Founded in 2021, the candle company Literature was launched, according to its founder, to help preserve life’s most memorable moments. The product line began with fragrances that evoked iconic New York City sensations, from the Great Lawn of Central Park to Midtown’s ubiquitous roasted nut carts and the flower markets of 28th Street, and has grown to include fragrances inspired by the US Open, others in collaboration with iconic New Yorkers like Arielle Charnas from Something Navy…even hat-tipped candles to Junior’s Cheesecake and unforgettable scenes from Bravo’s The real housewives franchise.
We asked company founder Erica Werber for a few lessons from this journey over the past two years. The words below, her own, amount to a tight and personal recipe for achievement.
1. Tap into a network of former colleagues and associates
As a former publicist, I knew how important the press would be to a new product launch. Literie had unique and high-profile products, but its early success was mainly due to the efforts of our PR team and their expertise in the local New York media world. The press and buzz generated locally and nationally – online and broadcast – in these critical first few months enabled us to develop an audience from both a social and a retail perspective and then tailor advertising campaigns to that demographic of consumers.
2. Have everything under control
In the beginning I handled almost all aspects: design, development, fragrance selection, packaging, shipping, deliveries, invoicing, customer service and content creation for social media. I wanted education in every category to keep the business running smoothly and effectively, and that allowed me to make quick changes along the way and create shortcuts to save money and time. This wouldn’t have been possible without a real understanding of the needs of the brand, and more importantly, of our customers.
Related: The Nitty-Gritty: Knowing the Details of Your Business
3. Understand that good days are followed by bad days and vice versa
What goes up must eventually come down. Literie would have weeks of phenomenal sales, new business enquiries, and great press, and then one day it would flip and go down. Slow sales days can consume founders and make them question strategies, and failed deals can create an identity crisis focused on what a brand may be missing. To counter this, I would focus on long-term strategy and overall goals rather than day-to-day details. Taking a step back after a loss or setback allowed me to identify weaknesses that needed a pivot, while Also recognition of our growth since inception and the need to focus on that positivity.
Related: Lewis Howes has built an eight-figure personal brand. He did it by constantly reinventing himself.