MEET THE MAKER: THE AWESOME CANDLE
Ibi Yoo of Los Angeles-based company The Awesome Candle has been crafting small-batch, hand-poured premium soy candles and unique home scents since 2013. As a chandler*, Ibi uses premium grade oils to create innovative fragrances, like Oakmoss Sandalwood, Basil Cotton Candy and Fig Blackberry Coconut, that inspire and invoke feelings of familiarity and wonder. In addition to selling premium soy candles, Ibi offers a range of products for the home, including room sprays and reed diffusers and will soon add perfumes and burning oils to the list.
In an effort to promote community, Ibi has made it a priority to collaborate with other makers and small businesses as often as possible. Some of her recent collaborations include an exclusive soy candle made with Los Angeles illustrator/ceramicist Annie Seo, and, our personal favorite, the Daily Cortado candle collaboration with coffee shop Float Pasadena. With a convincing scent profile that includes fresh brewed coffee, hazelnut, teakwood, cardamom and vanilla, the Daily Cortado candle also looks the part in a traditional cortado glass.
Read more about Ibi's upcoming collaborations and favorite L.A. spots in our interview below!
*A "chandler" is someone who makes candles. Who knew?!
S&A: What were you doing prior to launching The Awesome Candle?
TAC: I was a full-time college student majoring in graphic design.
S&A: You've collaborated with several other artists/makers in L.A. to create unique products: the Daily Cortado candle with Float Pasadena, and an exclusive candle with illustrator/ceramicist Annie Seo. Are there any new collaborations on the horizon?
TAC: I’m currently working on two collaboration projects. One with the mattress company, Tuft & Needle, creating an exclusive scent and room spray. I’m also focusing on my workshops at local coffee shops and boutique stores. I’ll be doing a room spray/diffuser workshop in August at Poketo, as well as a candle making workshop there in October.
S&A: What's your favorite thing about the creative community in Los Angeles?
TAC: I’ve found L.A. is a great place to collaborate with other artists and small businesses. The ‘Morning Ritual' collaboration I did with (Multee)Project is a great example of this. Two different small businesses, one focused on menswear and design, and my company, The Awesome Candle, coming together to create a really cool product that reaches very different target audiences. I love working with creatives with different products and perspectives on design.
S&A: What's been your favorite scent you've created thus far?
TAC: To be honest, it’s really hard for me to pick just one since each represents a different personality, even mood or energy. But two that I’m using at home at the moment are Oakmoss Sandalwood and Fig Blackberry Coconut, via candle and diffuser.
S&A: Where do you draw your personal inspiration from?
TAC: I get inspired by so many things. Places I go, the people I meet, and the food that I eat. All of them provide different palates and inspiration that end up going into the various scents that I create.
S&A: What are some of your favorite spots in L.A.?
TAC: Float Pasadena is one of my favorite spots, especially during the summer. They have great specialty coffee, popular ice cream floats and huge, delicious sandwiches. Every summer they host a free movie showing in their atrium, Burlington Arcade.
There are two boutique stores that I keep an eye on. Tiny Universe is right next to Float Pasadena, which is the coffee shop I mentioned. It's a tiny store, but seriously loaded with pretty, cute, and unique things. They carry a lot products by local artists and designers, and I’m willing to spend money to support these talented local & small businesses. Poketo is another shop that I always go to in the Arts District (downtown Los Angeles), especially when I have to pick up last minute birthday gifts. They carry some of my favorite stockists, and tons of options at reasonable prices, so you'll never walk out of the store empty-handed.
There are so many great museums and galleries in L.A., but my favorite space is Huntington Library in Pasadena. Not only because I live close to Pasadena, you can really spend an entire day here. It’s got an extensive library collection, tons of art that is curated and hand selected throughout the property, gorgeous botanical gardens, even a cute tea room and patio. The entire Huntington Library grounds are stunning and elegant.
A huge thanks to Ibi for sharing her story with us! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for the latest and greatest in hand-poured home scents.