Lex Dascoli is the Founder of Vibes Candles™, one of the most beautiful candle companies we have ever discovered. We were thrilled to get to ask her some questions and hear about how she has created the company, the story behind it, and why she puts crystals in candles. Her mission is to create beautiful things that can become a positive and inspiring part of your life forever, and we think she’s nailing it.
Start by giving us a quick overview of what Vibes Candles is all about and what makes it unique.
Vibes Candles are award Winning Crystal Candles. Hand-poured by Lex in small batches out of the Vibiest studio in Massachusetts. Using a coconut and soy wax blend that has the prettiest creamy white appearance and has maximum burning performance qualities. Paired with 100% Wooden Wicks that are FSC certified, setting the Vibe like a mini fireplace with a relaxing crackle sound while you burn. Our crystal candles are scented with custom blended fragrances that are unique to each crystal candle. Each candle is then hand placed with a polished crystal and topped with crystal chips to set your intentions to. The crystals can also be collectibles and can be used after your candle is complete.
What’s the background of your company and why you got started?
Vibes Candles was started in honor of my Mom, (Veola) who unexpectedly passed away in 2017. When I first started to think about a way to honor my Mom after her passing, it was a time where my heart was heavy. To find comfort and to “hear” her voice again, I would read the notes, letters and poems that my Mom and Dad would write to one another. There was one note that stood out, it was written by my Dad to my Mom one morning in ‘81. It started with, “Hey Vibie” a nickname my Dad used to call my Mom. My inspiration for my business name that withholds my Moms nickname.
How did you first get started making candles and why? How did you know how to make them?
After knowing I wanted to start a candle business, I took a full year and a half to research, develop and test. I knew nothing about the candle business but went all in to learn all about the business and ingredients that I can use in a candle. I knew that I wanted to stand out from the crowd and give the world a candle that you can not only connect with but also not worry about breathing in. I later launched with my signature Crystal Collection, Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz and Amethyst Quartz. Using a vegan custom blend of coconut and soy wax, 100% Wooden Wicks that crackle like a little fire place, custom blended phthalate free fragrances that were created to pair up with each Crystal that is infused into each candle. All hand-poured with the most care and detail and packaged in our signature iridescent crystal-like packaging with a crystal card that tells you all about the crystal candle you chose along with a box of matches so that you can Set The Vibe™ right out of the box.
Did you always expect to be an entrepreneur?
Ever since I was little I have been a creative, always making something with my own two hands. I went to a vocational highschool where one week I was in academics and the other I was in “shop”, my shop was Graphic Design. In my junior year I would teach the class because I was advanced and was able to navigate Apple’s computers with my eyeballs closed. I learned the Adobe Design Applications as well and still use them today. My Senior year I was able to get a co-op job where I would work rather than go to shop and stayed with that same company for over 15 years working with major sporting brands and being the Senior Graphic Designer within the company. After High School I officially started AEK Designs, LLC my Graphic Design Business later changed to Lex Design Studio. I had created this business for extra cash on the side and to pay for some of my college classes, books and other things. I was so glad I started my Graphic Design business back in 2011 because I was able to lean back on it when my employer decided to sell their company. In 2017 I was officially working for myself and for myself only. That same year was also the same year that my Mother unexpectedly passed away.
What does your process look like now? Your creative/ideas, manufacturing process, shipping etc.
I am a one woman team over here not including my fur baby Schatzi AKA Bup who keeps me company all day long as well as my husband who is my muscle and does most of the hefty lifting when needed. I think up, design, create, manufacture and hand-make each and every product all out of my little studio in MA. I also package and ship each and every order with the help of my husband. It really comes in handy that I am a Graphic Designer and can design my labels, packaging, website, social content and marketing materials but I hope one day I can hire someone who was in my same position in high school. I can’t wait for that day!
How do you come up with new products?
New product ideas come to me naturally but also come from the products that I currently make. I also take inspiration from things that I am surrounded by. For an example, When I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, I was walking toward the pier on the beach. The pier extended into the ocean, and before stepping onto the pier there was a sign that read, “Relax, Breathe, Repeat” and from there my brain started to create. I wrote down my thoughts and when I got back home, I created The Ocean Collection. It featured an Aquamarine Crystal, a stone that brings you tranquility, soothes and calms you. Exactly what I felt in that moment sitting on that pier over looking the crystal clear aquamarine ocean.
What do the different crystals mean? Do you have a favorite?
I currently have ten different crystal candles that you can experience and each have their own meaning to them. For an example, Rose Quartz is meant to bring you love, kindness and compassion. Clear Quartz giving you the protections and clarify you may need and Black Tourmaline warding off any negative energy. All crystals have their own meaning, and each of my crystal candles come with a crystal card that tells you all about the crystal candle you chose.
How do you make your shopping experience special for customers?
I try to keep my website clean, and easy to navigate. Each product page has a description of each crystal and the “Scent Vibe” which describes the fragrances of each candle. When you receive your order you will have a magical unboxing experience as well. Our crystal candles comes packaged in our signature iridescent gift box that was designed to look like a crystal and all of its facets, when you open the box there will be a crystal insert card that tells you all about the crystal candle you chose along with a box of matches so that you can Set The Vibe™ right out of the box. You’ll also be able to smell the candle right away and see the crystals embedded into your candle.
