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Admired: Anne Nelson Sanford of Lurk

Lurk Perfume

With a passion for eco-friendly beauty and a belief that fragrance should be authentic, not synthetic, Anne Nelson Sanford has been quietly revolutionizing the fragrance industry. She’s the founder, perfumer and creative director of LURK, a luxury beauty brand that’s gained a cult following for its pure fragrances. Sanford’s method harkens back to the way perfume used to be made; she employs pure essential oils and live plant materials, and each fragrance is hand-blended. She works out of her studio on Shelter Island, at the eastern end of Long Island, New York. Fragrance, she says, is like “A very subtle signature.”

Lurk Perfume
Sanford has a background in beauty marketing, branding, design, and product development. She started LURK in 2012, driven by the desire to create fragrances that are complex and beautiful, and most importantly, pure. She uses only organic, sustainable and wild-crafted oils, resins and absolutes (like an essential oil; these come from plants), and the products are free from hexane, a chemical solvent.

Lurk Perfume
Her products are now carried in 50 stores in the U.S. as well as in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Sweden. In 2014, Sanford took another leap and opened LURKshop, a storefront in Sag Harbor, New York. The shop carries the LURK perfumes, alongside other carefully selected beauty and luxury brands that have a similarly modern and organic perspective.

I asked her to share some of her green shopping secrets and how tech has helped her with her business.

You work waaay out on Long Island. What’s the vibe of your office like?

It has the vibe of home, it’s super laid back and it’s designed like a comfy living room with everything we need to manufacture as well which is great. I’ve filled it with my favorite pieces of art, furniture and accessories so the space is always inspiring and never feels fussy or stuffy.

Lurk PerfumeLurk Perfume

Guilty tech pleasure?

Fashion and shopping apps. I’m a huge fan of FAD, The Hunt and Spring. It’s a distraction when I have some downtime and it’s inspiring as well.

Does tech help you in surprising ways?

Tech is the great connector and that has allowed me to do things with the business that would have been daunting or impossible in the past. We are able to be in constant contact with farms so we can source incredible raw materials to produce our unique perfumes. Tech not only allows to be able to reach individuals that own, manage and work on the farms we buy from, it also allows us to be able to understand each other via translation apps and programs. This gives us the ability to forecast better as well which was very difficult in the past.

Lurk PerfumeLurk Perfume

The app you cannot live without:

Simply Being meditation app, and Minecraft for my son.

Where do you go online to get beauty and wellness information?

Melissa Rousseau has an amazing journal on her website, M. Parke Studio, that I absolutely love. She is an incredible source of information. I also really love Well & Good and The Chalkboard Mag.

Lurk Perfume

Best beauty gadget in your bathroom?

Clarisonic Aria. Can’t live without it. It has definitely changed my skin for the better.

Favorite online shops?

Shift to Nature, Good Cloth and Kuyuchi.

When you need to unplug from technology, you…

Read. I love books and I love get out into nature: paddle boarding, kayaking, and walks on the beach with my son.

Want to read about more entrepreneurs I admire? Check out Vicki Fulop | Erin Condren | Gauri Nanda | Ginny Cardenas | Meredith Alexander, and Kathryn Hribar.

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