Jon BreslerLAFCO

Lafco uses pure, premium ingredients to create candles, diffusers, soaps, hand creams and more with sophisticated, multi-layered fragrances. Get to know Jon Bresler, a lawyer by training and the man behind the wildly popular home and body care brand. What drove you to start your own brand? It all began with a whiff of a wonderful aromatherapeutic oil 30 years ago. In 1989, I had a one-year gig in Switzerland writing speeches. I was given a sample oil from a local ancient thermal spring, which I was told would comfort me. As there was no such thing on the market in those days, I reluctantly tried it and was instantly hooked. From the richness of the smell to the way it felt on my skin, I found it so intoxicating. While I may not have known it at the time, this single moment changed my life forever.
I haven’t always been an entrepreneur. Lafco has been a passion project of mine, as opposed to a business endeavor. My mission with Lafco was to introduce the American market to natural home fragrance products and beneficial botanical body care.
“I used to be a lawyer before I started Lafco. Although I did this for years, I always knew my interests lay elsewhere. It would’ve been impossible for me to do anything other than fragrance.”

What’s your favorite product in the line? About seven or eight years ago, Marla Beck, Bluemercury’s founder, approached me to create a signature fragrance for the stores. This was a tremendous honor for me as I felt it demonstrated a recognition of my expertise and a faith in my abilities. Her mission was to introduce a fragrance that could evoke the mood of a spa. I was told by some of her colleagues that Marla liked cucumber and grapefruit, so this is where I began. It took almost a year with a lot of revisions. She was a tenacious and savvy patron.
The resulting Bluemercury Spa fragrance opens with a burst of fresh citrus notes: lemon, lime, grapefruit and cucumber. It then settles into a more earthy tone with geranium, Egyptian basil and rosemary. I like to use a lot of rosemary in my candles. It’s a very invigorating, juicy fragrance.  The fragrance’s base is composed of sandalwood and orris, or iris root. It’s not too earthy; it has a sort of grounded, blonde wood tonality. The fragrance, of course, is displayed in our hand-blown vessels in Bluemercury’s signature azure color. The fragrance was a big success for Bluemercury and for me personally. It’s now a complete home fragrance and body care collection.

What are your morning and evening routines? In the mornings, I work out on an ergonomic indoor rower. Every evening, I meditate when I get home to destress from a long day’s work. I burn Lafco candles during this practice—often our Chamomile Lavender fragrance, for its relaxing properties. For my beauty regimen, my routine is quite simple: I wash my face every morning and evening with Lafco bar soap, which I also use to shave.
Our soap is so easy to lather because it is dry aged for four weeks. This process creates a denser, longer-lasting soap that dries quickly after use. We use an olive oil base and then superfat the soap (add extra oil to the soap recipe during milling) with two percent organic argan oil. It’s like a cream cleanser, 100 percent natural and hypoallergenic. Superfatting creates a much more moisturizing soap. Moroccan argan oil can boost collagen and provide natural anti-aging benefits. It contains high amounts of essential fatty acids and antioxidants needed for optimal skin care.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I used to be a lawyer in New York City before I started my company. Although I did this for years, I always knew my interests lay elsewhere. It would have been impossible for me to do anything other than fragrance. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? My best advice for someone looking to open their own business or project would be to maintain one’s sense of persistence. There will always be a reason for you not to do something. Once you’re able to let go of this fear, you will realize that it’s never as difficult as you imagined it to be. Starting Lafco, my teacher was passion, and my rules were self-presented. My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is: Become a self-taught expert; never give up in the face of fear; stay positive by acknowledging little successes because little successes accumulate into big successes; and, most importantly, integrity is paramount, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel as important. Integrity is paramount to maintaining your own personal brand.
Jon Bresler of LAFCO
The Founders Series
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