Feu&Co. is an eco-friendly candle business. We spoke with their founder, Anthony Provencher, to find out more about them.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Feu&Co. is a candle business and it’s born from a passion for well-being. The candles are made from a blend of 100% natural soy wax and very high-quality fragrance oil. These are phthalates-free, paraben-free, non-GMO and cruelty-free. It’s the perfect mix between an aesthetic object and an eco-friendly product. I really want to help people to unwind, relax, and take time for themself.
What made you want to do this work?
I always dreamed of being my own boss and managing my things like I wanted to. Also, every side of a business is super interesting to me, from the creation of the product to the shipping of the package. By starting my own company, I realize this dream and touch all aspects. When I lost my job because of the pandemic, I understood and realized that I no longer want to be at the mercy of an employer and risk losing my job again. It solidified and concretized the thought I had of starting my business, and also it made me take action.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
We won’t hide it, there are a bunch of candle companies, but what makes Feu&Co. unique? Well, I was looking for a classy candle with a variety of classic but also original scents, and I didn’t find anything produced in Quebec. With that mindset, I decided to create my own candles and start a business from it! There’s also the fact that a lot of commercial candles (think the big size and cheap candles) are made of non-renewable resources like paraffin wax, which is a petroleum derivative. It was essential to me to offer a product of the highest quality, especially the wax and the fragrance. The mix of my mentality and my values are giving a unique product, beautifully branded and less harmful to the environment.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
For now, most of my clientele is in Canada. I have a beautiful mix of clients in Quebec and from other provinces. I also got some orders from international at the beginning, but I changed this and I don’t ship overseas for now. Candles are fragile and can easily melt in transit when the shipping is taking a lot of time. Because of those reasons, I put my energy into developing Canada’s market.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
My sales are done in my eCommerce shop for the most part. I was lucky enough to be approached by stores to sell some scents they chose. They’re also stores that carry out recurring orders. In addition, sometimes small & local businesses are approaching me to offer my products complementary to their offer. To finish, I also collaborate with businesses that offer gift boxes or thematic boxes.
Where in Montreal can we find your profession?
I, unfortunately, don’t have a store or a retailer in the Montreal area for now. If you are a business owner or know someone who’s looking for candles to sell in their store, I’m really open to expanding this side of my company! You can find my candles on my website, and I also developed a discovery kit so you can try multiple scents at home for a really good price.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
A recurring question is: Why is a locally-made candle so expensive? Of course, we cannot compare the price of a large retailer vs. a candle made by a local craftsman. The buying power is pretty limited for small businesses and the cost of raw materials is high. I’m going to speak for myself, but when we select the best fragrances and the best wax, the cost is high. There are also a lot of expenses like the recurrent costs of the website, advertising, taxes, shipping and much more. The price of an article locally made is justifiable.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is the fact that I can do it all by myself. I learned a lot, I have some successes and some failures. I thrive by testing new things and when I beautify the day of people when they discover our scents for the very first time. If I have an idea for a photo shoot, I do it. If I want to take a chance and release a fragrance that I have never seen before in a candle, I do it too. I like having fun at my job, the fact that nothing is repetitive because I have so much to do.
The worst part (or the biggest challenge to be a little more positive) is hiding behind the positive part, and it’s the fact to do it all by myself. I constantly question myself, I wonder if I’m on the right path or if I forget important things. What can I do better? We cannot be good at everything, so inevitably, we make mistakes. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have the same ambition as you, in your field.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
Some people on social media can compare Ikea candles with locally-made candles, it’s a funny analogy. It’s just like comparing an apple with an orange, there’s not much in common, in terms of both wax and fragrance. What’s more, one is burning super fast and the other one lasts hours and hours for the same size or quantity.
What are your social media channels?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Montreal business that you love?
The list can be long! I love brands who stand out by their branding, and also by their quality products. Here are some brands on the top of my head that inspire me: Prune les fleurs, BonLook, BKind, Maguire Shoes, Maddle Boards, Lambert & Fils, Pista and Element de base.