As someone who loves candles, I’m always in the market to find new ones to obsess over. Within the past couple of years, shockingly, I haven’t had a lot of candle makers. I think it’s because I’m super picky with the scents and the ingredients used in candles, that it’s hard for me to find a brand I totally love and support.
With Brighter Days Co, it was easy once I saw they were going to be at one of the NJ Vegan Pop Up’s. I looked them up, looked at their ingredients, fell in love with their simple design, and lastly, realized they made some of my beloved B&BW scents, in a CLEAN formula! They are also at most Asbury Park Bazaar’s and Pop Up’s, if you’re in the mood to smell the candles in person. Let’s get to know the NJ brand creator.
With a name like Brighter Days, let's start by having you tell us what types of things brighten your day?
I’m simple! Starting my day with time to eat a great breakfast is something that brightens my day, haha. I’m a sucker for flowers so I’ll try to buy myself a bouquet when I go grocery shopping. It’s the little things in life, really!
As someone who makes their own candles, do you ever find it hard to market or differentiate your brand and creations from others?
I try to never compare myself to other brands because we all have something different to offer. I also believe that there is room for everyone to succeed!
You haven't been in business for very long, what have you learned since starting the business, that you wish you would have known?
It’s definitely hard work and long hours. Sometimes it means pouring candles for hours on a Sunday. As wonderful as setting my own hours sounded, I quickly learned that I worked many more hours than I would in a typical 5 day job. I’m never really off duty and my phone is constantly going off. Prioritizing and time management are very important to me.
Was has been the most rewarding part of creating your own candles and having your own business?
To me, it’s getting positive feedback from customers or hearing how much they love my candles. The love and support I get from my customers are what keep me doing what I love!
A lot of your candles remind me of Bath & Body Works, would you say that their scents are your inspiration when creating clean and non toxic candles?
I’m not going to lie, I used to be a HUGE fan of BBW. There wasn’t a day that I wasn’t burning a candle from there. But one day, I noticed something strange in my room. My walls and curtains were a darker shade (my mom wasn’t too thrilled about it). I would have never thought that my candles were doing that! If my candles were staining my walls and curtains, imagine breathing that in! Yuck! It was in this moment that I decided to make my own candles. But I still wanted my BBW scents, so I tried to replicate my favorites. So I guess you can say I use their scents as my inspiration!
If there was ever a dream store you would sell your candles through, what store would that be?
My dream is to open up my own home décor/gift shop, but I would love to stock my candles in Anthropologie!
With so many candles surrounding you, what is YOUR favorite candle and why?
I always struggle with this, which is why I burn a different scent in each room of my house, haha. But when it comes down to it, fall scents are my favorite! My current fall favorite is our “Let’s Get Toasted” candle, which is filled with Marshmallow, smoldering woods, and all the fall feels!
What's one thing you wish people knew when it came to non toxic, soy, handmade candles?
I wish people know the time, patience, and love that goes into candle making. It’s not just melting wax and mixing in the fragrance. I learned (the hard way) that there’s a science behind it. Lots and lots of testing and experimenting went into it before we found the recipe for the perfect candle!
When it comes to non-toxic brands, how else do you incorporate that lifestyle and what are some of your favorite brands?
People are becoming more aware and there is definitely a huge shift towards non-toxic and vegan products. Once I became a mom, living a non-toxic and natural lifestyle became very important for me. One of my favorite brands is Mystical Blossoms, started by two sister from New Jersey who strive to inspire others into a healthy way of being. They specialize in skincare and herbal products, including soaps, body oils, tonics, teas, and so much more!
What has been one of the most humbling and authentic reviews or comment you've received about your brand and products?
I always love hearing back from customers about how much they love the smell of the candles and packaging, but I will never forget one specific customer. At one of my pop up markets in Asbury Park, a woman approached my table and bought 14 candles. It’s not everyday that someone buys that many candles in one shot, so I had to ask if they were for her or was she giving them as gifts. She began to explain how much she loved my candles and my mission of spreading sunshine and good smells to everyone. She drove all the way from Philadelphia to come see me in person and wanted to buy 14 candles so she can gift them to friends and family. Every day I am so thankful for the love and support and being able to do what I love.
As a mother, how do you take time from your business and child, to treat yourself?
Sometimes it seems nearly impossible, but whenever I find ten minutes to sit on the couch without someone trying to steal my chips, I’ll take it.
What is one hobby you've always wanted to pick up, but never have?
Photography. I have a beautiful DSLR camera and I try to experiment with the settings, but I would love to find the time to take a class and learn all the functions and skills of taking beautiful pictures.
What is the last movie you watched? Give us your full and honest review of it.
I have an 11 month old son who loves... and I mean LOVES Moana. I watch it at least three times a day. Although it is an animated Disney Princess movie, it delivers messages of female empowerment and cultural diversity. The songs are pretty catchy too!
If you could say something to your future self, what would you say?
Do not give up, ever. Even when it gets hard or seems impossible, just keep swimming.
Lastly, what are you a die hard fan of?
Broad Street Dough Co. - Once you try their donuts, you’ll understand.
The fall collection is now live, so if you’re having all the basic fall feels, definitely check them out and support Diane and her creations.
Even though I have Let’s Get Toasted, I’m totally obsessed with We Are So Mint To Be Together, because I can’t let summer go.
Lastly, definitely recommend Broad Street Dough Co., as they have vlugen’s, which are vegan and gf donuts. SSSOOOO delicious!