Frerés Branchiaux Candle Co. is an award-winning artisanal candle company based in the Washington, DC Metro area created and managed by 3 brothers, Collin (13), Ryan (10), and Austin Gill (8). In October 2017, the young Gill brothers wanted more allowance to purchase video games. Mama and Dad Gill told them that they had maxed out their toy allowance and to either “get a job or start a business” if they wanted more money. They decided to start a business.
So the brothers started experimenting with candles during their homeschool science lessons. They ended up making candles, room sprays, diffuser oils, bath bombs, and soaps! They started selling candles at their baseball and football games. Sales were good so they took a chance and rented a booth at their first vending event, the NPR All Crafts Considered Holiday fair. They nearly sold out of all of their candles! They decided to make it a full-fledged business, becoming known as The Candle Boys in the process.
They have sold over 10,000 products in almost 2 years. During that time, they have also been given a Role Model Community Service Award, 2019 DC Chamber of Commerce Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, Youth Excel Awards Finalist, and Best of DC 2019 (Eco-Friendly Handmade Product and Handmade Home Decor). They have earned more than enough money for toys and video games, but that is not the only reason they decided to go into business. From the start, they pledged to give 10% of their profits to those in need, particularly those transitioning from homelessness. Every month, the boys donate to multiple Washington, DC area organizations that assist people experiencing homelessness and/or transitioning from homelessness. With every product sold, more resources are made available for the clients of these organizations.
Now, the boys want to have a Candle Truck and have a candle store on wheels. Not only will they be able to easily vend from event to event with their mobile candle store, but they also plan to use it to visit the area homeless organizations to coordinate skills training for those transitioning from homelessness. The brothers want to help others create jobs for themselves---just like the brothers did! Ryan believes that they must the community because the community has helped them. Collin feels that great that he is able to do more than just want to help---he can actually help. Austin is satisfied knowing that he can help someone find a new home, provide food, and help with job training.
The Gill Brothers now have Frerés Branchiaux products in more than 30 stores and are set to be sold online with Macy's in the fall. They need immediate resources to scale their company up to meet this demand. And in the interim, they have begun setting up the process to interview people transitioning from homelessness.
New donations will go toward purchasing supplies for new purchase orders, scouting and purchasing a mobile merchandising truck, and outfitting the truck to be a mobile candle truck.
Collin, Ryan, and Austin’s dream is to have a nationwide presence and employ hundreds of more people. It may sound hard, but the boys have persistence, dedication, and great support from their parents family, and friends. They are so grateful for people that have already supported them and thankful for your future support.
To place an order of Frerés Branchiaux candles, diffusers, or room sprays; find a gift for a special occasion; or sign up for a wholesale, account visit our website here: www.freresbranchiaux.com.
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