Ella After Wax Co. | Indie Wax Vendor Interviews

Hello loves! Today I have my interview with the owner of Ella After Wax Co. I am thrilled to be sharing this interview with you guys, because it is a small Canadian business & one of my favourite indie wax vendors. So let's jump right into it!
Ella After Wax Co. | Indie Wax Vendor Interviews
Ella After Wax Co. | Indie Wax Vendor Interviews
-Please introduce yourself, what's your name & as well as the name of your brand?
My name is Sarah Russell and I’m the owner/creator of Ella After Wax Co.

-What led you to choosing that name for your brand, did you have any others in mind?
The year 2015 was an incredibly dark time. I lost two of my most favourite people on the planet in unexpected tragic ways. The light at the end of the tunnel was the surprise existence of my third child. I did a complete 180 in life; I discovered how precious every minute of everyday was and left selfishness, greed and everything I thought I wanted behind. Moved to the country and began living a simple life; in the moment. We named our third Ella after my paternal grandmother Ellen and she was our “happily ella after”. My eldest children, friends and family batted around several names for the company but nothing compared or held the same meaning as “Ella After”. A second chapter; unlike the first, polar opposite actually. My children are 20, 16 & 4 now. Ella After Wax Co. gives me the ability to be present for these powerhouse young women I’m raising solo and that.... is priceless.

-Do you sell anything other than wax melts?
I do! I’m an artisan of all sorts of mediums and hoping to open a storefront this fall. I paint, make home decor pieces and even furniture out of upcycled materials.

-What led you to creating your own products?
I have a Youtube channel and did home fragrance hauls and reviews among many things for nearly four years. I was working for an MLM company we all know and could have made director. However I had more questions than answers and couldn’t morally stand behind the sales of this brand for various reasons. I decided to go my own way. Build a product out of earth friendly, renewable resources, transparent ingredients and cruelty free. All things that were important to me and as awareness grows about the danger our planet is in; I believe something so simple such as the candle industry should lead by example and be part of the change.

-How long have you been in this business? Is this a side hustle or full time job for you?
I started making candles 17 years ago as a hobby. Making the sketchiest candles as Christmas gifts and it was a miracle no ones house burnt down. I had no idea what I was doing; purchasing subpar candle kits from big box stores. But much like any passion or craft I honed in my skills by extensive research. When we decided to start Ella After I continued this research but by way of melts for approximately 5 months before I purchased anything. We tested and built our proprietary blend for 18 months and did a test market in a very conservative area for six months. Our e-commerce launched October.1st, 2019 when we were confident that we created a product that reached all of our targets and expectations from a brand.

-Since joining this industry, how has it changed?
Unfortunately it hasn’t changed as much as I had hoped it would over the course of 17yrs. I really wish more companies would see the value in eco alternatives for their bases. Slowly we are seeing brands change over to para-soy which is very promising and baby steps in the right directions.

-What other interests & hobbies do you enjoy?
Interests and hobbies? That’s a difficult one to answer because it changes so frequently. There’s not enough hours in a day; time is precious and there’s still so much I want to do. I play guitar, love home reno’s, upcycling, DIY’s, I collect Living Dead Dolls, enjoy bonfires at sunset on the lake . We live a five minute drive from the water so anything outdoors is my jam. I just started making Ooak Dolls this year, I scrapbook, I’m into whatever the girls are doing be it Soccer or winning Nationals in Power Cheer. I never seen myself as a “Cheer Mom” but if my girls are passionate about something I’m all in like a dirty shirt! I would love to learn how to weld and one day hope to build another Rat Rod.

-While scent preferences vary from one to nose to another, without knowing someone's preferences, what are three scents you'd recommend to anyone?
Ohhhh three scents from Ella After or three scents in general? I always ask newbies what they’re drawn to. I’d recommend one bakery, one freshie and one earthy if they’re not sure. I always encourage people to step outside their comfort zone and try things they otherwise didn’t think they’d like. I’ve become known as the “Patchouli Converter” ;) I’m slowly ridding the world of patchouli haters if I can

-What is your favourite thing about the wax melt industry?
I love how the wax community brings people together. I’ve always loved home fragrance but I didn’t see the correlation between my growing collection and my trauma until I spoke to others in this community who have suffered their own great losses or dark days. Scent brings back memories, eases anxiety and soothes restless souls. I’m 120% here for it

-Excluding your own brand, what is one of your favourite brands to get wax from?
To be fully transparent; I don’t melt a ton of Ella After. I get the pleasure of smelling it all day and when I leave the studio I crave the creations of my favourites. I have a ginormous collection; more than anyone person needs that’s for certain. I love Barrett Wax Crafts, Rainbow Melts these days but my collection includes pretty much every vendor under the sun.

