Meet Almira Armstrong, the CEO of LUMIRA, a luxury fragrance brand based in Australia.
Having taught herself as a teenager to make candles in the kitchen at home, Almira tapped into her childhood passion not long after becoming a mother. Her desire and appetite for scent, design, and travel slowly materialized into what is now a luxury fragrance empire in Australia with the addition of international luxury retailers, including Net- a- Porter and Selfridges.
Almira’s degree and previous career in marketing and communications has given her a solid foundation of knowledge into consumer retail behaviors, shopping trends and branding. And having already faced a number of business challenges along the way of entrepreneurship, Almira has used the current COVID-19 climate as a propeller to help diversify her strategy.
Learn more in our interview with Almira below!
Our Interview with Almira Armstrong, CEO of LUMIRA
Tell us about your professional journey. What did you go to school for, and what lead you to found LUMIRA?
After earning a Master’s degree in marketing and embarking on a successful career that took me to London, New York, and Los Angeles, I returned to my first love – fragrance – founding LUMIRA in 2013.
I dabbled in candle-making while at university. But after my first child’s birth, the time seemed right to realize my dream of creating a niche fragrance house renowned for creating bold, unique luxury scents for the home and the body, all with a beautiful narrative behind them.
The stories that inform the creation of each LUMIRA scent are an opportunity for me to explore my other great love: travel.
It began with Tuscan Fig, inspired by a destination close to my heart. My husband and I travel to Tuscany quite a bit, and every time we go, I take with me very fond memories of spending time there. The scenery, food, smells, people, and culture all played a part in creating that scent.
For me, each scent has as powerful an effect on my senses as it did as a child. Experiencing something I’ve smelled before takes me immediately back to that moment in time – it’s like an escape for me.
Why are you passionate about Lumira? And what should people know about the company?
I have adored fragrance since I can remember. For me, fragrances trigger a sense of creativity and use of imaginativeness that transport us to another time or place. Creating a fragrance begins with a series of inspirations – art, design, travel, poetry, and elements that help me share my ideas and emotions for a new fragrance.
We are handcrafted in Sydney, Australia, and we seek to create sustainable growth through respect for people and the environment, both now and into the future.
How have you used the COVID-19 climate as a propeller to help diversify Lumira’s strategy?
COVID-19 has given us time to sit back and really identify the best strategy for moving forward. We have realigned our sales strategy with a predominant focus on direct to consumer selling, which has helped us strengthen our online presence. We have spent a great deal of time listening to what our audience desires within this time, and we are super excited to be launching a new product that speaks directly to our audience while launching a product that is essential to all, specifically within this current climate.
Sustainability sits at the core of the brand, and we believe in making environmentally conscious decisions at every step of the process, refining these practices with each new product launch.
Tell us about your product development and how you developed your scents. What’s your favorite product?
Creating a new fragrance always begins with inspiration; it might be an image, a memory, or even just a notion. This inspiration is developed and refined until we have a physical product, which echoes that original influence. The time from concept to finished product can take anywhere from six to twelve months, depending on the scarcity of the ingredients required for the perfume.
My current favorite product is the La Primavera Parfum. I am immediately transported back to many Summers spent with family and friends in Italy.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is happiness and having the ability to do what I love while balancing family and friends.
How do you practice self-care?
Being a busy mum and always on the go, I like to make sure I make time for myself and restoring my equilibrium. I like meditating in the morning, going for long walks, or doing a workout with F45 to get my day started.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started Lumira– what would you tell yourself?
Be patient and believe in yourself. Trust your vision. And just start.
What single word or saying do you identify most with?
When the answer is no, there is a better yes around the corner.
What’s next for you and Lumira?
Earlier this year, we launched our Parfum Collection with a selection of five fragrances. This Spring, a new fragrance will be introduced, which was inspired by the Amalfi Coast. So many beautiful memories spent there with family. I am also working on a few new collaborations, which I can’t wait to talk about!
Be sure to follow Almira Armstrong and LUMIRA online at the following links:
- LUMIRA Website: https://www.atelierlumira.us/
- LUMIRA Instagram: @atelierlumira
- LUMIRA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atelierlumira/
- LUMIRA Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/atelierlumira/boards/
- Almira’s Instagram: @almiraarmstrong