Perfume. Smells great right? Of course, but did you ever think about all the chemicals you are spraying onto yourself with every spritz? When she was pregnant, Wendi Berger did, and she knew their had to be a better answer. Enter Pour le Monde – fragrance to have you smelling great without covering your body in harmful chemicals. Not only that, but these fragrances are vegan, cruelty free, and each scent benefits a different charity. How awesome is that?
What were you doing before founding Pour le Monde?
I have spent my whole career either in or surrounded by the beauty industry. My first job out of school was at Revlon, when they were a big powerhouse and owned many department store brands. My role was to train the beauty advisors at Macy’s Herald Square on over 3,000 products. Then, I went on to magazine publishing working at books like Vanity Fair, InStyle and ELLE. All my clients were beauty companies and I loved every minute of it. Once in beauty, always in beauty!
What was your inspiration for founding the company?
My little guy. I was pregnant with him and got freaked out by cosmetics with unknown chemicals. When I found out the worst offenders were perfumes, I wanted to shake things up and create a collection that smelled like traditional perfumes but without all the traditional artificial ingredients.
What was the hardest thing about starting your own business?
I cannot say, “was” because it still “is”, and that is wearing many, many hats. When I was Publisher of Fitness, I had a large team overseeing: marketing, social media, sales, finance, operations, PR. I don’t have a big team and a lot of it falls on me. I know many beauty entrepreneurs and we all say the same thing: every day we play a different role and every day you are trying to split a penny in four ways.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
There are so many things of what I do that I truly love, but the one that stands out is really being a part of this emerging green beauty movement and in the company of so many amazing, wonderful pioneers. We created natural brands to fill a void and give consumers alternatives to beauty products produced with synthetics. We have done so with integrity and transparency while using high quality ingredients. The support we give each other in this tough marketplace is amazing.
Why should we care about chemicals in perfume?
People should care about chemicals in all their beauty products! Unfortunately, widespread opinion has pointed to ingredients found in most commercial perfumes (synthetics) to be the ones of most concern. The biggest offender in them is synthetic musk, which has been linked to hormone disruption. Woman in college may not think about having babies now, but they really should pay attention to these chemicals because they may affect them later.
Many of the chemicals found in perfume can also cause asthma, eczema and can trigger headaches. Remember with perfume you are not just applying it on your skin, you are also inhaling it. It is a big factor of indoor air pollution and should be the first beauty product in your regime replaced with a natural alternative.
What is unique about Pour le Monde?
First and foremost, we’re the only fine fragrances on the market that are certified 100% natural. In addition to being vegan, cruelty free and pregnancy safe, each one of our scents also benefits a different charity. I think a big separator for Pour le Monde in the natural perfume category is that we are a spray, not an oily roller ball. Our scents don’t smell ‘earthy’; they are on par with what you would find at the beauty counter and are affordable.
How do you choose the charities you give back to?
Our charities are very near and dear to my heart. My dear friend Lisa, who named our company, has lived with MS for a long time so naturally, the National MS Society was a given to match with our Envision scent. I have friends who are puppy handlers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and I was impressed that they solely rely on donations. Our Empower fragrance helps support them. Lastly, our floral perfume Together, benefits the Cancer Support Community, a fantastic organization that gives free emotional support to those and their families affected by cancer. We named each scent based on the mission of each charity.
What three words would your friends use to describe you?
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’d love to extend the collection. We just have three scents because they are so darn hard to produce. I’m also super picky when it comes to fragrances, if I won’t wear it, it won’t make the collection. We have two scents in development that are heavenly! Hope to launch them soon!
What makes you feel confident?