We are excited to introduce you to Marcy Miller, the latest cover woman of Rochester Woman Online magazine, whose journey epitomizes the essence of tranquility and entrepreneurship. Through founding Pure Placid, Miller has carved a niche in the wellness industry, offering solace through the power of scent, and teaching people to “claim their calm”.

Embarking on her entrepreneurial journey at just 23, Miller’s vision transcends mere business success; it’s about fostering serenity and empowering others to reclaim their calm amidst life’s chaos. With two thriving locations, and a third coming soon, Pure Placid serves as an oasis for those seeking respite from the daily grind.

At the heart of Pure Placid lies a commitment to empower individuals to manage stress and find inner peace through aromatherapy. Miller’s dedication to this mission drives her to constantly expand her reach and broaden her audience, touching lives beyond geographical boundaries.

In our exclusive interview with Marcy Miller, she shares insights into her entrepreneurial journey, the challenges she’s overcome, and her unwavering passion for shaping and nurturing her business. Discover what motivates and excites this visionary leader as she continues to inspire others to embrace the calm in their lives.

Could you share with us a bit about your background and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

My journey into entrepreneurship is deeply rooted in my personal battle with anxiety. Inspired by my own experiences, I was driven to explore ways to alleviate stress and anxiety not just for myself but for others as well. I studied essential oils under Dr. Gary Young and natural cosmetics under Horst Rachelbacher, gaining a profound understanding of how natural ingredients can be transformative. Alongside this, my professional background as a Registered Nurse, with a focus on mental health and the nervous system, and my skills as a massage therapist, have all contributed to a holistic view of well-being.

The mentorship I received from Jack Ma was a turning point in my career, helping me channel my knowledge and passion into a successful business. This was when Pure Placid truly took flight. My aim with Pure Placid has always been to empower others to find their calm and manage stress through the profound power of scent, using safe, sustainable ingredients that nurture both people and the environment.

How did you come up with the name Pure Placid?

The name “Pure Placid” came to me instinctively as it perfectly encapsulates the essence of the brand. “Pure” reflects our commitment to using clean, safe ingredients, highlighting the purity and quality of our products. “Placid,” meaning calm, represents the serene and soothing experiences we aim to provide through our scents. Together, “Pure Placid” conveys the core of our mission to help people claim their calm in a natural and wholesome way, using the transformative power of scent. The name serves as a clear and direct message of what our brand stands for.

What motivated you to establish a company focused on clean and safe home and body fragrances?

Growing up in the Adirondacks, a vast 6 million acre preserve in upstate New York, I was always surrounded by the beauty and purity of nature. This environment instilled in me a deep appreciation for safe, clean ingredients. It was only natural that this appreciation would translate into my products. When I decided to establish a company, focusing on clean and safe home and body fragrances was a clear choice. I wanted to create products that not only evoke calm and well-being through scent but also respect and preserve the natural environment that has always been my home and inspiration.

Can you tell us about the significance of choosing locations like Lake Placid, Skaneateles, and now Saratoga Springs for your business?

Lake Placid, where I grew up and still call home, has deeply influenced my values and vision for my business. This beautiful area taught me the importance of community, living an eco-friendly life, and the opportunities entrepreneurship can offer. These core values guide me when choosing new locations for expanding my business. Skaneateles and Saratoga Springs, like Lake Placid, embody these qualities. They are communities that appreciate the importance of sustainability, support local businesses, and foster a strong sense of togetherness. It’s essential that any new location for my stores shares these attributes because they resonate deeply with the ethos of my brand and the lifestyle I promote through my products.

Do you envision expanding Pure Placid to other states or countries in the future?

Yes, I definitely envision expanding Pure Placid to other states and countries in the future. My mission is to help people claim their calm, and I believe that there is an immense need for this as stress and anxiety are prevalent challenges worldwide. Through the power of scent, self-care, and education, Pure Placid can help people live lives with less anxiety and more calm. Expanding our reach means bringing these benefits to a broader audience, allowing more people to experience the tranquility and well-being that Pure Placid offers.

What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship, and was it always a goal for you?

I wasn’t always set on becoming an entrepreneur, but I quickly realized that working for others wasn’t the best fit for me. By the age of 23, I had already started working for myself, and since then, I’ve never looked back. What truly inspires me about entrepreneurship is the process of building a business from the ground up. The creative and strategic elements involved in developing a brand, addressing market needs, and creating products that resonate with people provide a fulfilling challenge. This passion for building and shaping a business is a key attribute for any entrepreneur, and it’s what keeps me motivated and excited about my work every day.

Could you tell us about your journey in starting and growing Pure Placid?

