Butter Elixir’s Lorenza Pintar Relies On Gut Instinct To Guide Growth
Lorenza Pintar has no grand plan for her brand Butter Elixir.
It entered Saks Fifth Avenue last month at the Wellery, the fitness and wellness concept that’s brought salt rooms, exercise classes and fat-freezing treatments to a department store setting, but it wasn’t a carefully-thought-out strategic move. Jason Bander, general manager of LifeThyme Market, guided Butter Elixir’s lip balm, face and body oils, and candle to Saks as part of an installation at the retailer, even though the brand hadn’t been stocked by the Greenwich Village natural grocer before.
“Jason is super rad, and LifeThyme Market sells great vegan products. I have tried to get Butter Elixir into the store. They have more simple products. They might have coconut or almond oils. One day, I walked into LifeThyme, and he tells me about the space at Saks,” says New York-based Pintar. “The best part of Butter Elixir is the people that I connect with. I really enjoy that very much. I work on instinct, and I consider myself very lucky.”
“The best part of Butter Elixir is the people that I connect with. I really enjoy that very much. I work on instinct, and I consider myself very lucky.”
Luck and instinct alone haven’t propelled Butter Elixir. It helps that people, including well-known figures such as YSL Beauté global beauty director Tom Pecheux and CAP Beauty co-founders Cindy DiPrima and Kerrilynn Pamer, are fans of its products. Pecheux’s assistant purchased Butter Elixir’s face oil in Brooklyn a few years back, and the makeup artist has touted it as a skin-prepping beauty rock star in Marie Claire, Allure, Essence, Elle and the New York Times without prodding from Pintar. Makeup artists dig that the oil swiftly absorbs into the skin.
Pintar concentrates on the ingredients in her products, not the bottles that encase them. The face oil contains apricot, rosehip and argan oils, and pure rose essential oil. She estimates Butter Elixir spends at least three times what most brands spend on their formulas, and sticks to less expensive, minimal packaging to make up for the ingredient costs. At a time during which minimal packaging is popular, the straightforward design ended up being a wise choice.
“The vision of Butter Elixir is products for people that care about their health, but they are not necessarily granola. The line doesn’t have a feminine feel. It’s very unisex, and it’s very New York City,” maintains Pintar. “It’s an honest product. We are not telling you we are going to heal you, but it seems to work for guys and girls. It’s effective. It’s clear. It’s direct.”
Saks is phasing out the Wellery next month and, when it goes away, Butter Elixir aims for additional department store distribution. Pintar has hired two saleswomen to build the brand’s retail business. Outside of Saks, Butter Elixir is available at around 50 locations and is on track to generate $500,000 in sales this year, double its turnover last year. The brand’s six products are priced from $12 to $48, and its latest release, the nourishing cream Supreme, has been selling out online.
Butter Elixir was the consummation of separate elements of Pintar’s life. The former jewelry designer and devoted Ashtanga yogi studied Indian dancing in the past and became fascinated with Ayurvedic oils. Pintar also has endured two bouts of melanoma that amplified her awareness of the various stuff she was slathering on her skin. She started formulating oils for herself full of high-quality natural ingredients and handing them out to her yoga companions. In 2013, her kitchen tinkering led to the launch of Butter Elixir.
“The vision of Butter Elixir is products for people that care about their health, but they are not necessarily granola. The line doesn’t have a feminine feel. It’s very unisex, and it’s very New York City.”
“I would love to have an amazing boutique store that has a community center with it, possibly in Brooklyn, where people could do activities. I would keep Butter Elixir going to finance the activities,” says Pintar, “but I don’t have a specific goal.”