don’t be a stranger! If you are interested in learning more, visit Alora Ambiance’s Instagram and Website for more on their story and postings of current and new product offerings. In the future, this dream team of sisters hope to reach even more people with what they still believe is the “very best diffuser out there”!