Geir Ness, the designer and creator of Laila (pronounced Lila) and Geir was born and raised in Norway.
Geir takes an extremely active role in the promotion of his brand. In fact, if you've ever been to Epcot and done the walk around the world, chances are you've had the pleasure of meeting one of the hardest working men in fragrances today. Geir travels 3/4 of the year promoting the Geir and Laila brands and a good portion of the time he is doing meet and greets at Epcot. Truly a delightful man!!
As a little boy, Geir’s mother would take him up into the mountains of Norway where they would pick beautiful wildflowers. Even as a child, he was so taken by the beauty of that experience. Years later, in school, Geir needed some extra money, so he worked weekends promoting perfumes. Although he always had an appreciation for fragrance, he knew nothing about the industry. Barely able to speak English, people would ask where he was from followed by the question of why Norway/Scandinavia never produced a perfume. Geir’s research began.
In time, Geir found a perfumer who advised him to begin his search by finding ingredients he liked. Of course, Norwegian wildflowers were the first thing that came to mind. He remembered that wonderful childhood experience when he would go to the mountains. He gathered flowers and herbs and brought them to the perfumer to create an oil that captured their true scent.
Geir feels that the consumer’s opinion is the best way to help create a successful product. So, he went to the streets to ask people what they thought of the fragrance, wrote down their comments, went back to the perfumer, made appropriate changes and spent years perfecting the final result. After adding a touch of watermelon to the formula, the response was sensational. Laila was described as fresh, clean and crisp. Laila was now….perfect!!!
Although many people discouraged Geir from pursuing his dream, he never gave up. He borrowed money from a friend, maxed out his credit card and produced only 1,000 bottles. At first, he got Laila into one store, sold out after one hour and put people on a waiting list. He knew he had a winner and did whatever he had to do to raise more money. He sold his clothes at garage sales, sat in TV audiences to make $20 a day, odd jobs here and there. Little by little it started to pay off. He was so sure that Laila was destined for success, he stayed focused on his goal.
Laila got it’s name because this fragrance means so much to Geir. He copied his Mom’s signature without her knowing it, had it silk screened on the bottle and surprised her with it on Mother’s Day. The little boy who went with his mom to the mountains years ago, was now able to thank her for her love and inspiration.
Laila is the true essence of Norway, beauty, freshness and woman.