My journey with Pure Placid began quite modestly—it started as a hobby, making scented gifts for my massage clients. Their enthusiastic requests for more of these products clued me into the fact that I had something special on my hands. Fueled by this encouragement, I ventured into selling my creations at local farmers markets. The response was overwhelming; I would sell out regularly, which was incredibly exciting and fun.
The real turning point came when I transitioned from selling at markets to opening my own store. This expansion allowed me to connect with buyers from larger stores and opened up new opportunities. One of the most pivotal moments in my journey was meeting Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. After he placed a multimillion-dollar order with Pure Placid, he became my mentor. This endorsement not only boosted my business but also marked the transformation of my small hobby into a real, thriving enterprise. Jack Ma’s guidance and the expansion into wholesale were crucial in shaping Pure Placid into what it is today—a successful business with a profound impact on people’s lives through scent and self-care.

What sets Pure Placid apart from other fragrance companies?

What sets Pure Placid apart from other fragrance companies is our mission-driven approach. We are not just a scent company; we are on a mission to help people claim their calm. Our vision is for a world where people start their day with less stress and more joy. We aim to effect change globally through the power of scent. Our goals are expansive, focusing on positive impact rather than merely competing in the fragrance market. We encourage other companies to embrace the transformative potential of scent to foster a better, more serene world. This ethos of collaboration and societal improvement is at the heart of what makes Pure Placid unique.

What is your favorite scent from the Pure Placid collection, and what makes it special to you?

Choosing a favorite scent from the Pure Placid collection is as tough as a mother selecting a favorite child—I love them all! However, there are a couple of scents that hold a deeper meaning for me. Balsam and Clementine was the very first scent I created, inspired by family hikes in the Adirondacks. It represents the start of my journey into crafting fragrances, imbued with memories of nature and togetherness.

Another special scent is Alpine Spice, which was the first fragrance I developed with a professional perfumer. It holds a special place in my heart as it was inspired by the important men in my life. Each scent not only captures unique elements of nature and personal memories but also marks significant milestones in the growth of Pure Placid.

Are there any individuals who have been particularly influential or inspiring to you in your entrepreneurial journey?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a number of influential people guiding and inspiring me. A major source of inspiration has always been my parents, who themselves ran various businesses. Growing up in such an environment, I knew from an early age that entrepreneurship was a viable path for me.

Among the many mentors I’ve had, Jack Ma stands out as the most impactful on my entrepreneurial journey. I met him when he was serving as the entrepreneurial ambassador for the UN, and he mentored me through a program he initiated aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in rural areas around the world. His guidance was a true game changer for me. He taught me to think much bigger and to see the broader impact that my business could have. Jack Ma’s mentorship not only helped me grow my business but also expanded my vision of what I could achieve as an entrepreneur.

What have been some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a woman entrepreneur?

As a woman entrepreneur, I’ve embraced the perspective that challenges are fundamental to the entrepreneurial experience; they test one’s ability to adapt and overcome. I am grateful for these challenges because they’ve required me to work harder and think smarter, which in turn has made me a better business owner and leader.

One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced has been navigating the fragrance and beauty industry, which, surprisingly, is largely male-dominated. It has always struck me as peculiar that, in a space primarily marketed towards women, many of the key decisions—from product design to marketing—are often made by men. This dynamic has presented its own set of obstacles and has motivated me to carve out a space where women’s insights and preferences drive the industry. Overcoming these hurdles has not only strengthened my resolve but also deepened my commitment to ensuring that the products we create genuinely resonate with and empower women.

How do you overcome obstacles and stay resilient in the face of challenges?

Overcoming obstacles and staying resilient in the face of challenges are crucial skills for any entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur often stands on a mountain of failures, each one a lesson that contributes to their growth. The key is to use these failures as a foundation, not as a pitfall that traps you in a cycle of defeat. Embrace the mantra, “make it right and move on.” When challenges arise, address them, learn from them, and then continue forward.

Staying focused on your vision and being clear about your “why” are essential. These elements act as your compass, especially when the path gets tough. Additionally, cultivating a sense of gratitude is vital. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made, and let that recognition fuel your journey ahead. By appreciating where you started and seeing how far you’ve come, you can maintain perspective and motivation. This combination of learning from failures, moving forward, and grounding yourself in gratitude and vision is how you can navigate through adversity and continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Can you share a memorable moment or achievement from your entrepreneurial journey?

A truly memorable moment in my entrepreneurial journey was the day I walked into Macy’s and saw Pure Placid products on the shelves. It was surreal to see my creations within such an iconic retail space, especially considering our humble beginnings at a local farmers market. This milestone wasn’t just about reaching a broader audience; it symbolized how far we had come and the potential for even greater reach.

