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How A Vegan Perfume Company Became The Best Small Business Of The Year

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It’s every small business owner’s dream: you wake up one day and realize that you’ve converted your tiny operation into a multimillion-dollar, award-winning enterprise.

As the winners of National 2014 Small Business Person of the Year Awards, Brook Harvey Taylor and Billy Taylor of Portland-based Pacifica are living that dream.

When they started the company in a kitchen, the Taylors didn’t have much capital, and they didn’t quite know where to begin. What they did have was a vision: a vegan and cruelty-free line of fragrances inspired by Brook’s love of perfuming and the pair’s mutual passion for entrepreneurship.

According to Billy, their big break came when they decided to market the fragrances in candle form: “We took the candles to a gift trade show and came home with $100,000 worth of orders, and we had to figure out how to manufacture the product,” he told HuffPost Live.

Sixty days later, the candles were ready to ship, and the company has continued to thrive and scale while staying true to its original brand ethos. This seems to lie at the heart of Pacifica’s success.

“Hold true to your beliefs and be really strong,” said Brook to HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri. “What’s the core of your brand? What’s the core of your message, and how do you control it and hold it and continue moving forward with it?”

The segment, which aired Friday, May 23, was presented by Wells Fargo.