Stumbling into the fragrance industry in 2015, Jon Paul and Leah Capito were honeymooning in Mexico when they met a local couple creating fragranced soap. With Leah’s allergies to popular synthetic fragrances, the couple quickly became interested in the science behind custom, natural perfumes. The hobby soon became a fun couples’ activity that was maturing in their home closet. After a few bad combinations, the Capitos soon landed on some intoxicatingly good fragrances that left them asking, “Would people buy this?”
While researching new ingredients, they quickly realized the lack of education about what is in perfumes that consumers have . They launched the online-based Hyde + Alchemy in order to share their one of a kind scents, but to also start a transparent conversation about natural perfume ingredients. Listed on each product is the main accords, fragrance layers and ingredients – all natural, no chemicals or synthetic scents.
We sat down with Jon Paul to discuss what it was like opening an eCommerce business in Fort Wayne and here is what he had to say.
What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana?
We are from Fort Wayne, so we are well acquainted with the benefits of small city living. For one, the cost of living is a paramount factor to an entrepreneur, and since Fort Wayne is steadily providing a low-cost market, it is the perfect city for a new business.
Fort Wayne is also a great place to establish local partnerships. With so many new small shops opening, it is a great time to work together to ensure we all are successful. Working with shops like Fancy and Staple downtown and Just Be in Leo, I have been able to better understand what our vast and segmented audience is looking for in a fragrance.
In an effort to have natural products, I went out to a local farm and through a livestock pin to access a nearby lavender field. The lavender was a great, quality ingredient, but the venture to it proves how dedicated we are to finding local ingredients!
What resource in the community has helped you thrive in it?
Working with the different shops! Each of our sellers has provided critical feedback on what is selling and what isn’t. If it wasn’t for the shops, we wouldn’t have built the local presence that we have strived for.
What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business?
The sales and distribution process was tough to tackle at first. Being a small business, you are the creator, marketing department and delivery guy – a tough task to manage in the beginning stages of a business.
What person has helped you the most in your journey?
Hands down, my wife Leah!
I also enjoy listening to educational podcasts. Anything from marketing tips to being a new dad, I love absorbing the raw content quickly!
What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs?
I have been an entrepreneur since high school and have seen a lot of failure. No one wants to talk about it, but it leads to a lot of fear. Never stop, never quit because I wouldn’t have my business today if I hadn’t made those mistakes. You have to be mentally tough, and going over those bumps has helped me a lot in this business!
What would be the best thing Fort Wayne could do for entrepreneurs in your opinion?
We happen to be a part of a thriving community–and it is exciting! All I ask is for the continued support of local businesses.
About Hyde + Alchemy:
Hyde + Alchemy is a small boutique perfumery created by a husband and wife team who decided to follow their passion to make beautiful, contemporary fragrances. Each fragrance is made by hand in small batches with the highest quality natural ingredients. The company was founded in 2015 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.