When Kim Spadaro was a teenager, she would buy perfume and then add her own ingredients to the fragrance to make it more exotic. Today, the Jacksonville native jet sets all over the world to meet with companies that want to distribute her fragrance products.
Kim launched Spadaro Luxury Fragrances in 2011 and now sells four aromas, with a fifth perfume in the works. She has always loved to travel, and her fragrances draw their inspiration from her journeys abroad. A vacation in Majorca that included exotic dancers bearing torches sparked the first scent, Noche Del Fuego. The scent of the sea in Cabo San Lucas, wines infused with vanilla in Morocco and citrus fruits in Sicily inspired the three other fragrances. The fifth scent named Kasmarin, which means “fall in love,” is in the works for late 2015. It is inspired by indigenous ingredients of Bali.
“I’ve always been very sensitive to smell,” Kim says. “It made me happier as a kid. I had no plan when I went to Bali. I walked off the plane, breathed, and said ‘This is going to be good.’”
Kim is a strong believer in aroma therapy. When her late mother was in the hospital, Kim brought her a lavender scent to make her feel better. She has always scented her homes by designing essential oils to embody the feel of each residence. Recently, Kim found herself in the hospital recovering from brain surgery. There was some concern that the surgery might affect her olfactory system. That didn’t happen.
“It hasn’t slowed me down,” she says of the surgery. “Right now, I’m focusing on boutiques. I always want to be authentic and honest. I do not copy other recipes. Every one of mine has something about it, a story to it.”
In 2008, Kim traveled to Paris and New York and connected with an agent, a branding professional who does graphics and designs, and a box manufacturer. At the time, large perfume companies were losing sales because of the economy, and niche independent perfumers were coming into their own. On a recent visit to Paris for the release of new products, Spadaro was the only American company present. “We couldn’t keep up with the demand,” she says.
Last year, Kim received an award from the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors for Noche Del Fuego’s packaging and fragrance. Next up for Spadaro, product launches in Russia, Dubai, South Africa and the United Kingdom. As her brand grows, so does her karma. At the end of each year, Kim donates 4 percent of the annual sales to the Spadaro Foundation, a charity she created in honor of her mother which contributes primarily to women’s and children’s issues locally and globally. She has gained worldwide publicity using social media. Initially, she focused on issues such as human rights, and followers began to inquire about her fragrance business.
“It has helped business,” she says of the social media. “I didn’t mean it for that, but people from different countries responded. I just try to stay positive in whatever I’m doing.”
Spadaro products can be found across the First Coast at boutiques including Rosie True, Violet, LULAMAE, Gwen Berlin, A’propos, and Luxury for Less.