I’m Melissa Fensterstock Co-Founder of Mikey & Momo, the company behind the brand Aromaflage. I founded the company with my husband, Michael Fensterstock. Since the day we met, we knew we wanted to work together in some capacity. Our nicknames, Mikey & Momo, seemed all too fitting for our new venture.
2012 was bittersweet. On the eve of wedding celebrations and my graduation from Harvard Business School, we were faced early on with two challenges that tested our strength as individuals and as a couple. Michael unexpectedly needed open heart surgery and tackled it bravely. He was young, healthy, and a professionally ranked squash player. During Michael’s recovery, I was faced with my own bout of misfortune, a diagnosis with a rare blood disorder. It was a scary time, but Michael walked me down the aisle and we partied like rock stars.
I live an active lifestyle. I exercise daily, eat fresh fruits and veggies, and use products that are easy on the body (although, I do have a soft spot for sweets). I love to travel the world and experience new cultures and ways of thinking. It was on our honeymoon to South East Asia that we discovered this magic potion that we now call Aromaflage.
I’m a mosquito magnet and in South East Asia, there is no shortage of these pesky creatures. The unmarked bottle in this tiny village was my saving grace – it came everywhere with us on our trip. The beauty of it was that it smelled more like a perfume than a bug spray. Better yet, it was free of any chemicals and deet, comprised of naturally occurring essential oils.
We had wanted to start a business but were waiting for the right idea to come to inspire us. Now, it seemed that we had a framework for our venture, building a brand around “fragrance with a function” and creating a market in the United States that did not yet exist. With hard work, market education, and solving a customer need, Aromaflage is well on its way to success.
As a female entrepreneur, part of my mission is to empower female entrepreneurs in the developing world. We import our fragrance from South East Asia where Burmese refugee women housed, educated, and employed to mix the essential oils. I’m always looking to see how we can expand our impact and source other components from artisan women while balancing supply chain consistency.
It is easy to forget that life is fleeting and delicate. Michael and I try to appreciate each day that we have together. However, life is chaotic and it is so easy to sweat the small things. To remind us our past challenges and to pave a resilient road ahead, we have signed each box to toast life:
To health, long life, and living naturally – Mikey & Momo