Katherine Growney grew up on the small island of Hawaii. Technically it was bigger than the other islands in the chain (colloquially referred to as the Big Island)— but it was still small. Really small.
Despite an idyllic childhood growing up on the side of a volcano, riding ponies, and spending hours underwater trying to listen to the fish talk (an eccentric childhood obsession) she always knew she needed to explore. Like her ancestor who’d first landed on Hawaii in the late 1800’s, she had to jump ship.
Many adventures soon followed and she ended up in New York City pursuing her passion as a writer. She was fortunate enough to go on to work as an editor at Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Lucky magazines. After eight years in the city, home was calling and she started to move West, stopping first in the the City of Angels.
She continued working as a contributing editor at Lucky magazine, and freelance for many magazines but she could smell a career change. “When I had first started working as a beauty editor at Elle, I remember having a conversation with one of my co-workers about the flower’s we adored. I started talking about Puakenikeni, Tiare Gardenia, Plumeria, Pakalana and she just gave me a blank stare,” said Growney. “I realized the flowers that I had grown-up with, that were commonplace to me, most people had never seen, smelled or even heard of.”
After years of trend spotting and hunting down the latest must-have-products, Growney felt the need to create--not just review. Using her contacts in the industry, she knew she had a unique advantage to create something truly unique and special. “ I didn’t want to just create another pretty product, I wanted to create something no one had every experienced before. I wanted to fill the niche in the market that was missing,” said Growney. Saffron James exotic Hawaiian floral perfumes was born.
Growney now lives back in Hawaii, home to Saffron James Inc. While she feels blessed to be back in the islands, the hunt is still on. “ I’m incredibly lucky that I get live in paradise, and with my work, travel to some of most exotic places in the world and meet the most interesting people,” says Growney. Her compulsion for finding that new ingredient, rare product and beautiful object is still a passion. “The mission of Saffron James has always been to find the most beautiful, unique and highest quality products in the market. If we can’t find what we are looking for, only then do we create it.” Growney believes her sucess comes from growing up in such a special place. “There is such tremendous diversity in Hawaii, in the environment, in the people and in the culture, that you learn to value and embrace differences--and more importantly, learn to find the beauty in all things."