| by Danielle Vincent

Russ & Danielle Vincent: The Starting Outlaws

This article was originally published in October of 2019. It has been updated for 2022.

Russ and I have been doing this Outlaw business since 2013.

But how did it all begin? What was the idea behind Outlaw?

First: Let me answer your question right out of the gate... Russ named Outlaw.

Why? Well, we knew we wanted to create something different that didn't play by the regular rules of "personal care" and "personal fragrance."

We're not from the personal care industry, so our background isn't in beauty or fragrance. We just knew what we liked, and went about figuring out how to make it in the least expensive way possible (which, in our case, was handmade soap, which we then extended to other stuff).

If you want to read more about why Russ and I started with handmade soap, I wrote a blog post about it!

Outlaws don't play by the rules. It's not that they intentionally break rules, but just, you know, rules aren't all that relevant or useful to Outlaws.

So while other folks work on trying to make their scents appealing to everyone, we figured that "everyone" probably had enough personal care products already, and so we could just make what was interesting to us (you know, stuff like campfire and whiskey).

When we started the business, we were pretty freshly married, so a lot of our early days (and some of our current days) include learning to work with each other. Most couples don't deal with this level of interaction, and I know a few folks whose relationship has been broken apart by business.

But I think if anything, Russ and I are more compatible and better friends because of Outlaw, not in spite of Outlaw.

What's it like to work with Russ, my husband? Well, it's AWESOME.

(and I'm not just saying that because I have to work with him)

We have really different skill sets. He is very practical and pragmatic. And, well, as you can probably tell, I am not.

But despite our differences, we have a lot of respect for how we think about things, which I think not only helps us avoid fights, it also makes our business stronger.

I know he's not ever going to say "no" just to be a stick in the mud... if he says that he doesn't think something is going to work, well, that bears some consideration (meaning that it's probably going to be a lot harder than I think it is).

And when I say things like, "Hey! I applied for SXSW and we got accepted, so I think we should do a booth!" he knows that I've probably put enough thought into the decision (read: almost none at all) and that I'm willing to back up my harebrained schemes with elbow grease and sweat (read: I will still work my butt off to make it happen).

In the early days, I used to get a wild hair and order some crazy scents, or some weird molds, but we both quickly realized that was the way to going out of business.

So between the two of us, I do my best to bring the goofy creativity of the admittedly awful puns scattered throughout the site, and Russ focuses on creating the consistently excellent product that you have come to expect.

It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us.

Thanks for being in our little gang and sharing in this adventure!

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