200: Employees (60 full-time, 100 off-site sales reps, and 40 seasonal staff)
5,500+: Retailers carry Thymes products
15: Bath-and-body core collections
3: Fragrances on the market for more than 20 years
$12.50–$60: Retail price range
In 1982, when bath-and-body brand Thymes was founded, its subtle, plant-based scents were a stark contrast to the bold, chemical-heavy perfumes of the day. “We are a founding brand in the category,” says CEO Anne Sempowski Ward.
Today, the company’s assortment includes not only botanical scented soaps, lotions, and other bath and body products, but also home fragrance products such as candles, diffusers and potpourri.
When Thymes co-founder Stephanie Shopa retired in 2012, former Procter & Gamble exec Sempowski Ward came on. She started by separating the sales and marketing teams to allow sales to focus on distribution and marketing to strategize brand and product development.
Historically, Thymes has released new scents and products twice a year—in winter and summer—with each collection containing 12 to 15 items. But in February, Thymes undertook the biggest product launch in its history. Its Studio Collection comprises a whopping 85 products and was ordered by 20 percent of Thymes retailers in its first two months, says Sempowski Ward, exceeding internal expectations.
More large-scale product launches are ahead: Thymes’ 2014 Holiday Collection will be the company’s biggest in its history. “We really try to take a proactive approach to the business and be innovators,” says Sempowski Ward, “as we were 30 years ago.”