Always driven by the desire to beautify surroundings visually and through fragrance, she captures feelings, moments and aspirations in her brand worlds. Margot Elena’s meticulously crafted brand libraries overflow with luxuries beautifully balanced in design, fragrance and formulations. Always mindful that her products add beauty and meaning to their environment, Margot Elena designs her brand worlds down to the last endearing detail on each package. In her signature style, each item is created to perform as an absolute favorite and to feel like a treasure to hold and to keep.
The daughter of a classically trained musician father and fine artist mother, it was no surprise that Margot Elena showed a creative entrepreneurial spirit at a very young age when she began making and selling beautiful little rings to her classmates. By seventh grade she had turned her bedroom into a mock retail store and by the time she graduated from college she had saved to open what would become her first living laboratory, a shop filled with beautifully packaged bath and beauty treasures. Shortly after opening her shop, consumer demand drove Margot Elena to launch her first nationally distributed brand, which made its mark at the forefront of a reinvented bath and beauty industry as one of the first brands to elegantly balance fragrance, formulation and package design.
Working tirelessly to reinvent a category she helped create, Margot Elena continues to charm her customers with beautiful, well-thought-out treasures to fall in love with, it’s no surprise that retailers and customers alike wait in anxious anticipation to see what will be next from this trend leading visionary.
My space is located in the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, in the middle of what is known as the Denver Tech Center.
We have a beautiful workspace that took us over a year to remodel—an old Wall Street Journal building that needed some vision, creativity and TLC to add warmth and to bring it to life. I designed it to have expanses of wide-open spaces for merchandising, displaying and for people to gather.
We are so fortunate that our location is practically a romantic retreat in a sea of conventional office buildings. Nestled in a grassy, green escape from the concrete city, we have a space situated in such a way that you almost forget where you really are. We installed a giant two-story window in what we call the Great Hall overlooking a beautiful golf course—a truly serendipitous location. You can exhale here. Eat lunch outside under a tree. Watch wildlife pass by and more.
As the space unfolded and came to life with the remodel, it called to be filled with people, laughter and community.
For many years we used it primarily for only internal creative endeavors: photo shoots, trade show booth displays (we have our own in house scene shop on the lower level), training and the like. After many years in business, I decided to take what felt like my biggest risk—I took a deep breath and decided to “out” my core deepest values and most sincere dreams for what I truly envisioned could be the culture of our company.
Being a life long dreamer, philosopher and seeker of all things wondrous and purposeful in this mysterious universe, I still had been fearful to chance that spirituality and business could mix—but without attempting to bring these two sides of my life together, I knew that I would not be able to continue.
With much trepidation, I called in our leadership team and proposed that we care for our company like a community. I aspired to drive towards a vision that went beyond the bottom line and would endeavor to be heart-based and love-centered.
I too was skeptical (which is why I had never vocalized this before—could this be achieved? Surely business and love could not mix?)—but, there came a point that I felt I couldn’t move forward unless I lived into these values as fully in my professional life as I lived them in my personal life.
It had been so many years of watching our team work incredibly hard. I felt that there had to be some way to create more balance within our own company.
The daily operation of our company is very fast paced, takes tremendous effort and can be incredibly stressful. We build our own trade show booths, props, display pieces and merchandise in house. We have Creative, Product Development and Production Teams (whom I am always so humbled to work with and could not be more sincere when I say they are the MIT of Creativity) who handle, with the utmost grace, the stress of deadlines stacked and heaped upon more short deadlines. We have our own in house Sales Team who go to trade shows with a grueling back to back travel schedule during show seasons, who happily and tirelessly serve our retailers. Our Warehouse Team and Customer Service departments support with an incredible energy and hustle, picking, packing and problem-solving. And, our Accounting and HR Team hold the whole kit and caboodle together.
I’m laughing because it’s tough behind the scenes of seemingly simple and pretty bubble bath. Our team does everything with such passion and dedication. I could no longer quiet that inner voice that knew we could do more for each other.
I shared with my team that I had spent the last year, in my off hours, clarifying my vision and thinking on how I could create something that expressed what I most believed in and most hoped to bring into the world. In between being a mama and Chief Creative Officer and owner of our company, I had devoted a year to studying and becoming a certified health coach while continuing to build brands and products. What I felt very passionate about was spiritual exploration, nutrition, moving the body and shifting our company culture to offer ways to live life while at work and to offer the opportunity for personal and enriching growth within our organization.
