Boy Smells and Ganni are teaming on a candle meant to “bring the outside in.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Boy Smells’ direct-to-consumer business has increased by up to 1,500 percent, according to the company, reflecting a larger trend of candles and home fragrances selling out. The four-year-old company, founded by Matthew Herman and David Kien, saw a 2,000 percent increase in year-over-year sales in July alone. It is expecting quadruple growth this year.
“People were like, ‘I’m stuck at home. I guess I’m gonna need a candle,'” said Herman, who previously worked at Nasty Gal as a design director, in a video call with WWD.
At the beginning of lockdown, he and Kien, who are also life partners, found themselves pouring candles in their living room in an attempt to combat coronavirus-induced supply chain issues and produce 20,000 units of a collaboration that had sold out overnight. Their team members were “dedicated and flexible,” said Herman, adding that some had set up “mini candle factories in their garages” while others were “stickering boxes in their apartments and dropping them off to our front door.”
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Boy Smells’ candle collaboration with Ganni comes in the form of an 8.5-ounce candle called Park Life. The limited-edition product, $39, will be sold exclusively at Space at Nordstrom starting Nov. 19. Park Life has notes of ginger, basil, fig, sage, clove, tonka bean and sandalwood — a combination meant to evoke a sense of being outdoors while staying at home.
“As we face a potential shutdown or re-quarantining here in the U.S., we wanted to bring a lush bouquet of outdoor ingredients into the home,” Herman said.
In a statement shared with WWD, Ditte Reffstrup, Ganni’s creative director, said the Danish fashion brand “shares a lot of values” with Boy Smells “in terms of creating responsible products.”
“The founders Mathew and David care about producing responsible products with all-natural ingredients. And I love their gender-fluid approach to lifestyle products,” Reffstrup said.
Olivia Kim, vice president of creative projects and home at Nordstrom, said the collaboration is one example of how the retailer is taking into account consumer shifts in shopping during the pandemic.
“Whether it’s physical or mental, we want to offer things that help our customers feel good,” she said. “Something as simple as a beautiful candle can help transform the mood of a room and provide a sense of comfort during a time of uncertainty.”
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