Sara and Tristan are the Melbourne duo who are making waves in the candle industry with their unique scents and quirky vessels. With scents such as Yuzu, Black Tea + Lychee and Wild Fig your customers will be climbing over each other to get to them.
Today we chat to the newly married couple (Congrats guys!) about where they started and where they are headed in this crazy roller coaster of a journey called business.
Life Instyle: What is the 15 second elevator pitch that defines your business?
“We provide a lifestyle” “Our products are made to enhance the mood in a room and provide a trigger for nostalgia for good memories past”
Life Instyle: The theme for Life Instyle Melbourne this season is Return To The Source, what does this mean to you and how did your story begin?
In 2011, the first alchemy candle was made from a piece of “borrowed” laboratory glassware, from Tristan’s analytical lab, on a stovetop in a tiny flat in North Melbourne. The range has grown, this is a result of my background in Fashion design and the constant urge I have to be creative, and Tristan’s profession in Chemistry and his eye quality. Returning to the source for us is about growing our company however staying true to our branding and beliefs.
Life Instyle: Where do you find inspiration?
Australia is full of creative minds, and the world knows it. Recently we travelled to the US, and once everyone we met knew we were from Australia, they said “Everything new and exciting is coming from down there!”
We get our inspiration from other successful makers and designers here on home soil. Even if it is not directly related to our range or direction, we find energy in seeing others succeed and it gives us the motivation to keeping improving.
Life Instyle: What was your biggest challenge when starting your business and how did you overcome it?
Trying to juggle full time work and the demands of a fast growing market demand. Many nights we cooked candles instead of dinner.
Life Instyle: What was your best YAY US! moment?
The most rewarding feeling for us is doing what we love, we love being small business owners and creating our own brand. We get to wake up each day looking forward to going to work, we pack the car with our two dogs and a coffee each and head to the HQ. Tristan came over to Alchemy full time at the end of last year, this was definitely a mile stone and we are happy to have him on board.
Life Instyle: What advice would you give to a new designer/retailer reading this post?
Take the plunge. You don’t want to be 70 years old, working a 9 to 5 (because retirement age will probably be 91 by then), and still wondering what would have happened if I gave it a shot.
Life Instyle: Where do you see the future of retail heading?
I think retail has changed more than ever in the last few years with the growth of online shopping, I think it is great because it is frowned upon to be caught shopping with no bra, track pants and a glass of wine in hand. Also brick and mortar retailers have the extra challenge of competing with online retailers, this has brought about exciting retail concepts to draw customers into stores, retailers have to be creative and constantly developing in order to survive, and it means great things for retail.
Life Instyle: What would a tarot card reader find in your future?
Happiness. If we ever stop being happy in what we do, we will change what we do. We feel a large part of happiness is choice.
Life Instyle: How has your business grown over time?
Alchemy Produx is almost 5 years old now, we have grown a lot like most small business do in the first few years. As mentioned previously, we started in North Melbourne in a one bedroom apartment, we have just out grown our first studio are have spend the last few months decking out a brand new space in Footscray in Melbourne’s west. Our first Life Instyle was a great platform to launch our small business into the market, and it’s a leap I encourage others to do. We now distribute across Australia and too 10 other countries, we also work regularly with Gorman on a collaborative basis, we still have a lot of growth in our business can’t wait to see where we end up.
Life Instyle: What are you looking forward to most at Life Instyle Melbourne, 2016?
Creating a killer stall. We have exhibited many times in Sydney, however this is our first time in our home town, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to really bring an amazing display and show off to Melbourne what we are about. A very important part of these fairs, in our opinion, is catching up with other small makers and designers, and finding out what is inspiring them and the challenges they have met since the last catch up.
A little something extra…
What would the title of the book on your business be? The Alchemist (even though it already exists and is a very good book)
What was your childhood dream? I actually wanted to be a dress-maker
How do you unwind? Dogs on the couch, Wine in hand, fire lit and record player spinning.
Which Instagram account are you stalking at the moment? I have been checking up on @somewhereiwouldliketolive a lot lately, they are a great Spanish account posting some cool architecture inspo.
What is your favourite blog or mag? Tristan and I just got married last week, we are now officially Mr and Mrs Alchemy! So I would say I am all over The-Lane at the moment, which is a wedding and styling blog.
A or B?
Instagram or Facebook? INSTAGRAM
Tacos or Spaghetti? SPAGHETTI
Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? STEVE JOBS
Beach or Snow? SNOW
Prince or Michael Jackson? MJ
Online or In-store Shopping? ONLINE
In other news Alchemy Produx has done a collaboration with Conversation Series speaker Laura Blythman. We love when our Life Instyle family members collaborate with each other. We love our little community!
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