Scentsy: Fragrance is Unexpected
Scentsy: Fragrance is Unexpected

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather, become a man of value. A successful man takes out of life more than he puts in. A man of value will give more than he receives.” – Albert Einstein

When Orville Thompson was young, he kept this quote from Albert Einstein taped to his bedroom wall. It would become the inspiration for the Scentsy company’s 3-part core values: Authenticity, Generosity, Simplicity.

Colette Gunnell and Kara Egan, who are sisters-in-law, founded Scentsy out of their homes in Salt Lake City in 2003. In 2004, Orville Thompson was selling video game controllers at a home show when he met Gunnell and Egan. Orville took their business idea home to his wife Heidi, who loved the idea.

Scentsy’s flagship product is its warmer, the product Gunnell and Egan sold as their home-based business and the product Heidi Thompson fell in love with. The scented wax is gently melted by an electric lightbulb, providing a safe alternative to the traditional scented candle.

Heidi and Orville decided to invest in Scentsy, and they bought the company from Colette and Kara. The sisters-in-law stayed on as consultants. The Thompsons moved the business to their home in Meridian, Idaho. For a time, the business ran out of a shipping container on the couple’s purebred sheep ranch, with their five children as employees.

But between July and October 2004, the company grew fast enough to allow the Thompsons to rent a warehouse. Early on, Scentsy’s direct sales consultants showed up at the warehouse in Meridian to help the Thompsons pack their products. By October 2007, Scentsy was big enough to move to a much larger distribution center near Chicago.

Scentsy saw exponential growth between 2009 and 2010, when the sales force jumped from around 30,000 consultants (as Scentsy’s contractors are called) to around 75,000. The company expanded to Europe in 2011.

In addition to the warmers and Scentsy wax bars, the company sells its diffuser, which diffuses all-natural scented oils. The product line has since expanded to include laundry, soap, and fine fragrance items. Scent Soft, Dryer Discs, Washer Whiff, and Laundry Liquid comprise the laundry product line. Soaps and other cleaning products include Hand Soap, Kitchen Soap, Counter Clean, and Scentsy Fresh odor-eliminating spray. For children, there’s the Bath Smoothie line of fruit-scented, gentle hair and body washes.

The fine fragrance collections for women include body washes and hand creams. Men can choose from scented shave soaps, face balms, skin conditioners, and shower bars that also work as shampoo and shave soap.