Hakim Taliaferro is based out of East Orange, New Jersey. He created The Taliaferro fragrance company in 2011. The fragrances can be worn on the body, sprayed in the home, or in your car. The Taliaferro aims to make clients feel like luxury and produces lasting and authentic memories through handcrafted, personalized fragrances.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
What inspired me to become an entrepreneur was the desire to leave a mark on the world by really creating something that allowed me to inspire other people to chase their dreams rather than just living a life where when you leave this planet theirs nothing left behind for people to remember you by. I wanted to make sure I created something before I left this planet. I think of entrepreneurship as leaving your mark behind and making an impact.
The cologne industry is competitive. What is unique about your product?
When we first started this company, our inspiration was P Diddy. And the reason why he was specifically my inspiration was because I didn’t know of any other well-known perfume brands at the time. So what I said to myself is, what if I create a product that is making my people, Black people, feel good about themselves and at the same time an affordable price point. Our goal has been to merge price with luxury. A lot of the time, people feel that you cant get a high-end product for less than $100, especially when it comes to fragrance. Our goal has been to give that prestige experience for an affordable price.
All of our products are handmade, so when we sell our products, they’re hand signed before they leave the factory. All of our clients experience a personally made perfume. It’s not just mass-produced like most perfumers. They are hand-signed.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the business?
The most challenging aspect has been finding a consistent and reliable packaging source for our perfumes. When we started, we had an idea for what type of products we would create and how we would do designs, but what’s happened along the way is a lot of packaging companies do not do custom designs for orders less than $1,000. So as a company starting, you can imagine how discouraging that could be when you have an idea in mind, and you can’t put it into play cause of the costs. We had to find some creative ways along the way to create that ultra-lux experience by using the resources we had access to. We continued to upgrade our packaging and our experience for our customers.
What advice would you give someone seeking to become an entrepreneur?
Find your voice and share it. Everyone has a group of people that hear them and understand them clearly without explanation – find who you are first and then find a way to share what you have. Commit to excellence. If you want to create anything, be committed to creating a great product, not just getting something out there, but be committed to creating something you would like to use, something you would even pay for. Lastly, create disciples. Often, we create great companies and great brands, but we are the only ones that know the processes, the character, and the inspiration behind why we do certain things. We need to make sure that we are with people who can understand the why behind our what and why we do certain things, and why we think a certain way to have our legacy go on.
What does success look like for you?
Success looks like impacting people and allowing them to feel better than how I met them. The goal with everything that I do and everything that I create and am part of is always to leave people better than I found them. If we focus on that, we’ll draw customers, and we’ll attract clients to us because we’re making their life better.
Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
We would like to have factory production based out of Egypt since that’s one of the primary homes of fragrances and perfumes. We would like to have production come out of Egypt and be able to hire locals if possible. We’d love to have a store location/factory production center where we’re able to mass-produce our products and cater to our private label clients.
Our fragrances are created for individuals concerned with moral substance rather than just trends. They want good quality products that have a story behind them that they connect to. With our products, everything is made by hand. Every time we ship out a bottle, we sign a card to that person. Every product that we design is made per client. Our clients are people that appreciate personalization.
The Taliaferro can be purchased on thetaliferro.com. The Taliaferro currently has distribution and retailer partnerships in the mix