Welcome back to Small Biz Chats with Lucy Lumen, friend and lover of The Sensory Boutique and curious to learn more about the stories behind the stockists.
This month we chat to Byron Bay based Sam Drewe, who spends his days creating and refining scents for you to spritz and light to evoke memories of places and specials moments. Let's get into the chat!
Thanks for joining us Sam! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your business Samson & Bronc?
It's great to be joining you guys! Samson & Bronc actually combines my two main passions - creating scents and my horses. Even as a kid, I used to 'make' perfumes, and I've always loved riding and showjumping. I spent a few months in America some years ago, and that's when I realised I wanted to be a designer. I live in the hills behind Byron Bay with my partner, and my first produce was a range of candles entitled The Phoenix Collection, after an ex-racehorse I retrained. I realised that creating a business that could help sustain my love of horses was the way to live the lifestyle I wanted. I started with candles, moved into diffusers, and more recently created my colognes.
Your candles and fragrances smell divine - can you tell us the process behind creating the profile for a scent and how you find inspiration for each different one?
A particular smell can catapult us straight back into a memory, and when I create a scent I love to make something evocative and magical. I've always loved the bush, and I've spent most of my life living in the country, so I love finding 'notes' that will trigger the feeling of the scent. For example, a recent candle, Hinterland Holiday, has a background of floral notes, to sum up the feeling of summer, and the smell of jasmine, but it also has ..................I find my inspiration in the world around me, whether it's in strong smoky tones as in By the Campfire, or orange and cinnamon, which immediately makes you think of Christmas.
What do you love most about running your own biz and what do you find the most challenging Sam?
I love the fact that I can spend as much time as I like thinking about, researching, and creating a new scent, and also that I can choose when I fit my hours in, so that I can also work with my horses. In the last few years what has been most challenging has been to find new stockists. Retail has been facing some difficult times, and that's when, as a small business, you have to dig really deep to get through it.
Last time I was visiting the Sensory Boutique I had a spray of your fragrance Wicked and it was so lush! What is your favorite scent at the moment?
It's hard to choose a favourite to be honest. But I do love all my colognes - the 'W' range, Wildfire, Woodland and Wicked. Wildfire was the first, and is incredibly popular, and I think if I had to choose one over everything else, it would probably be that.
Coming into the gifting season can be stressful for buyers and sellers as it's so busy. How do you approach Xmas shopping Sam?
Bury my head in the sand and pretend it's not happening! Joking aside, Christmas is a very busy time for Samson & Bronc, so I have to make time to shop for family and friends. I do like trying to buy personal gifts for people, something they can keep and appreciate.
I'm excited to know what's next on the horizon for Samson & Bronc?
Well, there's always room for expansion, so at the moment I'm thinking about the next product that could join the Samson & Bronc range. There will be some new scents for sure, and some collabs with other businesses. So overall it's an exciting time...
A huge thank you to Sam for taking the time to chat with us and share his story. If you are looking for a lush smelling gift this Christmas, especially for the men in your life, then check out the range we have available online and in store, or head straight to the source over at samsonandbronc.com.au to shop all the smells!