Hi! I’m Cassity, the Owner + Candlemaker here at St. Brown & Co. I was recently interviewed for an article and thought it would be nice to share my story here as well. Welcome to the St. Brown & Co. blog!
The idea for candles just popped into my head one night as I was drifting off to sleep! It was October 24, 2020. I thought to myself, “Candles are always pleasant.” So, I grabbed my computer and started to Google—how to make candles, how to start a candle business, candle suppliers near me; things like that.
Being pragmatic, I went to Michaels the next day to buy a few basic candle making supplies to see if I even enjoyed the process before jumping straight into a business. I made a cute little mason jar candle by melting wax on the stove in my kitchen and I enjoyed it!
For me, candle making is the perfect blend between creativity and process. It’s creative to select the vessel, fragrance, and design; but it’s also crucial to make sure you make the candles exactly right (how hot the wax gets, how much fragrance oil to use, how long it needs to cool before lighting it . . .).
I had the brand image in mind for quite some time before I knew what business the brand was going to be attached to. I knew I wanted a classic, luxurious, beautiful brand with black and white colors at the center. I have been inspired by St. John Knits and Tiffany & Co. as strong luxury American heritage brands. The craftsmanship and design that goes into St. John jackets and Tiffany jewelry is unparalleled. So, I integrated my inspiration from both brands with my own name and thus St. Brown & Co. was born!
I worked quickly in the Fall to set up my online store, social media, and make inventory for a December 31, 2020 launch date. I wanted to launch fast so I wouldn’t have time to overthink and talk myself out of my idea. I also wanted to be poetic and launch on the last day of 2020 so I could end such a tumultuous year on a wonderful note. And I did it! St. Brown & Co. was live on New Year’s Eve, 2020.
It’s growing! I have taken a slow and steady wins the race approach to my business. And that strategy is proving quite useful because the brand is evolving at a manageable pace, which is important to me and the success of the brand. We have successfully landed wholesale accounts, have done collaboration candles with real estate agents for closing gifts, have consistent pop-up shops, and have just gotten St. Brown & Co. into our first stores!
I use luxurious non-toxic fragrance oils made by The Wooden Wick Co., based in Laguna Beach, CA. I always have an idea of what fragrances I want to include in a collection, so I’ll order several samples of a particular kind of scent. For example, in preparation for Father’s Day, I ordered 8 to 12 fragrances that had musky, manly notes. From there, I select the fragrances I like, make a sample candle, and test to see if I like the cold and hot fragrance throw. If it passes my burn test, I produce the candle!
I tried several different waxes when I first started making candles—soy, coconut soy, and coconut apricot creme. I decided to make my candles with the coconut apricot creme wax because not only was it was incredibly easy to work with, the name sounds very luxe!
The Product Line
I also sell wick trimmers and snuffers for candle care, but I don’t produce those accessories myself. One thing I was conscious of when picking my business name was not to pigeon hole myself into one category. That’s why the business name isn’t “St. Brown & Co. Candles.” St. Brown & Co. could be anything. Yet to be seen, but full of possibilities.
Our next step is planning and executing a successful holiday season! This will be St. Brown & Co.’s first holiday season in business, so we have a lot of irons in the fire as we prepare for Christmas markets, our first Black Friday, and custom gift boxes (spoiler!).