Joining us today is Michael Dehn Breault, CEO of Gibson & Dehn. In 2017, Michael launched the namesake home fragrance brand Gibson & Dehn, building on his family’s entrepreneurial history in the floral and design business. As a 5th generation business owner, Michael brings over 125 years of family experience in botanicals, scent development and business acumen to his role as CEO.
In this episode:
Michael tells us about a long line of entrepreneurs in his family starting with his great-great grandparents who emigrated from Europe in 1892 and opened one of the first flower shops in the country in Saratoga Springs, NY. From his early experience in the family business and up-bringing in rural NY to international corporate executive roles, Michael shares how he made the transition to Founder and CEO. He says that Entrepreneurially Thinking to him means the opportunity to make a difference in business and in peoples’ lives through commerce and he explains how his collaboration with two nuns making candles on Long Island lead him to locate his production facility in Clarksville, MO (population ~420) where he’s created jobs and supply chain partnerships, while actively working to bridge the urban/rural divide and supporting survivors of human trafficking.
Michael shares how his hands-on approach and focus on building business relationships at a human scale allow him to scale globally and create exceptional experiences for wholesale and retail customers through a distinctive home fragrance brand. From placing candle wicks alongside employees and scrambling to relocate operations up hill when the Mississippi flooded the production facility to finding local craftspeople to create wooden candle lids, Michael reflects on what it means to build a business with intention, with an eye on opportunity and a willingness to invest in people who are willing to experiment and quickly learn from mistakes.
Gibson & Dehn is more than just a brand. It’s a platform for social change and a blue print for social enterprise.