Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Crames, CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library, located in Great Neck, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Demeter Fragrance Library makes 300 different single-note fragrances inspired by real objects and experiences. Single note fragrances mean they express their scent immediately and do not change over time, like department store fragrances. When you combine those attributes with the fact that scent droves the most powerful sense memories, Demeter is the first fragrance that can actually CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL by evoking powerful meteorites related to your favorite object's experiences. Love babies? Try Baby Powder or Baby Shampoo, or New Baby? A night out? Try Gin & Tonic or Sex in the Beach Cocktail. Foodies? Angel Food cake and Dark Chocolate. The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination. Finally, a fragrance that is about YOU!

Tell us about yourself

Demeter, for me, has two critical aspects. The first is I simply love the fragrance and how the way we approach fragrance can change the way you feel. The second, and more important, is that the business has allowed me to create the family life I wanted. We bought Demeter in 2002; the goal was to create a company we could wrap around our lives instead of wrapping our lives around our business.

I had a fabulous opportunity to start a second family at 41. I had already built a $100,000,000 fragrance distribution business. I felt like I missed my kids growing up while I did that (they don't agree, which is wonderful). So when looking for my next business, I wanted to be able to work at home and raise my family. I surrounded myself with like-thinking people, and we ran a remote business in 2002 when t was on the bleeding edge.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness? 

My pit bull and I go for a 2-mile walk in the woods every day. It grounds me and quiets my soul, which is very loud and left on its own.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It remains to be seen. My wife and I were successful enough in growing Demeter to bring 3 of our boys into the company, my mother and sister-in-law and several significant others. My biggest accomplishment will be turning a successful business over to our children.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Letting someone go. It doesn't really matter if it's for poor performance or poor business; I feel like a failure. I always feel like if I did a better job as a leader, no one would ever lose their job. I take great joy in every new hire. I have always looked at every employee as another family that eats at our table. I have always taken that seriously-maybe too seriously.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You're never going to have enough cash. Even if you're well funded, RESPECT CASH. You can fix a lot of problems, but if you run out of cash, they don't let you play anymore.
  2. Do something you love, something that fires your passion. Because you are going to work ALL THE TIME, at least initially, you had better like what you do.
  3. Focus on making or doing something great. Focus on selling it. Don't focus on making money. Do something good really well, and the money will follow anyway.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.