The second artisan that I am pleased to feature this month is Dawn Stewart of Dawn to Dusk Essentials. Dawn will eventually have a name change to Treehouse Botanicals. Thank you, Dawn, for your time!
1. Please describe your background. How did you come to make perfumes?
Being a nature girl at heart, an artisan by nature, the rest is history. I have been making jewelry since a teen and just have a knack for creating. I love most smells of nature and want to be absorbed by the very essence of them.
2. Do you craft full-time, or would you consider this a “hobby”?
I consider myself an artist, struggling, yes! But, nonetheless I love working for myself. I am in real estate and also work inside a real estate office to make ends meet. My goal is to expand and hopefully cut out that office job all together.
3. Describe your creative process. How do you usually get ideas for a new perfume or product, and what is your process for creating and testing that product?
I am inspired by scents you don’t find over the counter. I am also inspired by nature and the immense power of aromatherapy. Sometimes it just takes a sniff of a new absolute to turn on all my senses, getting me started on something new. Other times it’s a lot of imagination at work. In either case I think it turns out best when there is a lot of thought and even a story behind the new scent. When I create a scent, it is sometimes a “mystery scent” that someone is trying to recreate from their past. I have a lot of fun trying to concoct these elusive scents for people. Then the most rewarding part is actually to get it right!
Other than that, I would just “sniff to death” my new absolutes and wonder “what would this go with?” or “what would really bring the beauty of this out?”, then blend a few together and voila! I have made my most popular scents by just purely making something that I would wear, instead of trying to figure out what everybody else out there wants; it’s usually right on when it comes from the heart.
4. What would you consider to be your signature product or scent and why?
I have two, I feel. The first being Viva La Crème (now called Haunting Echoes) and the second being my Pentagonal Patchouli Coffret. I hope all of my scents are unique. Even for another perfumer to have all the ingredients we are all artistic in our “own” way, always putting a unique spin on it.
5. What makes Dawn to Dusk Essentials unique?
My personal preference for unusual smells would make Dawn to Dusk unique. I like anything you can’t find over a counter. I would not make something I would not wear myself. So many times we try and think what someone else would wear. It must come from the heart.
6. Can you describe the best feedback you’ve ever received, or describe an interaction that you had that made you feel good about your creations?
I have had many, many thoughtful feedback! I am truly inspired by my feedback. It keeps me going strong. I often use my feedback for descriptions in the listings since they have the creativity that I am lacking in that arena.
7. I love many of your perfumes, including Nefertem, which is so deep and narcotic, almost, to Rosa-Chouli, which is both sweet, and very seductive. I’m eager to see what else you have in the works. What plans do you have for your shop and perfume line in 2011?
My plans are endless, I have to stop and smell the roses most of the time, deep breaths, because nothing gets done when I am over-thinking. I do have the body butters in the works, as you know :). Also, there is a lip line is in the works, which I am super excited about. You will see face mists and body scrubs as well. I hope to have all the things I love to use myself.
8. Do you have any favorite crafters or artisans that you would like to share with us?
Well, I am fairly new to Etsy and didn’t know anyone till I joined myself. But, my mom is on Etsy selling handmade Teddy Bears. I have a few of them myself so I know they are awesome! She personalizes the tag to make it an extra special gift. My favorite color is purple so she made me a special purple teddy bear that I adore. Also, a friend of mine has a shop on Etsy called Animated Cupcakes. I noticed she is not selling her fantastic tasting cupcakes, however, but maybe soon.
9. What advice would you give to budding perfumers or other crafters and artisans who are looking to present their wares to the public?
Be prepared! I love change, however, it can be a downfall if you are starting a business…for obvious reasons. So, I would just say have your design ready and make sure it’s the one you love. I love all things unrestricted by reality so I have changed a few times to fit.
10. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I am very interested in making custom scents for people. I have done it only a couple of times but was so rewarding to me that I would love to get any ideas from viewers of this. Drop me a note with a scent you would love and we can discuss the process.
Thanks so much, Dawn!