What was the most daunting part about starting your business? How did you learn to trust the process and stay motivated during the beginning stages?
When I first started Vibes Candles, the most daunting part for me was to figure out how to tell the world that Vibes Candles now exists. I had worked so hard and now had a brand and product that I wanted everyone to experience. I was able to connect with so many people because I had put my story out there and gained lifelong customers and followers.. My Mom has been and always will be my motivation and inspiration. She lives on within Vibes Candles, a business I created during a time of darkness when I needed to find my light again.
What has been the most fulfilling part?
The most fulfilling part is knowing that I have created a business out of grief and that my Mom lives on within Vibes Candles. I also love that others can find their light again through Vibes Candles. It’s also really cool to know that people love my creations as much as I do.
What advice would you give to others who are looking to create their own great product such as Vibes? What is one thing you wish someone told you when you started the business?
As a person whose brain is always wanting to create it is very hard to stay focused on one product at a time but I am here to tell you to focus on one product at a time. If you have too many things going on you will never get anything done. Work on one product, perfect it, get it ready for retail, launch it and once completed then work on the next product. There are a lot of steps involved in launching just one product or collection so patience is key.
Describe an average day in the life of a founder of a company like yours. What’s something people might be surprised by that’s a part of your daily routine or schedule?
I wake up and do my morning routine. Make a delicious cup of German coffee and if it’s a nice day, I usually sit outside with my pup, light a Vibes Candle and listen to the crackling wooden wick and the birds chirp before I get to work. That little morning routine cleanses my mind for a moment and Sets The Vibe for the day. My days are different from one day to the next, it depends on what orders came in and if I need to stock up on making more candles. It’s different each day and I love that about my business. One day I can be packing orders all day long, the next day I could be editing my website and adding new products to it, or doing a virtual photoshoot for new product launches etc. You can always find me taking multiple breaks a day to cuddle Schatzi my fur baby, she is always part of my everyday routine and I cannot resist her.
What has been the most challenging part of running your business?
The most challenging part of running my business is that I have a hard time turning off business. Because it’s just me running my business and I am the one doing it all, I am always on the go and always working. You have to try to make a schedule for yourself so it doesn’t interfere with other parts of your life, it’s also not healthy to never give yourself a break. I have learned and realized that giving yourself a break really helps with the creative process and also gives you a refresh on many things.
How have you gotten your brand in front of people? Where are they sold?
I found the best way to get my brand in front of people is to attend local Pop Up Markets where I am able to sell my products in person. I have met so many amazing people and a lot of them have followed me since and are repeat customers. My brand was also featured on WCVB Channel 5 Boston for their, “Made In Mass” segment as well, that was pretty cool and gave my brand a lot of exposure. Vibes Candles are sold on my website www.vibescandles.com as well as in The Paper Store, 27 stores to date around the country, so exciting!
You’ve won some awards and we’re all about not being too modest when it comes to sharing success, so tell us about the recognition you/your brand has received?
I was the grand prize winner of The Next Top Maker with Makesy, formerly known as The Wooden Wick Co. I was so excited to have gotten the call, in shock really. It was a few weeks before where I was debating on sending in my story but I made enough time to sit down and film myself. I told my story and pitched why I was worthy to be crowned The Next Top Maker. A few weeks later I was scheduled to have a call with Charlotte who is the VP of Makesy. She said she wanted my input on some of the candidates for The Next Top Maker, I was so excited to be involved in that decision. When we were chatting about who the grand prize winner was, she announced that it was Vibes Candles. She pulled one on me that day and it was such a surprise. I cried and was so grateful to her and the team at Makesy. With winning of The Next Top Maker, I was awarded $5,000, a forever discount with the company, one on ones with their team and a forever family. I love Charlotte and the Team over at Makesy, they are all amazing humans and have the best maker supplies out on the market.
I was also one of Boston Business Journals 40 Under 40 and was a third round contestant in The Shark Tank. I was picked for the video submission round twice (two years) but didn’t make the cut to pitch in front of the Sharks. Nonetheless, it was a very cool experience. Maybe you’ll see me on the show some day.
What’s your favorite product of your collection?
This is like asking if you have a favorite child (wink) but If I had to choose I would say my candles are my favorite product out of all of my collections. I love lighting a candle at any time of the day to Set The Vibe™ in my space. Whether it be a relaxing Vibe, a work at your desk Vibe, a taking a bath Vibe or people are coming over and my house needs to smell nice Vibe.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
I love paper products, ALL of them. I also love all things Apple and all the techy gadgets! Lastly, I love anything that has to do with decorating your home. It gives me all the life in the world to grab a dunkie’s and walk around a Home Goods or Home Sense store.
Any plans for the future of the brand that you can/want to share?
I am currently working on launching my Bath + Body Collection, hand wash, hand lotion, bath salts and more.
What can other founders do to incorporate a candle ritual into their life?
Lighting a Vibes Candles Sets The Vibe™ in your space and instantly calms your mind. On a Monday, for a fresh start to the week light Clear Quartz to cleanse and purify your space. On Self Care Sundays light our Rose Quartz Crystal Candle for a reminder to take care of you, for love, kindness and compassion. Be sure to set your intentions to your crystal candle so that when you burn your candle you release all the good vibes and energy the crystals withhold.