Meet Andrew and Lisa Gonzalez, co-owners of Orleans Home Fragrances. The couple sat down with us just in time for the holidays to share a little more about themselves, the company, and how it has become the brand it is today.
What made you two do this?
“Great question,” Lisa laughs. “It definitely wasn’t something we were planning on. Our best friend’s parents started this company, and we didn’t come onto the scene until three years ago.”
“We saw it as an opportunity to do something great together,” Andrew adds. “They had an amazing product, and we didn’t want to see it go away.”
What were your careers like before Orleans Home Fragrances?
“Well, I was in IT, so this was a complete 180 for me,” says Andrew.
“He worked in HR, managing systems,” Lisa throws in, “which relates to some of what he does now. And me? I worked in product development for JCPenney. I did that for 11 years, so I guess you could say I’m no stranger to products and sales. But running a company was a whole other thing!”
In your opinion, what makes the company unique from a corporate perspective?
“The first thing that comes to mind is people. We are people-focused,” says Andrew. “We purchased this company from a family that already had something great going on, so it was important to us to continue that sense of family, both in the way we interact with customers and with employees. Another way to say it is ‘customer and employee-centric.’ We know what we value, and that’s doing right by everyone. That means we treat a $3 order for a car freshener the same way we do a $300 order. We are extra intentional about taking care of people because there’s nothing more frustrating than not to be taken care of by a business.”
“And from a product standpoint,” Lisa adds, “our fragrances are super high quality. They smell from the moment you light them, and they are hand-poured in a charming, beautiful town by employees we know personally. Every product gets a lot of attention.”
Apart from being people-focused, what value would you say defines the company?
“One of the values we’ve established is generosity. This is done by giving back,” Andrew explains. “Each quarter, we take in applications to give back to nonprofit organizations we believe in. It’s become a commitment, and we ask our Board of Directors to hold us accountable to it.”
Why the New Orleans theme, and how do you stay true to it?
“The founders were originally from New Orleans—they loved it and were proud of their roots—so we’ve worked hard to continue what they started,” says Lisa. “The most obvious example of this is the names of our fragrances. Each one is reminiscent of the New Orleans-Louisiana culture.”
“Right,” Andrew goes on. “We actively consider those roots in everything we do. Literally every product we put out goes through an extensive analysis, and a big part of that is making sure it fits. Maintaining that synergy is so important...Beyond that, it comes down to our employees. We have very tenured leaders in our company who know when something seems off, down to the chemical makeup. We trust them and work closely together on everything.”
The holiday season is upon us. What is something important for your customers to know?
“First and foremost, there’s quite a bit of chaos trying to get shipments in right now, so be flexible with us,” says Lisa.
”Our goal through this has been to be consistent—to not change the product because we are short-supplied,” continues Andrew, “but just know that while some things may occasionally look different, the quality and fragrances we are known for will always stay the same.”
Lisa interjects, “All that to say, order gifts ahead of time! Our products make great gifts, and if you follow us on Instagram and watch out for our emails, we’ll be offering suggestions and promotions. We have 40 fragrances and several options for carrying them, so we try to direct customers as best we can.”
Last but not least, you have three kids. What do they have to say about what you do?
“Oh, they love it!” answers Lisa. “They think it’s cool, and they always want to come to the factory to smell and see everything. That’s the best part of all of this, getting to carry on that family aspect."