When I first started exploring handmade candles, I delved deep into the indie maker and soy candle hole! You know that scene where Alice falls down the rabbit hole? Yeah, that's what happened to me. That's how Evil Queen came into my life (pun not intended, but it works)! Instagram really has introduced me to some amazing brands, Evil Queen being one of them.
The name itself caught my attention, but it was the actual candle descriptions that kept me as a follower. If you haven't checked out the brand yet, after this post, you will. Ida not only comes up with some amazing smells, of mixtures I haven't seen yet, but she really explains and names them, is the quirkiest ways. If that itself doesn't grab your attention, then you'll become a customer after this Q&A! So let's just get to it.
Evil Queen....I thought there would be a clever explanation on the site on why this name, but alas, there isn't. So tell us....was it the evil queen inside of you that came out to play?
The story of the name isn’t as cool as I wish it was (lol), hence why I don’t put it on the site. But basically, after I had thought of the concept for Evil Queen I was pretty stuck on thinking of a name. I was looking through an old notebook from college and found “EVIL QUEEN” written. It was for a project I had started, but never finished. Right when I saw it, I knew that had to be the name for this company! So honestly, it was pretty serendipitous and I now consider Evil Queen to be my sassy alter ego :)
You're a pretty talented individual. Learning how to make your own candles, calligraphy, poetry, graphic designer, shall I go on? Tell us what your favorite talent is and what sets you apart from others?
Well first of all, thank you! Its hard to pick a favorite because I love all of them (obviously). Depending on my mood, I have different favorites. Poetry is basically my first love. Anytime I’m feeling down, or confused, I write. I’ve been that way since I was young! But calligraphy is something I love doing all the time. It’s basically like drawing words, and it’s really relaxing. I think what sets me apart from others in my writing is the way I describe things. If you’ve ever read my poetry, you’ll know its very visual. I write about bright colors, specific movements, and vivid thoughts. I pay attention to detail, and think about how each word makes me feel. Then, I hope you can feel some of that in my words!
Candle making just came to you, what else has come to you that you actually didn't end up executing?
I’ve had a lot of thoughts that I’ve wanted to do in the past, and honestly I act on most of them (even if for just a short while!) I once had a fitness blog. I thought of starting a travel journal with my boyfriend (when we were traveling a lot). I feel like I come up with new ideas all the time but I really have to step back and see which ones would be worth it in the long run! I think that's one of the struggles of being an entrepreneur - figuring out which ideas are worth acting on.
A good portion of your customer base, is due to being fans of your clever candle names and scent descriptions. Has there even been backlash and how have you dealt with it?
Luckily, I haven’t had much backlash (at least to my face!) and even if I did, I wouldn’t let it get to me. I know there are people out there who don’t like my candle titles or fragrances. There are people who probably think they’re too inappropriate. But that’s okay! I’ve always been a firm believer that having a strong niche market is the secret to success. My candles aren’t suitable for everyone, and I know that! And that's okay with me. My fans love my candles because they’re different. And I’m going to keep them that way. :)
What is YOUR favorite scent you have ever created and the best name/description you've come up with?
This is always a hard question. I find myself lighting “Champagne Showers” and “Hangover Cure” around my house the most. But honestly, there isn’t a scent in my lineup that I wouldn’t burn! One of my favorite labels is the one for Bitches Brew - “something wicked this way comes (hint: it’s me)”. That one always makes me giggle.
Growing up in a very healthy conscious household, besides candles not having chemicals, what other conscious decisions do you make on the daily?
My mom always taught me to read labels. We avoided high fructose corn syrup. Ate organic foods. I was always that person at school who would try and sneak someone’s fruit roll up from them or something, because my mom wouldn’t let me have them in the house. To this day, I try and maintain a healthy diet. I would call myself a pescatarian (but vegetarian most days). I read labels. I avoid weird ingredients, not just in foods but in makeup, household cleaners, etc. We eat out of glass containers, not plastic. Just little things like that!
Since your candles are vegan, do you apply that lifestyle to your personal life? Whether food, household items, clothing or beauty products?
Yes! As I said, I’m not completely vegan, but I do eat mostly vegetarian. Also, I only use vegan beauty products, cleaners, etc. and I try to purchase clothing that’s made in LA and made ethically! One of my favorite brands for that is YSTR. They have the cutest stuff and it's all ethically made.
