One of the definate bonuses to being involved with mb has to be the people you meet along the way! We knew Jo Reid before she created Violet and Rose Candles, and in fact I think we were her first, or pretty close to her first, official stockist! Of course, we loved the candles at forst sight. Today V&R candles have a growing following and are stocked in lots of different shops. Jo’s biggest issue now is finding enough of those gergeous jars to keep us all happy!
Jo was kind enough to answer a few questions for us: we decided it would be fun to be stickybeaks into life at V&R; enjoy!
How did the concept for Violet & Rose come about?
It was really an evolution. I started out with Violet + Rose in 2006 sewing things for children. I used vintage reproduction fabrics and made pencil rolls, bags, hair accessories and little patchwork bracelets with vintage buttons sewn on. So I always enjoyed taking something old and giving it a new life. Then as my daughters grew up, I found myself having less contact with that children’s market and found myself starting to become more interested in home wares. I had made some candles for the school fete and really enjoyed the process, so decided to give making them in vintage vessels a go. That was two years ago now and I haven’t looked back.
What was your career before you had your family, and has it helped with your business now in some way?
My career in my ” former life” was in sales and marketing for hotel chains both here and in New Zealand, where we lived for a couple of years. That has given me a good base for understanding how important it is to market your product well. With the advent of social media, marketing is a very different ball game to the one I worked in last century! But it has made it so much easier for small businesses like mine to have access to tools to market your product from home.
What inspires you…
I trawl through magazines. I still love the feel of a magazine in your hands and can’t get used to e-zines. My all time favourite is “Country Style”. I love their styling. I love the work of lots of stylists, but my favourites would be Heather Nette King and Jason Grant. Their work is always inspirational.
How do you work out what scents to use?
I really rely on my own sense of smell and cross my fingers that what I like, others will like too. So far, it’s served me well. My rule of thumb though is that it has to smell natural or botanical. I just can’t do scents that remind me of bubblegum!
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe Violet + Rose as vintage, a little bit industrial, rusty. I hope that my style evokes memories for people too. Either with the jar or tin or the candle scent. And that people can appreciate something that has been taken from a farm shed or a box under someone’s house, been cleaned up and turned into something lovely. I hope that puts a smile on people’s faces. I like it when my candles make people smile.
What is your favourite Violet and Rose candle to burn?
Ooh, it depends. Winter , I love Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger. Summer, I like Kaffir Lime and Sandalwood. But my new favourite is Mandarin and Mimosa.
Finally, as Christmas is coming, are you a Christmas kind of person, and if so, do you have a family tradition you look forward to even year ?
I am a Christmas tragic! I love it. Our home is lit up like the Griswalds. We have lots of traditions. My favourite is the advent calendar I made quite a few years back now. The idea was that I would collect little goodies for my girls through the year and wrap them as I got them. The reality is that I go on a mad shopping spree on the 30th of November to buy 48 little items – chocolates, hair clips, Christmas decorations, stationery etc – and then spend all night wrapping them. But I love doing it and my girls still enjoy it. I may have to see what I can find in Morris Brown this year. We also love going to mass together as a family on Christmas Eve and coming home to watch Carols and enjoy my traditional glass of Christmas Bailey’s.
Thanks Jo, for taking the timeout to answer a few questions in the lead-up to the Christmas rush. We know you are busy making candles for lots of shops, just like ours! Jo has been generous enough to donate a gorgeous candle as a lucky door prize for our Christmas evening, this Friday night, 5pm-8pm, at Heathmont mb!