Home fragrance was one of the big winners of the pandemic. Not only did Nest excel in its core category, it also innovated with personal scents that are expanding the purview of the brand. Here, Beauty Inc’s 2022 Market Maker, Laura Slatkin, founder and executive chairman of Nest New York.
Market Maker: Laura Slatkin, Founder and Executive Chairman, Nest New York
Laura Slatkin has created a love nest for the ages. A pioneer in the home fragrance category since the 1992 launch of Slatkin & Co., she has become a leading light in environmental fragrances — and beyond. She launched Nest home fragrances in 2008, followed five years later by a collection of eau de parfum. Today, the Nest universe encompasses scented candles, diffusers, and bath and body products, as well as perfume and scented oils, which launched this year and quickly exceeded expectations. The brand is the top-selling home fragrance company in the U.S. and sales show no signs of slowing. “We thought the scented oils would double our business in two to three years,” Slatkin told Beauty Inc. “It doubled in nine months.” Since 2017, overall brand sales have tripled, while direct-to-consumer sales have increased tenfold. That performance hasn’t gone unnoticed by investors. In November, private equity firm North Castle Partners acquired a majority stake in Nest from Eurazeo, in a transaction that valued the company at $200 million. (Both Eurazeo and Slatkin retained minority positions.) And Slatkin, who is executive chairman, is just getting started. Next up: international expansion, including its debut in Selfridges and Sephora Middle East.