-What are your top 10 selling scents?
Top 10 is tricky too!!! We have so many collections that sell well as a whole. Great Expectations has been our best selling collection; but the other stand alone scents would have to be...
Where the Wild Things Are, Modern Day Pen Pals, Havisham’s Wedding Dress, Estella, Pippi, Mr. Nilsson, St. Dunstan’s, Ghosts of Marley, Dollhouse Dreams & Never Ending Netflix

-From the moment inspiration sparks, giving a rough estimation, how long does it take you to execute it?
When we first started out it would take six months from the time we dreamt something up to the time we’d put it on our “scent list” because we use coco-soy wax and use only phthalate & cruelty free oils we were very careful to test each and every oil for longevity. With time and practice we’ve gotten to know our solid suppliers and have a pretty banging oil offering. When we are working with our customs group, we can make their creations a reality with the quick swab of a q-tip:)

-What helps you continue doing what you do, where do you find your motivation?
Aside from having the freedom to be present for the girls when they need me the most? My second motivation comes from our customer base who are now friends. We have the BEST group of customers/followers now friends who adore our brand. Now I have a huge crew of people cheering me on, inspiring me to reach for excellence at each and every opening and I do everything possible to live up to their expectations.

-Advice can be so helpful when starting out, what is something you wish knew when you first began?
Something I wish I knew? Oohhhh that’s a loaded question. I wish I knew how quickly this would explode. I was not at all prepared. I work with a Business Consultant and have since the very beginning. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get into ANY line of business. They are an incredible resource; endless knowledge and mine has bailed me out or saved me from making many careless mistakes.

-Where do you want your business to be in a year, are there any goals you wish to achieve?
A year from now, I love seeing our organic growth on a daily basis. I would be perfectly okay if we stayed little but welcome growth as it brings new challenges and learning opportunities. We are doing fundraisers for both Parkinson’s and the Pretty Brown Girl Foundation now but I would love to be able to continue to be able to give back to our communities by supporting literacy programs or purchasing new books or resources for schools. I’m a true believer that everyone, any business or organization can find wiggle room to help others. I’m confident that our Ella After family will continue to grow and we’ll be able to continue to give back.

Ella After Wax Co. Collection
Ella After Wax Co. Collection

I placed my first order from Ella After in April, & since then I've placed 5 more orders. Some of those orders included some items for a friend in the US. So my collection doesn't seem as big as it should be for 6 orders. However my collection currently consists of the following scents:
6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Apple Mango Tango, Blackberries & Magnolia, Blackberry Jam Butter Cookies, Blueberry Cobbler, Bucket Full of Memories, Cheeky Beaches, Corduroy, Eat Me, Fantasia, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Jolly Roger, King of Hearts, Momerath, Paper Bag Princess, Pond of Tears, Rosy Rhubarb, Sneak Peek, Sunset > Netflix, Tea & Cakes, The Mitten, The Red Queen, The White Rabbit & Wildberry Mousse

I also wanna add that Sarah does include samples in orders. However I've given them to my mom. So I don't have them to show. Also the prices on her website are in Canadian, so if you're american, you'd be paying less than the price shown.

My top three scents from Ella After are:
Eat Me for me is a nostalgic scent, as well as Blueberry cobbler. They're both similar, because Eat Me includes Blueberry Cobbler. However they both remind me of a Blueberry Lip Smackers I had in elementary school. It's just really good.
Sunsets > Netflix is a really good fruit & bakery scent. It's like strawberry cake. I can't even begin to describe how delicious it smells. Makes me hungry every single time.
Blackberry Jam Butter Cookies which is an extremely common scent you can find from a lot off different vendors. I really love this scent, it's very sweet & fruity. I tend to use this scent as a good baseline when ordering from new to me vendors. It gives me a good indication on how strong their scents are gonna be as well as the throw & longevity. 

Scent shots are 2 ounces for $2.75 & the Tart Bags are 4-4.2 ounces for $6.75

Ella After Wax Co. online
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Thank you so much for reading,
Anita xo

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