Let's get more personal. What were the last 5 songs you totally fell in love with and played on repeat?
Ah! I love / hate music questions, because they’re hard to answer. My boyfriend is a music producer so I listen to a lot of different stuff. But off the top of my head, here are my five most recent loved songs: Asido - Purity Ring, Calm Down - Krewella (produced by my boyfriend :)), Copycat - Billie Eilish, I Should Leave Right Now - The Dangerous Summer, New Rules - Dua Lipa.
Everyone seems to have a guilty pleasure whether it be food, reality TV or YA fiction. What's your guilty pleasure?
Honestly, I’m not really ashamed of any of the things I love. :P I can always get down to some Jonas Brothers. I LOVE Harry Potter everything. And I'm super into teen romance novels. And Nicholas Sparks books.
What's the last nice thing you've done and how do you think it impacted that person?
I make it a point to do something nice every day! I’ll generally get little gifts for people to remind them how much I appreciate them. Whether it's for my boyfriend, friends, or my employees (which, this is still weird to say, I’ve just recently hired my first employees!) I think it’s nice to surprise people with things when they aren’t expecting it, even if it's something small. I think it makes people feel appreciated and loved!
What's an average day like for you?
I wake up whenever I wake up (I’m one of those people who needs at least 8 hours to function. More is better haha!), then in the morning, I’ll walk my pups and get to work. In the mornings, me and Kylie (my employee) will pack up all the orders from the night before. That takes up at least the first few hours of the day, depending on the amount of orders. Then we’ll eat lunch and get some wax melting. While that's melting, we’ll heat gun / prep all the candles that were made the night before, and get them organized. Then, once the wax is melted a little later in the day, I’ll make a ton of candles! I like making candles at night because they have to cool overnight regardless. That way I can spend the daytime hours doing other things, like emails, label design, and other computer work. Sometimes, I’ll work late into the night making candles, but I’m trying to have a more “regular” schedule. I’ve been trying to end by 6 or 7 each night, and hopefully, I’ll be able to stop working even earlier soon. :) Luckily, I love what I do, so it rarely feels like “work”!
Since you're so clever, explain yourself in clothing....the more detailed, with an explanation on why, the better.
Oh gosh. This is a hard question! Well, I love all black everything. I’d say I’m probably a flowy black dress and some booties. I like to be comfortable, but also look nice when I go out. The booties can be dressed up or down, and that's kind of how I like to approach life! Always be prepared for any situation!
Where do you get your daily inspiration from?
A lot of what I do just comes to me from things I do / say or things I hear from my friends! But I do like looking on Pinterest and Instagram to see what people are loving. I try to make things that I know other people can relate to.
What is one task in life, you didn't think you would get out of it with a positive outlook, but did?
Before I started working for myself I had a few jobs I reallllyyyyy didn’t enjoy. They literally took the life out of me. I would come home and just cry every day. I couldn’t really see a way out, you know? I needed the money, and I knew that finding another job would eventually be just as bad. I wanted to work for myself, but didn’t know how to do it. I thought that I'd always be negatively affected by these old jobs, but they’ve actually taught me so much! I can look back positively now on those experiences and see that I needed to go through them, to get to where I am now.
Lastly, what is one thing you wish people would understand about having a brand and company of their own?
How much work it is! Haha. I know everyone says that, but up until recently, I was still doing everything on my own. It gets to be really really exhausting. And I guess I wish more people realized that I’m just one person, and sometimes responding to emails in a timely manner, is hard. Sometimes, shipping orders the same day is hard. There are a lot of factors that go into running your own business, and I guess people were sometimes more forgiving. Don’t get me wrong, most people are! But, you know, theres always the people who don’t really understand how much work we all put in as entrepreneurs. You really have to love what you do to survive :P
It's not every day a brand maker gets real with you, but I truly feel Ida only demonstrates why her brand works so well.
She is always using inspiration from her customers and recently asked her FB group members for feedback on candles they'd like to see. So tell me, what candle scents and themes would you want her to create?
Also, if you've read this far, guess what! I'm doing a giveaway! Follow me on IG and Evil Queen of course, and win a mystery candle! Check my IG post for all the details!
Lastly, stay tuned for the next Meet The Maker, as I'll have one of her close friends! Can you guess the brand?