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INSIDE THE BOX: PRINCE ESTANISLAO

What is the name of your company?

Candle Movement

When was the company founded?

January 2021

Tell us the story of how you brought your company to life. 

The four of us met in Singapore and became good friends. We all eventually left the country to seek opportunities in other countries (April in Amsterdam, Carl in London, Prince and Kryse in San Francisco). Pre-COVID vaccine, we would meet virtually to exercise and just talk about ideas. One idea that came up was to work on a business together. We had a few, but Candle Movement was the one that resonated with us the most. We were able to bring this business idea to life because our individual skill sets complement each other--Prince has a background in design, April in social media, Carl in marketing, and Kryse in brand development.

 How did you feel after it launched?

We were overjoyed by the support and positive feedback we got from our friends and family. We knew we had something special, but at the same time, we also expected it to elicit some mixed reactions because we know from the start that our brand’s appeal isn’t for everyone. And we’re fine with that. We’re just happy that customers who love us, REALLY LOVE US. 

 Where do you draw your design inspiration from?

We’re inspired by aesthetics that are minimalist and clean. In our case, our statements are our key brand asset so we didn’t want any other visual elements that could be a distraction. The simpler the design, the more impactful the statements. 

Why was it important to you to create an ‘out and proud’ LGBTQ+ company?

It’s in the DNA of our brand. It’s the most authentic story we can tell as proud members of the LGBTQ+ community ourselves. We can’t call ourselves a movement brand if we can’t be who we are to the rest of the world.  

Was there a defining moment in your company’s history (so far) when you knew you created something special?

We’re a small company. We don’t have the money to invest heavily in marketing unlike our big competitors in the market. The realization for us came when we started getting organic followers and tags on social media saying how they love our products and that it was the best gift they’ve received. I know it’s a silly thing to feel giddy about when we live in a world where tagging someone online is nothing special to boast about - but for us, it means that we’re growing a community who are excited about what we’re doing and who are willing to share their discovery to their friends. 

What has been the reaction of customer to your brand?

We’ve received compliments on our design and it’s always great to hear when they love our scents because we really curated them so it’s unique in the market. But the best feedback we’ve gotten is how much our brand makes them smile and how our candles have been topics of conversations at house parties.  

 At FRUITLOOTS, we call all the amazing products that we find our “loot”. What's a favorite piece of “loot” you have created?

Our favorite loot is NOT A COKE BATHROOM. Apart from being the product that generates the most sales, it is also the one that has made many people smile and laugh. It is our customers' top choice to give as a gift. 

Tell us about the product we have chosen.

SEND NUDES Candle. To us, this is about body positivity. In our website, we wrote: "A wise philosopher once said, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” And we’re here for it! There’s nothing wrong with serving body-ody-ody because photographing yourself nude encourages you to appraise and appreciate your body constantly. This is what this candle is about. We combined the classic notes of sweet and fresh lilac with the earthy and sultry scent of dark musk to evoke a seductive but luxurious fragrance that’ll surely awaken your senses. We’re a world of oversharers, so why not send those nudes and show them what you got?"

Where do you see your company in 10 years?

The business side of us wants a global presence. We aspire to become a brand that’s as big as any home fragrance brand you see out there like Jo Malone or Diptyque. We want to become a proud sponsor for Pride events as well. But also, Candle Movement was founded by four best friends. Hopefully, we continue to become the best of friends and business partners. Well, so far so good and our company definitely helped us strengthen our bond and get to know each other more.

If you could do a special collaboration with any person in the world, who would it be?

Right now? Britney Spears. She’s a gay icon and we’ve always wondered what a #FreeBritney would smell like.

Any advice to queer entrepreneurs?

As cliche as it sounds, be your authentic selves! 

If you could throw a party, tell us about the party!

It has to be a karaoke party for sure! We’re Pinoys! We’ll invite every Drag Queen in the world and the whole venue will smell amazing because we’ll be lighting our candles. Haha!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CANDLE MOVEMENT AND TO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THEIR COLLECTION, CLICK HERE

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Photos courtesy of Prince Estanlislao & Candle Movement

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