Meet Matt Moore, Co-Founder and Head of Sales & Distribution of EastWest Bottlers, based in Austin, Texas. Learn how EastWest Bottlers started on a shoestring budget from an idea that came together on a long morning run and how 3 friends make it work, even when there are challenges.
Q: Tell us the story of how you got into the fragrance business. How long have you been interested in it; how did you start learning about it? I see that EastWest Bottlers is founded by 3 southern gentlemen, how did that come to be?
Of all the five senses, I believe our olfactory is our most powerful in terms of recall. For that reason, smells and fragrances have always brought me to other places and times.
After University, I had an idea to create a Southern inspired fragrance - something authentic that would be timeless. The name Moonshine came to me on a long run. I pitched the idea to 2 of my former fraternity brothers, and though it sounded crazy at the time - we were all young, broke, naive, and hungry.
Moonshine was launched on a hamstring budget - we built our own distribution in the USA, including partnerships with big-box stores. It remains one of the top fragrances for men. We are now in the process of growing the brand throughout the world.
Q: With 3 founders at the helm, is it always smooth sailing?
We all pitch in on the creative process - but each of us has our area of expertise. Mine is mainly on the sales and creative side. Charlie heads up logistics, and Colin handles legal/finances. Having 3 of us means we all have enough skin in the game, but there’s also always a tiebreaker. Most folks say don’t go into business with friends - we’ve had our challenges - but or friendships are even stronger. It’s a unique blend of talent, personalities and patience that we all possess to make us a great team.
Q: Do you each have a favorite fragrance in your line?
I think for all of us it’s seasonality.
Moonshine is always a classic, but Bluegrass is really nice for spring and summer. We are launching a new line, Sportsman this fall that I seriously can’t stop wearing.
Q: Your packaging is very unique for each bottle (and we love it). Can you give us some insights on your design process?
We just didn’t want the standard look - or throwaway packaging. There’s no doubt our wooden box stands out in the market- and people always save them as keepsakes.
Our bottles are simple but iconic, and we do not feature atomizers. Our grandfathers fought in WWII and were big users of a splash of Old Spice whenever a leave presented itself. We feel like the old school dab and dot of cologne is more manly than a spritz. Some folks don’t like that - but we are not for all folks J. We stick to our authenticity and originality.
Q: Do you remember the first perfume/cologne you wore? How old were you?
Definitely Polo Green stolen from my father’s dresser - I still keep a bottle of that on me today. I don’t recall my exact age but it was very early on - Dad would always dab it on when he and mom were sneaking out for the night - there’s an uneasiness that I still feel deep down knowing a babysitter might be coming for the night!
Q: What is your process or your inspiration for a new fragrance?
Time. We are not a brand known for a lot of newness. We’d rather put out fragrances that stand the test of time, than just a season. I think that’s hurt us in terms of growth - as the industry is always wanting something new - but we’ve been around long enough that folks who do wait - are always satisfied. We spend a good bit of time working in Grasse, developing scents, testing them on the road and with trusted others. Ultimately, it’s usually a group decision based on years of tweaks, research, and feedback.
Q. What is one note/scent you keep going back to? Why?
Black Pepper. It’s visceral, animalic, and clean . . . I love it as a top note - and also for cooking :-)
Q: If you could describe EastWest Bottlers in 3 words, what would they be?
Rebellious, Independent, Authentic.
Q: What’s next for you and EastWest Bottlers?
Sportsman, a splash of adventure is our newest launch. We’re also working on expanding our distribution in the USA for select European brands.
Bluegrass was featured in the July 2019 Men's Collection along with Moonshine which was featured in the December 2019 Collection for Men. And for the ladies, Speakeasy was featured in the January 2020 Collection for Women. We are thrilled to have the 3 gentlemen of EastWest Bottlers join us on this scented journey. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram!
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