Silicon Slopes Stories
Orem, Utah Entrepreneurs Enjoying Sweet Smell of Success
Home fragrance products have been around for decades. From sprays, gels, and plug-in options, consumers have perfumed their homes with scents that were all too often overwhelming and artificial. The founders of Pura, Bruno Lima and Richie Stapler, have created an innovative product that dispenses “true to fragrance” aromatics. The natural scents are only half of the equation that make Pura products unique to the industry. Pura created the “world’s first Smart Air Freshener” that is controlled by smartphones. Yes, now there’s an app for that.
How it works. The plug-in dispenser holds two fragrances and the customer can schedule when those scents will be dispersed. For example, “when going to sleep, someone may want to have a calming fragrance like lavender dispersed from their air freshener. They can program the fragrance to change to a more invigorating, energizing scent to wake up to in the morning,” says Lima. Creating “true” fragrances took time and research that paid off with natural, organic scents. Our sense of smell is a very powerful memory trigger and is directly tied to our moods and state-of-mind, notes Lima. Pura technology is shedding a new light on the home fragrance industry. The dispensers also serve as smart night-lights with brightness levels and millions of color options that are controlled by a smartphone.
Lima and Stapler have complementary backgrounds that provided a recipe for success from the beginning. Lima comes from a manufacturing background and noted that “I knew I was an entrepreneur before I even knew what that meant.” Working hard is “in my blood.” Stapler’s background is in the candles and fragrance industry which contributed greatly to the successful research leading to this innovative new product combining natural-smelling home fragrances with technology.
Why Orem, Utah? Lima wanted to contribute to the prosperity of his hometown. The workforce in Orem includes talented engineers, which is imperative to Pura’s success and growth. Logistics are always an extremely important factor for a manufacturing business. Orem’s close proximity to the Salt Lake City International Airport and quick access to the recently expanded Interstate 15 contribute to enviable shipping logistics for a smaller city.
Orem city and the state of Utah have a business-friendly climate with support and programs that help ensure entrepreneurial success. The Business Resource Center proved to be a great resource for their organization with “advisors and experts who serve as mentors...for free!” The Business Loans of Utah (BLU) fund was developed to support economic development and job creation in Utah by funding small businesses which do not qualify for traditional financing, but whom BLU deem otherwise creditworthy. Lima said utilizing this opportunity proved “instrumental to funding inventory and our business plan.” Yet another program Pura took advantage of was the Orem Revolving Loan Fund which provides financial assistance to new and expanding local businesses. The purpose of the RLF is to stimulate private investment and create employment opportunities in Orem. Lima appreciated the “favorable terms” and that the service genuinely “helped us grow versus trying to make a buck.”
His advice to entrepreneurs was simply “Go for it!” When asked what the biggest obstacle has been for Pura, Lima quickly responded, “Our biggest issue is keeping inventory.” That certainly is not a bad problem to have.
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Orem, UT 84058