We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Lawrence and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It’s funny because I never set out with the goal of starting a fragrance business. Prior to starting J. Laurant my only thought was figuring out a way to help my mom and maybe in that process start a business we could do together. My mom is the hardest working person I know, growing up she would always work 2-3 jobs at a time to help make ends meet. On most weekends one of those jobs would involve her working as a fragrance rep, selling fragrances at various malls for luxury brands like Chanel, YSL, Prada, and others.
My mom has always had an amazing ability to sell, and I would try to always encourage her to start her own business, but to no avail. In late 2019 my thought process started to shift and I began to think “why not us, why couldn’t we start a business and create our own brand of beautiful high-quality products?”. So that’s exactly what I did, it took a year of learning about fragrance from the ground up and a lot of trial and error. But in December of 2020 we were able to launch the first product, our Cashmere Creme candle. We ended up selling out of our entire stock in the first 3 weeks.
What should our readers know about your business?
I guess the main thing that I would want others to know and be able to see is that it’s possible.
We’ve been shown time and time again that it’s possible to be successful when it comes to sports and entertainment. But there aren’t many black-owned brands especially in the luxury space that we can point to as examples of what’s possible. So even though J. Laurant is still in its early stages, I feel there’s a unique opportunity for us and others to be able to change that narrative moving forward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a hard one because honestly at this stage in my life the vast majority of my time is dedicated to my business and growing it. When I do have downtime it’s usually spent with my family or catching up with my core group of friends. Denver is an amazing city with so much to offer, the growth the city has seen the past few years is exciting. I almost feel like a tourist in my own city now.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without God and the support from my family and friends none of this is possible. I also have an amazing girlfriend who has been very instrumental in helping me build the business from day one. When I started J. Laurant, it started with the question “why not us?”. When I look at brands like C.R. LEE it makes me excited to think why can’t it be as big as Ralph Lauren? Why can’ t a brand like Lunar Plus be the next Tumi, or Estelle Lux be the next L’Oréal? Why can’t TheUnpopularBlack.com be the next big travel site, or Berries By Lo become the next Hershey? I’m inspired by the work I see others doing, especially when it comes to these and other black-owned businesses from around the city. Steel sharpens steel and I feel there’s a lot you can learn from the experience of others.