Serenity and Beauty with APOTHIA Founder Ron Robinson•
Posted on September 14 2020
Ron Robinson, founder of APOTHIA, the exclusive Los Angeles Apothecary has been discovering and cultivating new brands for over three decades. With the original RON ROBINSON store located since 1978 at Melrose Ave’s ivy covered Fred Segal and the new RON ROBINSON Flagship store in Santa Monica, the APOTHIA boutique within his stores is famous for attracting a constant stream of A list celebrities, global trendsetters and most importantly our many customers who over the years desire the best in beauty. (Apothia.com)
It is a pleasure to spotlight entrepreneurs who have not only worked hard to build a business and lifestyle they love, but who have created a wonderful product they can share with the world. We are thrilled to welcome Ron Robinson of Apothia at JM Home as we talk creative journeys and professional successes.
This is a glimpse of Ron's story . . .
How did your journey with APOTHIA begin?
While I was working in the fashion world, fragrance bottling and packaging always fascinated me. I absolutely loved it and developed a passion for its design. At that time, one couldn’t buy a fragrance or beauty/bath items unless you went to a department store, a beauty supply or drugstore, so I opened a boutique adjacent to my mens, womens & kids, fashion presentation and called it APOTHIA. That was about 37 years ago. It was a unique concept, to have men and women shop together for these items and have them edited from the best, most interesting, and esoteric brands worldwide. Nothing like shopping in a department store.
The fragrance collection came about after the website went live in 1990. We looked at the customers who purchased from the site, and selected 100 women across the United States—including some celebrity clientele who shopped in the stores, such as Jennifer Garner, Drew Barrymore and Macy Grey—and we asked them to be a part of creating a new fragrance. This was before social media.
Eight months later, IF Perfume was created.
This was just after we released the fragrance, in the store and online, which blew up in the market after an interview with Jennie Garth. They asked her what kind of fragrance she was wearing. Her response was along the lines of: “I bought it at the Ron Robinson store, and every time I wear it my boyfriend goes wild.” The phone started ringing off the hook, and as they say, the rest is history.
How do you define success?
We direct our efforts with an end goal in mind: our customer and how to ultimately please her or him. I look to having that effect on them with our product and the service we offer. If we do that properly then we will have succeeded and financially we will be rewarded for that. We produce artistic fine fragrance and home fragrance products. I consider myself an artist, a commercial artist, caring deeply for the product, but being aware that we must have a business mentality and sales in order to be able to continue. Its may sound old school, but it's really my formula: If you want a sale, be passionate about what you do, know your customers, provide them quality products and excellent service, honestly care about them, and they will buy from you! I have had a motto for many years: Old world values, New world vision!
What are three things you can’t live without?
There are so many things but if I narrow it down, then foremost is my family. I am so fortunate to have them in my life. The second one is love. Love is wonderful. If you do things with love and passion and add some good business skills, then success will often follow. The other thing is health. I am so fortunate to stay in shape and be healthy enough to enjoy fully what I have achieved.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, either professionally or personally?
I have been so fortunate to have a lot of mentors in my life and to have gleamed a lot from each. However, one person I shared a lot of amazing time with was Ruki Matusmoto. I have been traveling to Japan since 1982, which is when I met Ruki. One day, we spent two days in Ryokan on a beautiful forested hillside in Japan with natural mineral hot springs with and talked business. Ruki said, “I always looked at my company as second best.” That thought made him continue to strive to be better. Ruki owned 400 stores, and he designed and produced all the fashions. That saying and concept has always stuck with me.
What’s next for Apothia?
We have several things that are happening. Overall and foremost, our direction is always forward. We will be part of the new society, the new community, and continue to produce and deliver products made with great love and appreciation for superior quality.
So many things are happening now. We just completed our website, and it’s beautiful. There are several product collaborations that we are working on with some amazing brands, accomplished people and their companies. We created several candle fragrances and produced the vessel for Missoni, the Italian fashion and home brand. They carry those in their own stores for now. While we have been sheltering, we have used this moment to prepare for the future with fresh product ideas, but within the next week or two we will have a fragrant sanitizing hand gel and sanitizing spray.
We had been out of stock for some time on our fragrance SPIRITUAL, it’s now back in stock, and for this time we are in, it’s an amazing fragrance in your home. Comforting, expressive and a unique approach to warm woods and fresh herbs, a beautiful elegant scent that has a wonderful centering effect for the mind, and beautiful in your home. Try it.
Synonymous with beauty, design and style, APOTHIA offers aromatic candles, diffusers, hand and body care and eau de parfums - blending art, luxurious ingredients and world-class craftsmanship. (Apothia.com)
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