I took action. I coordinated and made available to the company daily workouts—strength training three times a week, yoga twice a week, followed by on-site organic green smoothies (made by our incredible WonderSoul Studio Manager). We offered daily meditation/breathing breaks and a community garden. Internally, we called it “The Journey of Discovery.” This became an open invitation to be curious, to experiment and to experience.
One of the things I felt was so important as a company culture was that we needed to stop, pause, see and celebrate each other as a community. We had to move beyond not just using each other as “resources.” I offered our first event for friends and family. The “directive” was that the event should take no longer than 15 minutes to put together—it should be as “raw” as it could be while still feeding the soul. This sounds easy, “keep it simple!”…but for our superstar, overachieving team, this is actually far more difficult than kicking into overdrive, going over the top and working ourselves to type-A exhaustion. I’d participated in and witnessed this for years—funny, but true!
The “directive” was that these events would be scheduled every 8 weeks to create a rhythm at the conclusion of each wellness cycle. The focus of these internal events was to emphasize focusing on each other as real people—to truly stop, to look into the eyes of your team, to bring your family, to have your little ones run around, to welcome your friends, to listen to great music with a live DJ, and to kick back and laugh with each other—and most of all, to connect on a deeper level.
All of these ideas were rather esoteric and felt risky.
But, the most incredible thing happened…everyone in the company took the leap with me!
The energy at these gatherings, with only chips, dips (veggies too, c’mon, I am a health coach), that was created was unlike anything I had seen or experienced in my company in my entire career. A community developed and proved that you could just show up and be you. You didn’t have to spend 40 minutes straightening your hair, perfecting your make up, dusting off your best 5” inch heels…instead, you could just drop in and hang out with your team. I was amazed! The culture began to transform into the dream I have dreamed since I first created the company.
What I observed is that people felt so comfortable and light, that they dropped the “mask”. This is the most profoundly beautiful and satisfying “thing” that has happened to me on a heart level in my professional life.
Humbling. Soul satisfying.
Watching this unfold internally, we knew that we needed to share what we were feeling and experiencing. We found with these internal events that it became energizing to also offer events externally.
These were “fancier” than our friends and family events (we can’t help ourselves! I do love to create a beautiful fantasy) but the heart that remained and made these events incredibly successful is that we genuinely made it our mission to serve. We were invigorated by watching the joy and happiness that we brought to people as they attended our events. For many of us, internally as a team, it was wonderful to engage not just with product, as we did during our “day jobs,” but at these “in real life” events we could see, share and feel, in real time, the impact we have on people and each other.
We have since hosted many events, and it is one our favorite things to invite guests to come and share in the hospitality we so enjoy creating. We have invited our reps to train and experience our culture, brought in our retailers from across the country to join as we celebrate and thank them. We have had simple garden planting and garden marker-making parties, fresh facial workshops and even workshops where our team demonstrated practical and creative ideas for using the fresh herbs we were growing in our community garden (fresh botanical, herb-infused cocktails, anyone?!).
The thread that ties these events together is the sincerity, warmth and authenticity born out of truly valuing and honoring each other and our guests. We try to anticipate the smallest details—from the very intentional perspective of what will truly delight and warm the heart—whether it is an event for each other internally as a team or for the guests we invite to attend. We ask, what will truly make each person feel welcome; what will invite them to be comfortable, to be themselves and to relax; what will make them feel honored?
The smiles we see and the hugs we share at these events fuel us, as a team, for months. I genuinely want people who flow through our doors to feel, well yes, I’m going to say it, to feel the love.
I want to create events where people leave feeling uplifted, with a lasting feeling of,
“I can’t quite put my finger on it, but being there just made me feel good.”
The most unexpected thing that evolved through following my heart and listening to my true self—from opening up and inviting others into our physical world—is that something much deeper happened in our collective personal worlds.
We invited each other into each other’s lives.By sharing our space and inviting people in, the profound unexpected blessing in my life has been the true friendships that have seeded, rooted and flourished.
I will forever be incredibly humbled, amazed and grateful that I could be a part of this flow that showed me that a simple gathering could be so much more.
When you come as our guest to a Margot Elena event, I want you to leave believing a little bit more in magic and in the possibility of creating an infinitely more beautiful and positive world.
Too much to hope for from an event? I don’t think so any more.