September 17, 2015
We fell in love with O’Douds Apothecary as soon as we saw their goods in Austin. Now the boys behind O’Douds are making their way to our hometown and we can’t wait to see them again in Chicago!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
O’Douds is a family name. When my family immigrated to America our name was switched from “O’Dowds” to “Douds”, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to pay respects to my family, who courageously moved to this country.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I actually sort of stumbled into it! Back when O’Douds started, I had been learning a lot about the benefits of natural products (or rather the harms of chemicals), so when I started using Pomade, I figured I would make my own. After a whole lot of trail and error, I got a recipe I was proud of. Being someone who is obsessed with design and marketing, I took the branding seriously, even though I didn’t expect it to turn into anything more than a hobby. And to my surprise, people really appreciated all of the hard work that went into the pomade, and pretty quickly O’Douds started to grow.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I wouldn’t say that I had any failures. Starting a business has its ups and downs, but from everything bad that has happened, I have learned a lot, so I would say it has all been worth it. The biggest thing I have learned is to be a perfectionist. I have a tendency to want to move onto to the next big thing very quickly, which is great when I am creating new products, but I’ve had to learn to slow down and focus on making what we’ve got the best that it can be. We recently rebranded and while there were a lot of products I wanted to release, we decided to really spend a lot of time refining what we have, and I couldn’t be more proud of how everything turned out.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business?
If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets? I would say the only big thing I have sacrificed is my anxiety. I get really worried, I make small problems into big problems in my mind, and I am not naturally a positive person. So figuring out how to deal with that, and how to stay positive has been a journey. But no, I definitely don’t regret it, it has all made me a better person, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
My favorite moments have been the times I’ve spent with other makers and all of the friends I have made. For the San Francisco Renegade over a year ago, I was able to work with Karl from Anvil Handcrafted, and while that started as a “partnership” he is now a great friend, and without this company I would have never met him.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
Well that is an interested question because we actually just relocated from Houston to Brooklyn. We’ve only been here for a month, so I can’t say it has influenced us that much, but starting a small business in Texas is pretty great. There is huge community of makers and just seeing their hard work always pushed me to take O’Douds to bigger places.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
I had a pretty great setup, and I am extremely thankful for that. I was a manager at a restaurant, and they let me cut down from five days a week to three days a week, to one day a week and then suddenly I had my hands completely full with O’Douds.
What are some inspirations for your work?
Oh man, there are so many great brands out there doing good work, just seeing them work so hard inspires me to do the same. Karl from Anvil handcrafted, Christian from 1924US, all of the guys at Manready Mercantile, Rob from Morris Motley and whole lot more, I could type up way too big of a list, haha!
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Be innovative and work hard. There are a lot of small companies out there, and it can be hard to set yourself apart, but find something that makes you unique, and really push that.
If you ever need a gift for your man, or if you just love sweetly scented goods and apothecary products, be sure to check out O’Douds at our Chicago Fair. You’re going to love them. In the meantime, browse their beautiful work online here: