We had the good fortune of connecting with Brianna Lipovsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brianna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly, it was a little bit of everything. Most importantly, I was craving independence and freedom of thought, mind and time. I always had a creative itch, but I never knew how it would manifest. Fragrance and brand building are the perfect medium for me to engage my creativity. With my past experience in building other brands I found space for a luxury brand that was purpose-driven, actively engaging with community, like many of the D2C brands, however ensuring that the products we put forth are the utmost of quality and craftsmanship. Bringing the utmost of luxury back, but in a modern way and utilizing the macro and micro shifts I was noticing in society. In addition, financial control over my life was a big one. I no longer wanted to be dependent on others to dictate my worth. Lastly, the perceived notion of having more time to spend with my family and competing in the equestrian sport of Dressage. Ironically, I now have little to no time!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Authenticity and Care. I like to be real and I like those I around me to be their truest version of themselves. I think after this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights atrocities, our planet burning all around, and a general lack of leadership on many levels, I am just done with the BS! As wife, mother to two children, and an entrepreneur running two businesses, I am left with so little time that I am above all else valuing quality time and happiness more than ever. I want to have built a successful and sustainable (multi-generational, healthy EBITDA/cash flowing) business that is able to impact people’s lives including the way they live, consume, think, and feel. I have always wanted Maison d’Etto to be a force of change and to help humankind. That is ultimately my end goal. I am and have always been the “business person” and it is only in this new role that I am really stepping into my own creative power and freedom. Compared to the creatives that I work with on a daily basis- the perfumers, graphic artists, art directors, and photographers- I don’t hold a candle in comparison. However; what I am able to do is figure out ways to bring these teams together and create something magical, which in essence, is the job of a Creative Director. The time I spend debating over the shade of green and paper stock, or the amount of Indol in a fragrance, I also spend equally, if not more, in Excel, figuring out how to make the puzzle work financially. Cash flow, run rate, AOV, conversion metrics, and EBITDA are just as important to me. Unfortunately, that gives very little time for either side of my brain to rest or relax!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I now partially call Rockaway Beach, NY home. The magic, allure and draw of this place is profound to my soul. I can’t put my finger on it. I have never felt this strongly about a place and I am trying to find out why. Therefore, I am diving into the minds of artists, writers, locals, and cultural fabric. We are currently staying at The Rockaway Hotel, which recently opened and is in incredible. My family was displaced from our primary residence due to COVID-19 (and a flood), but the silver lining is that my entire family has absolutely fallen in love with this city beach town. I feel like this place and its inhabitants are like a giant onion unfolding right before your eyes. There are so many layers and depth, and I find the people fascinating out here. I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on what is pulling me towards this place, but I am hoping through exploring the writers, artists, and people who live here that it will help me find out what it is that makes this place so special and why it impacts my heart so much.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My background and upbringing taught me to be a leader. I am the oldest of 4 siblings, and therefore the designated caretaker, which I learned from my mother who was a nurse. I also get my entrepreneurial spirit and energy from growing up there, part of a small family business and obsessed by horses. I would do anything to afford lessons. I learned the value of hard work and a dollar at a very young age. On the other hand, it also taught me who I wasn’t. I always felt like an odd-ball in this small, homogeneous, conservative town, which empowered me to break free. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my partners and my husband by my side. I am 100% focused, many times to a fault, but when it comes to actually being able to take the plunge and jump into the deep-end— I typically need a push. In fact, I was told by an in incredible teacher in High School that I was an entrepreneur, he could see it in me at a young age. However, it took me nearly 17 years to actually begin my own business even though I knew the desire was in me. When considering our funding strategy and re-allocating some longer-term investments towards the business, I panicked but my husband said, “sometimes you just have to bet on yourself.” That really resonated with me, Am I going to bet on the markets and a portfolio manager or am I going to commit 110%? I decided to fully commit. It’s scary, but I don’t think I would want it any other way.
Lauren Coleman Lea Banchereau Sylvia Austin