Tell us a bit about the story behind your brand; inspiration, the meaning behind your scents and designs, brand mission etc:
Etikette Candles are sharing stories of the Australian landscape through the power of scent and memory. Our pure soy wax candles are lovingly hand poured in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, handcrafted with fragrances that link your heart and your home through a sense of place. We feel deeply connected to the rugged beauty of the Australian landscape, especially through the power that our sense of smell has and its ability to transport us back to a time and a place in an instant. We create fragrances to recall fond memories of beloved locations across Australia. We honour a gentle existence, where quality, purpose and sustainability are paramount. Our simple, minimal products are mindfully designed to suit all interiors to provide moments of connectedness and calm.
What sets your brand apart from other candle companies?
At the heart of Etikette Candles we draw on the direct link between scent and memory and how powerful our sense of smell is, especially when recalling memories from the past. My first ever memory is of the smell of clovers underneath our washing line and I’ve always been aware of how scents and fragrances form such vivid part of my childhood memories. Our candles have the power to reconnect people with their memories and honour the heartfelt connection that nostalgia ignites.
As far as we know, Etikette Candles is the only candle company operating with an integrated recycling program in which we buy back previously used Etikette Candles glassware and recycle it back into production. We also love seeing our glassware repurposed and encourage everyone to consider a future use. Our signature amber glassware is particularly good for plant propagation as it keeps the water free from algae for longer and we love knowing our glassware can have such a purposeful afterlife.
This year we launched a masterclass series of candle making workshops and have so far trained over 120 new ‘chandlers’ in the art of fragrance blending and how to hand pour natural soy wax candles. It’s been an incredible opportunity to meet with other fragrance enthusiasts and encourage their own skills in a craft that is equal parts science and creativity.
What were the first steps you took to launch? And what would you say was the scariest part/your biggest fear?
Etikette Candles has grown from a small passion project in my laundry to a blossoming and much loved brand stocked in over 200 stores across Australia. We have grown very organically, humbled by the support for our brand at every turn. From small beginnings with a trestle table stall at local markets, we now work from a purpose built studio in the Adelaide Hills, surrounded by gum trees and rolling hills with a growing team of incredible makers who help up to hand pour almost 3000 candles each and every week.
In the first few days that COVID became a reality we sat down and had a very scary “what next” conversation and braced ourselves for the worst. Thankfully and so gratefully our home fragrances have been able to provide moments of calm and joy in peoples homes throughout this strange year and we feel eternally grateful to be able to keep doing what we love.
What sparked the idea to start the business together?
To be honest, I haven’t ever imagined running the business without Georgia, we work so well together and have such similar values and vision for what Etikette means to both of us. Its been just over a year since Georgia came on board full-time and we’re loving the process of growing and learning the business together. We grew up in a very creative household, our Dad is a surfboard maker and furniture designer and our Mum is a visual artist, so we approach Etikette Candles from a creative place first and foremost. We both had careers in communications and PR before jumping head-first into the world of wax and those skills are definitely a huge part of our business approach.
Why does Australia play such an important part of your brand story, from being Australian made to producing scents that represent Australian locations?
Georgia and I were both born in Southern Tasmania and lived there for most of our childhoods. If you’ve been fortunate enough to go there you’ll know the incredible power of Tassie’s wilderness. It’s rugged and wild, unexpected and sometimes even a little intimidating, but it also invites you to connect with the environment more than any other place I’ve ever been. My childhood memories are defined by the smells of the bush, damp dirt roads, big rain and ocean spray, of kelp drying on the beach, smokey campfires, straw in the chook shed and picking blackberries in the sun. They are treasured and nostalgic smells that take me back to a time and a place in an instant, where memories of my favourite place come to life again. Our sense of smell gifts us an incredible passage to travel back in time to the places we hold dear and for us there’s magic in the power of the Australian landscape and how those smells become such an important part of our memories and identity.