BACK

Research and Statistics

Funding dreams on credit: Fragrance creation

Summary

Geir Ness created his own fragrance line by charging $12,000 on his credit cards to work with a perfumer and manufacture the first 1,000 bottles

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

 

GEIR NESS
5 PEOPLE WHO FUNDED
THEIR DREAMS ON CREDIT
Gene Hamilton
Gene Hamilton

Kenny Golde
Kenny Golde

Geir Ness
Geir Ness

Jeremy Jones
Jeremy Jones

Michael and Michelle Ware
Michael and Michelle Ware

 

Dreamer: Geir Ness

The dream: Creating his own fragrance

How he used credit cards: Charged up about $12,000 to work with a perfumer to create a scent and manufacture the first 1,000 bottles

How he paid off the debt: He paid only the minimum payments at first, then worked up to $200, then $500 and so on. He paid the debt off in 14 months.

Advice for others: Treat your credit card like a friend. “If you borrow money from your best friend, you do whatever you can to pay him back as quickly as possible,” Ness says. “The faster, the better.”

The back story: Geir Ness moved from his native Norway to California in the mid-1990s, and got a job in a department store spritzing perfume on shoppers. People asked if there was a Norwegian perfume. He didn’t know of one, so he decided to create one.

The problem? He was broke. “The only thing I had was one credit card,” he says. He bought some perfume oils and began experimenting with scents like lavender and wildflowers that reminded him of childhood hikes outside his home city of Oslo. Then, he hired a retired perfumer to help him develop the scent. After they got it right, he had a perfume house make 1,000 bottles of Laila, named for his mom.

He held garage sales to make enough for the minimum payments on his cards. He got the manager of a Nordstrom in Beverly Hills to let him launch his fragrance at the store. For the debut of his scent, he bought a $5 suit at a garage sale, borrowed a red carpet and had a photographer friend snap photos. “I knew I only had one shot at this,” he says.

His perfume started to sell well, and he gradually began selling it in more department stores. He expanded his line to include body products and began to design handbags. His products are now sold at most Nordstrom stores, other retailers and many boutiques.

Ultimately, he thinks it was a good decision to use his credit card: “It was a big risk, but I believed in it.”

See related: Main story: 5 who funded their dreams on creditBusiness credit card can damage your personal score

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

Infographic: How men, women divide money-related chores

A 2013 TD Ameritrade survey finds that when couples tackle the household finances, women tend to do the day-to-day chores, men the long-terms plans

Published: March 14, 2013

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 21st, 2019
Business
15.55%
Airline
17.49%
Cash Back
17.63%
Reward
17.49%
Student
17.69%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.