The experience of traveling to 14 different Macy’s stores to promote Pure Placid was both exhilarating and educational. Each visit offered new insights, from understanding diverse consumer needs to mastering the art of retail engagement. It was a testament to the power of passion and perseverance in transforming a small-scale venture into a recognized brand. This journey, filled with countless small steps and significant leaps, continues to inspire and drive our mission forward.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women looking to start their own businesses?

For aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women ready to embark on the journey of starting their own businesses, your path is one of resilience and determination. Begin by identifying one small, manageable task that moves you closer to your goal—focus on this task today. Success in entrepreneurship often comes not from grand gestures but from the consistent, small steps you take every day, especially when they go unnoticed.

Remember to pause regularly, breathe, and gather your strength. With each new day, reassess your goals and remind yourself of your potential and the vision you have for your future. Ask yourself how you can serve, and where you see yourself in the long term. Embrace your dreams with a heartfelt ‘yes,’ and commit to being an adventurer in your own life.

Always move forward, step by tiny step, using your courage, heart, and inner strength. And don’t forget to occasionally stop and appreciate how far you’ve come, recognize the support you’ve received, and feel the gratitude for the progress you’ve made. It’s these moments of reflection that often reignite your passion and push you to continue, no matter the challenges ahead. Keep moving, keep dreaming, and let each small step carry you towards your greatest aspirations.

How do you balance running a business with other aspects of your life?

Balancing running a business with other aspects of life has been an evolving lesson for me. I used to believe in the concept of work/life balance, striving to give equal parts of myself to both. However, life has taught me that it’s more about an ebb and flow—sometimes my focus on work means that other parts of my life take a back seat, and at other times, my personal life demands more attention, which might slow down my professional momentum.

I’ve come to embrace this dynamic as a reality of being a woman entrepreneur. It’s not about giving 100% to everything at once but rather understanding that priorities shift, and that’s okay. I am incredibly grateful for having a supportive family and a dedicated team at work. Their support is crucial in allowing me to thrive both as a business owner and in my personal life. This support network helps me manage the natural fluctuations between my professional and personal commitments, making the journey more manageable and fulfilling.

What strategies do you employ to maintain a sense of calm and balance amidst the demands of entrepreneurship?

To maintain a sense of calm and balance amidst the demands of entrepreneurship, I employ several strategies that support both my physical and mental well-being. One powerful tool is the use of scent, which can profoundly influence mood and stress levels. Regular exercise is another cornerstone of my routine, helping to clear the mind and boost energy.

A deep-rooted gratitude practice also plays a crucial role in maintaining perspective and fostering an environment of positivity. Additionally, having coaches and mentors is imperative; they provide guidance, support, and a sense of shared experience that can be incredibly grounding.

Connecting with other entrepreneurs is equally important. Entrepreneurship can often feel isolating, so having a network to share both struggles and

ictories with is invaluable. Finally, making self-care a priority is essential, even though it can be challenging to find the time. By ensuring that my own needs are met, I’m better equipped to meet the challenges of my business with clarity and resilience.

How do you stay innovative and keep your brand fresh in a competitive market?

To stay innovative and keep my brand fresh in a competitive market, I focus primarily on my mission and the core reasons behind why I started my business. Rather than getting caught up in competition, I concentrate on long-term goals and remain secure in my purpose. This approach allows me to think about how I can better serve my customers and community.

Innovation for me is about improving how I deliver and share my message. It involves continually seeking ways to enhance the experience I offer, ensuring that it aligns with our core values and meets the evolving needs of our customers. By focusing on being better than we were yesterday and striving to serve more effectively tomorrow, we keep our brand dynamic and progressive. This philosophy of competing against our previous achievements, rather than against others, helps maintain our brand’s freshness and relevance in the market.

What do you hope people take away from experiencing Pure Placid products?

I hope that when people experience Pure Placid products, they find a moment to claim their calm and take a break from the everyday stresses of life. Our aim is for each product to serve not just as a part of routine but as an inspirational tool that encourages living a life filled with joy and gratitude. By celebrating the connection between people and nature, we want everyone to feel this beautiful interference and embrace it. Additionally, I hope that our products demonstrate how scent can be an incredible tool to help reduce anxiety and enhance overall well-being. Ultimately, the experience should be more than just sensory—it should be transformative, fostering a peaceful and gratified state of mind.

How do you prioritize sustainability and environmental consciousness in your business practices?

In prioritizing sustainability and environmental consciousness in our business practices at Pure Placid, we operate under the belief that success in business comes from achieving a balance of planet, people, and profits. This approach not only aligns with our values but is also essential for long-term viability.

We strive to be sustainable by conserving natural resources, supporting a healthy community and workforce, and maintaining financial stability. My personal passion for the natural environment and my commitment to my family have been the driving forces behind this approach, fueling a fearless pursuit of our vision without compromising our principles.

