New Vitruvi president Cindy Bokitch talks learning from B.C. success stories and the importance of smell

The longtime executive is bringing her talents to the home scenting brand.


Credit: Vitruvi

The longtime executive is bringing her talents to the home scenting brand

For years, Cindy Bokitch’s family had to deal with her sense of smell. “I have this thing, if I smell strong perfume, I get a headache within five minutes,” she says. “When we’d go to hotels, my kids would send me in first to smell the room. We’ve moved hotel rooms more than we’d like.”

But being, in her words, “passionate about scents,” should prove helpful in her newest role. Bokitch, a longtime operations executive, is joining home scenting brand Vitruvi as president, where she’ll support founders Sara and Sean Panton and their team of 37 employees. 

Bokitch spent more than 15 years at Starbucks, both at the Vancouver head office—where she served as the regional vice president of Western Canada—and in Seattle and Chicago. She also more recently had stints at well-known Vancouver brands Lululemon and SmartSweets

Asked what lessons she learned from those places, she points to authenticity. “Staying true to your brand and quality—and to not do the black stretchy pants see through thing,” she jokes about her time at Lululemon. “But no, it’s about product quality, listening to the customer. At SmartSweets, we created something that wasn’t on the candy shelf, and we did it by listening to the customer.”

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She sees something similar at Vitruvi, where she hopes the team can continue to build quality essential oils and diffusers. “There’s a good foundation built here,” says Bokitch. “I think I can just beef it up—operations, really understanding retail, execution, wholesale, direct-to-consumer. How do we execute with the customer at the forefront?”

And while Bokitch can’t talk extensively about the products coming down the pipeline, she does say that Vitruvi is “reinventing air care to look different than it did in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. I’m excited about what we can create—let’s do some things differently.”