Since we launched this independent brand online and subsequently in our pop-up store in bhuti London (Richmond), these delicious smelling - and looking - candles have fast become a best seller. With deep lingering scents which offer something a little different to the standard combinations, Ana-Maria's male and female bust candles are little works of art. Here we learn more about the woman behind the brand...
1. So tell us how it all started...
I am passionate about all things nice. I like travelling, making flower arrangements, photography, painting, working with clay, so I think I have always been a crafty person. After working for different brands in the past years, I realised that I'd like to have my own brand and sell my own products. I have been thinking about a product that I'd love to make for years and I finally realised that candles would be something that combines all my passions. So after a very long time of testing and learning, I finally launched my own brand in spring 2019. The inspiration came from my love of the outdoors, my passion for creating with my hands, and my desire to not stare at a computer all day. The scents I use are inspired from my travels around the world. I love working with fragrances, as I think they are very transportative and ritualistic.
2. Why are your candles different from other available brands?
I think it's the fact they are hand poured, the branding is very nice and simple, and the scents are quite unique, specially chosen to be unisex.
3. How do you make the bust moulds - they are incredible!
Some of the moulds are bought and some are made by me. I'm not specialised in moulds, so I usually try to work with local businesses in achieving a shape that I like. There are a lot more busts coming in the next few months.
4. Do the moulds burn evenly, or are they more for visual impact?
Because of the unique shape they don't always burn even. Burn time depends on the size of the room, ventilation, and other factors. Most of the people buy the bust candles for decor. Some people prefer to light them just a bit so the wax melts and they get an unique shape, with the melted wax pouring on the sides. Usually the Venus busts burn more on the inside so even after burning the candle for a while you will achieve an unique sculpture candle.
5. What inspired your brand name?
I was trying to find a word that describes the philosophy behind my brand. I wanted something that sounds good, looks nice when written down, can be spelled by anyone and also a name that means something. Interlude means taking some time for yourself, to relax and reflect on everything around you, to just stop and enjoy the life.
6. How did you pluck up the courage to go out on your own?
I always had this idea, but I felt like things were not perfect and I would always postpone launching my business. My fiancée has an online business as well and he always pushed me and made me understand that the only way to start is by just doing it and then improving on the way. He is my biggest supporter and he inspires me so much every day.
7. What do you find the most rewarding about running your own business?
The fact that you can choose who you want to work with, but also the flexibility and having a better work life balance.
8. How to you cope with slower days, when things are not going your way?
If it's not going my way I would just take a break and try to relax and clear my mind before giving it another go.
9. Do you think you will branch into further product categories?
Yes, I have lots of plans to expand the range of products. They are painting related, different shapes for the candles, I am also thinking prints, candle holders, trays for the Venus bust candles.
10. The scent combinations are just gorgeous, for example the black fig and vetiver option . What process did you go through to achieve them?
I tested for more than a year and I only sell scents that I would buy myself. For me it's very important that the scents I am using are gender inclusive.
Shop the full Interlude Candles range HERE