Name: Anne Nelson Sanford
Title: Owner/Perfumer/Creative Director of LURK
Anne Nelson Sanford is a Renaissance entrepreneur. A self-proclaimed beauty junkie, she is a perfumer, product development specialist, interior designer and creative director with a background in beauty marketing, branding and brand development. LURK is her platform to design, develop and create products. Anne and I met in Harlem at a poker game. I said she was a Renaissance entrepreneur, didn’t I?
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Anne: For me it’s the only way I can work. I have had many great jobs that I have loved, but at the end of the day I have never felt more fulfilled, more at ease or more satisfied with myself than when I’m creating products, running my company and dealing with the day to day (sometimes) drama of bringing that all to life. Being an entrepreneur just feels right to me and though it can be incredibly stressful I wouldn't have it any other way.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Anne: I would love for there to be a breakthrough in Autism research to help families of children on the spectrum better understand the cause as well as how to most effectively help their children succeed. And by succeed I mean live happy, comfortable lives where they are accepted and nurtured in today’s world. So many advancements have been made and our public schools here in the U.S. are incredibly supportive. but I do still feel that children with Autism are being forced to conform. If we understood more about how they process information I think we could more effectively provide education and support while supporting their differences. My son is on the spectrum and he is the most amazing, creative, interesting, nuanced child, but functioning at school and in life can be a challenge for him.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Anne: My grandmother always told me to take people at face value. It took me a long time to integrate this lesson for sure. I have learned the hard way that people let you know exactly who they are you just have to listen. I have trusted many of the wrong people because I wasn't listening or more importantly didn't want to listen especially in my business. Im grateful that now I not only listen, but I also trust my gut.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Anne: For me success is being the best mother and person that I can be, getting to go to work every day and do what I love. Surrounding myself with trusted, honest and genuine individuals both at work and in my personal life. Steering clear of drama and those who seek to create it. Feeling joy, experiencing love, forgiving.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Anne: Anyone that wakes up every morning and faces the day with courage, a sense of humor, humility, a positive attitude and a great work ethic.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Anne: The ability to let go :)
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Anne: Hmmmm. I think I would love for it to be Maverick or dissident (which makes me laugh a bit). I've always been outside of the norm and that has certainly been true of my company and the products that I create. When I started LURK I can't tell you how many colleagues and people I respected in the beauty industry told me that natural perfume would never be successful. But we're still here and growing every year. We have been embraced by our amazing customers, the beauty editors and the bloggers and I'm in awe of that. In April of this our Eau de Toilettes were featured in Elle Magazine in an amazing roundup with other brands like Dior, Guerlain & Shiseido. That was mindblowing and an incredible moment for us.
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Anne: I honestly don't have one and that is a direct result of how I was raised. My parents strongly instilled in me the idea that regret is a waste of time. The best way to process failure is to figure out why it happened, why decisions were made etc and then learn from it. I also firmly believe that what at first can seem like a mistake or misstep, many times turns out to be a blessing, you just have to keep moving and stay true to yourself to see the outcome.
I was also taught that it’s human to be disappointed but the best way to move forward is not to get hung up on regret. My father in particular really taught me that the only way to become better at your business, at life and at being a human being is actually make mistakes and start to grow from them. I am so grateful for these lessons and for the encouragement to be myself, follow my dreams and allow myself to fall down sometimes without falling apart.
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Anne: Our next launch is set for November 2015. Here are the details:
LURK’s New Fragrance Oil Scents ($55, 1/8 oz)
All essential oils and botanical extracts in LURK’s luxury perfume oil blends are certified organic, supercritically extracted, sustainable and wild-crafted to ensure the highest level of purity and olfactive quality. LURK perfume oils represent luxury, beauty and peace of mind.
- PRM 016 - Rare woods meet deeply lush florals and sweet myrrh in this androgynous, meditative blend. Suggestive and animalic.
- OM 001 - Provocative notes of Oudh & Sandalwood intertwine with Jasmin sambac and our signature Lotus Blossom accord creating this carnal, hedonic fragrance that is at once vibrant, and quenching.
“These two deeply sensual blends represent the next evolution for LURK fragrances. While I have continued to explore and create scents that are highly complex and sophisticated, our fall 2015 launch reveals an additional side to our perfumery that is much deeper and esoteric. These new blends are comprised of rare oils, precious absolutes and exquisite resins and we feel we have reached a new level in luxury natural perfumery.”
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