We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilsa Manning and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilsa, we’d love to hear how your brand, Ilsa Fragrances, helps the community or the world.
Our mission is to empower women to believe in themselves and all they can do, and in doing so create a better world where women feel comfortable and confident in themselves and the pursuit of their dreams and goals. We do this in 4 ways – (1)through our perfume, which was created with the intent of igniting the wearer’s inner confidence and beauty through gorgeous and sophisticated scents. (2) Through our Coffee & Conversation interviews where we interview women in the community and tell their ‘success’ story, the aim being the inspiration of others to pursue their dreams (3) Through our social media highlights of women in the community who are ‘killing it’ in their lives – whether they be a stay-at-home mom, an artist, a CEO… every woman deserves accolades! (4) With each purchase of an Ilsa Fragrances product we donate to the nonprofit Girls on the Run Maricopa & Pinal Counties to empower our girls to become empowered women.
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?
Bringing a brand to life is absolutely incredible, but extremely hard work ! My background was in the fragrance and beauty industry working for big players bringing their products to life, so I was excited to branch out and pursue my fragrance passion through creating products that had intention. By that I mean, at each step of the process there was intent. From fragrance creation (does this scent make me feel empowered and beautiful?) to formula (does this fragrance meet the strictest global regulations for fragrance?) to packaging design (is the bottle a thing of beauty?). I want all of these things in my life and I want to provide these same things for other women. One of the things I am most proud of happened last year: out of 600 brands from 5 international shows, Infinite No 1, our first fragrance in the Infinite Collection, was nominated a 2019 Indie Beauty Expo Best In Show Best Fragrance Nominee. Even though we didn’t win, I still get so giddy at just the thought of the nomination! One of the most important things about my brand is that Ilsa Fragrances would never have happened without my husband and daughters. My daughters were the catalyst for creating the company – in wanting to be the best person I could be for them, what they gave back to me was belief in myself, and once I had that amazing feeling I wanted every woman in the world to have it! Both girls inspire me every day to keep pursuing this goal while my husband does whatever he can to support and enable me in achieving it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since my best friend lives out of town, this is an easy one! I’d take her downtown to see something fabulous at the Orpheum Theater, with a low key dinner at The Cornish Pasty before and drinks afterwards at Hanny’s. We’d spend one day being pampered at the Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms resort and then relax poolside afterwards. We’d hike one of the fabulous trails at the Dreamy Draw preserves and then in the evening catch the sunset on the terrace at Elements restaurant at the Sanctuary resort, then fine dine at Elements afterwards. We’d probably round out her visit with some yummy Los Taquitos and shopping local: Rubymint General, Bunky Boutique, Changing Hands, Frances, Phoenix General, Vida Moulin, Mae and Marie, UrbAna, to name a few. We’d probably have to pop over to The Henry for a quick coffee (or glass of wine!) after all of that!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is dedicated to my whole network of support – I could not have done/could not do this without any them! To my friends and family who constantly cheer me on and help with all manner of crazy requests; to my network of female entrepreneurs who give encouragement, commiseration and guidance; to my mentor and r&d guru who both generously impart their knowledge and expertise whenever asked; and to my husband and daughters who ceaselessly support, encourage, help and participate in this rollercoaster ride that is the pursuit of my dream!