This month we are celebrating all things small business in support of the local creatives bringing you some of your favourite TVM brands this festive season.
First up, husband and wife duo Lou and Paul behind, Drift Trading Co.
I was at the local fish and chip shop in Currumbin last week and decided to pop down the laneway next door, straight off the beach with sandy feet and wet children (sorry guys!) to check out the humble workspace of Drift Trading Co, to see for myself where the candle making magic happens.
Lou and Paul welcomed me (and my two daughters who love to touch glassware and ask plenty of questions - again, sorry guys!) into their space with open arms. It was so lovely to view the gorgeous space they have created, filled with recycled timber, antique frames and a cute veggie patch.
You could just feel the love that goes into creating their beautiful candles and various other products.
Here we chat to Lou to find out more about their growing business and what it means to them to shop small, this festive season.
What made your pursue your creative passion?
I have always loved making and creating, from a very early age I was the kid crafting, designing, making things and playing ‘shop’. I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and just kinda ended up working in office jobs in the legal and then in the property development industry.
Pursuing my creative passion came about when I realised that my days spent sitting in front of a desk were no longer fulfilling – I wasn’t able to be creative and I had this feeling that there was something else I was meant to be doing. I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump out of bed excited and motivated about the day ahead.
When did you take the plunge and start your own business?
I took the plunge after resigning from a corporate position in property development. I had no idea what I was going to do but I kinda always knew that I wanted to have my own business and to be creative. Our family went on a little camping road trip shortly after I resigned and it was travelling on the open road in our van when the idea to start Drift came about.
Originally Drift started out primarily to promote my hubby Paul's recycled timber furniture business and the candles were just a sideline – something else to offer our customers. Hubby and I both have a love of style and design and we wanted both the furniture and candles to reflect our sense of style – earthy, natural and paired back.
What does your brand consist of?
100% hand poured, handmade scented soy candles, reed diffusers, soy melts and room sprays. Our scents have been carefully curated to enhance a wide range of moods, moments and settings – from everyday home life, to the office, weekend gatherings, sunset drinks and everything in between. We love the ambience and atmosphere a beautiful, scented candle can create – the soft flickering light combined with an intoxicating scent – enhancing moments and creating memories.
Where is the label designed and made?
The label was actually designed by us. We wanted a natural, paired back design that would complement a wide range of style aesthetics. We didn’t want any colour or loud design features – the brief was for the label to have a natural, earthy feel – we wanted it to blend seamless into any home décor and to complement other style elements whether it be flowers, indoor plants, artwork, furniture, bedroom or bathroom.
What inspires you?
So many things inspire us… we are lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful part of the world – the incredible lifestyle here on the Gold Coast is a huge inspiration for us. Our Summer Blends collection (including ‘Coconut & Tahitian Lime’, ‘The Beach House’ and ‘Thai Lime & Mango’) is inspired by long days at the beach, outdoor gatherings and sunset drinks – blends designed to evoke an endless Summer. Our earthy blends collection is for nature lovers – ‘The Hinterland’ is one of our more popular blends and is inspired by the aromas of the Gold Coat hinterland – eucalyptus, wattle, lemon myrtle and pine.
What are your plans for the brand and where do you hope it takes you?
First and fore most Drift candles are about quality – this was always number one on our priority list, we’re a boutique hand poured candle company with a focus on producing a quality product. Hand made takes time - we are not about mass production and we have no massive plans for upscaling – we want to continue to produce a quality, handmade product that our customers fall in love with – quality over quantity every time! We usually release a new blend each season which takes up a lot of time testing and blending as we’re super particular about our fragrance blends. We are actually working on a variation of our product range at the moment which we hope to release within the next month - just in time for Christmas gifting.
What were the biggest challenges when launching your brand?
Ah, where do I start… lol! Becoming noticed was probably one of our biggest challenges – we wanted to stand out and for our brand to become known for its quality and natural, earthy style / design features. Building our online business was a little tricky - trying to describe a scent verbally and to sell something that relies heavily on the senses is quite a challenge. Social media relies heavily on image so capturing the essence of Drift with lifestyle photography has been paramount for us – relaying the Drift lifestyle aesthetic/feel to our audience. Markets have been incredible for us – they’re a great way to get your product directly in the marketplace. Customers can physically pick up our product, touch and smell plus they get to ‘meet the makers’ – the real people behind the brand.
Find Lou and Paul at TVM this Sunday 1 December (and every other TVM event, always!).