Sustainability encompasses not just environmental concerns but also social and economic elements. This holistic view ensures that our business practices contribute positively in all these areas, reflecting a deep understanding that everything we do has an impact. The growing consumer awareness around sustainability means that more people are choosing products based on their environmental and social footprint. In today’s market, not committing to sustainability is no longer an option; it is a necessity.

Through this journey, which began with a heartfelt decision to follow my passion, I have learned daily and seen the profound impacts of these practices. By continuously learning and sharing these insights, we not only grow our business but also contribute to a healthier planet and community. This commitment to learning and sharing is fundamental, as it enhances our ability to make informed decisions that benefit both our business and the wider world.

What role do customer feedback and preferences play in shaping Pure Placid’s product offerings?

Customer feedback and preferences play a crucial role in shaping Pure Placid’s product offerings. We are deeply committed to enhancing our customer experience and make it a priority to closely monitor the popularity of our products. This attentive approach means that products not resonating with our customers are often phased out, allowing us to continually refine our offerings based on direct customer input.

Our goal is to serve our customers to the best of our ability, acknowledging that they are the reason we exist. By listening to their feedback, we ensure that our products not only meet but exceed their expectations, fostering a loyal customer base and continually driving us to innovate and improve. This feedback loop is essential, as it guides our decisions and helps us better align with our customers’ desires and needs.

Can you tell us about any partnerships or collaborations that have been significant for Pure Placid?

Pure Placid has engaged in several meaningful partnerships and collaborations that reflect our commitment to philanthropy and environmental stewardship. One of our most impactful initiatives is our “Candles for Causes” program. Through this program, we create special candles and dedicate the sales to various charities and organizations. This approach allows us to contribute directly to causes we care about while involving our customers in these efforts.

A particularly significant project within this program is the Multiple Sclerosis Candle. This special candle is very close to my heart, and we sell it to raise funds for MS research. Annually, this initiative raises nearly $20,000, contributing significantly towards the search for a cure.

Additionally, we have collaborated with various environmental organizations. These collaborations are designed to support sustainability and promote the conservation of natural resources, aligning with our core values of environmental consciousness. Each partnership, whether for health, environment, or community support, plays a critical role in expanding our impact beyond just selling products, reinforcing our mission to make a positive difference in the world.

How do you see the fragrance industry evolving in the coming years, and how does Pure Placid fit into that landscape?

The fragrance industry is on a promising path towards greater transparency and a stronger commitment to using safer ingredients. This shift aligns well with growing consumer awareness and demand for products that are not only effective but also ethical and environmentally friendly. As people become more conscious of what they put on and in their bodies, and the impact these products have on the environment, the industry must adapt to meet these expectations.

Pure Placid is ideally positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape. Our commitment to crafting products with safe, sustainable ingredients and transparent practices puts us at the forefront of these changes. We celebrate the natural beauty and therapeutic properties of scent, ensuring that our offerings not only enhance personal well-being but also uphold the highest standards of environmental and ethical responsibility.

As the fragrance industry continues to evolve, Pure Placid will continue to lead by example, demonstrating that it is possible to deliver high-quality, effective products while also caring for our planet and its people. This approach will likely attract a growing segment of consumers who prioritize health, sustainability, and transparency, securing Pure Placid’s place in the future of fragrances.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur, and what keeps you motivated?

What I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is the exhilarating process of transforming an idea into a tangible reality. The ability to serve people and positively affect their lives provides immense satisfaction. Whether it’s creating jobs or developing new products, the impact of these actions is both profound and rewarding.

At the core of my entrepreneurial journey is my passion for scent, self-care, and inspiring others. These elements are deeply intertwined with my personal and business ethos. My motivation is continually fueled by the mission behind Pure Placid—to not only offer products but also to enhance the well-being of our customers and contribute positively to the community.

This sense of purpose, knowing that my work is much bigger than myself, keeps me driven. Every step forward in this journey reaffirms the impact we can have on the world, making every challenge worthwhile and every success deeply fulfilling.

What legacy do you hope to leave through Pure Placid?

Through Pure Placid, the legacy I hope to leave is one of inspiration and positive impact. I aim for Pure Placid to be a catalyst for individuals to embrace a life with less stress and anxiety, promoting a lifestyle centered around calm, joy, gratitude, and self-care. The mission of our brand is to empower individuals to claim their calm through the transformative power of scent, utilizing safe and sustainable practices.

By infusing these values into every product and interaction, I hope Pure Placid encourages people not only to take care of themselves but also to appreciate and protect the natural world around them. Ultimately, the legacy I aspire to is making the world a better, more peaceful place, one scent at a time, where individuals feel empowered to manage stress and cultivate well-being in their daily lives.

Marcy Miller
Pure Placid