At home with the Creator ~ Interview 2.0 ~ Studio Billie
Tell us about the aesthetic and design of your home?
My fiancé and I recently renovated our home to have a monochromatic palette accented with wooden features and earthy tones. My studio is also my home, so it is very important that I am inspired by my surroundings. My studio has two large French doors which open out onto our garden, which has to be one of my most favourite spaces in my home. To bring warmth into my home I like to splurge on fresh flowers each week, and to always have a candle lit and our wine cellar stocked.
What makes your home unique to you?
I think that having a large scale candle studio in your home makes it pretty unique. Producing over 400 candles each week, Studio Billie has grown so much in its first year. During the week, our house turns into a bustling creative studio, with my fiancé (an Architect) working from home most days, and my father, who is quickly becoming a candle expert.
Tell us about your product…
Our studio creates beautiful Architectural Candles that are inspired by the play of light and shadows. Our candles are all individually hand poured, using a natural soy wax blend here in our small studio in Sydney, Australia.
What did you do before you started Studio Billie?
At the age of 18, I was a freelance fashion photographer shooting for magazines such as Vogue Australia, and photographing and filming at London and Australian Fashion weeks. I’ve always had a passion for start-ups, so I spent my early 20s working at Bailey Nelson as they expanded across Australia.
In the last few years, with the growth of social media I have worked closely in the creative and digital marketing space. At 28, I started Studio Billie.
How did you start Studio Billie?
Candles have always been a source of beauty and calm in my life. Starting Studio Billie was a natural progression - to create my own studio, a place that valued artisan craftsmanship and the natural beauty of sculptural candles.
What inspires you?
I am mostly inspired by sight and sound. It could be dappled light, an orchestral score, or just autumn, which is my favourite time of the year.
My favourite time to photograph our candles is at 3pm in the afternoon as the sun sets across my west facing dining room table.
Biggest lesson learnt running a business?
Studio Billie was only launched 6 months ago, so I am sure my biggest lessons are yet to come.
Although the business has grown so quickly, I am constantly checking in to see if my decisions are aligned with my brand and values. Studio Billie is passionate about supporting other creative and small businesses. I’m proud to stock with retailers like ‘Eden and Bell Florists’ on Crown Street, and the ‘National Gallery of Australia’, for their recent ‘Botticelli to Van Gogh’ Exhibition. Although I have been approached by large retailers who have wanted to stock my candles, I am driven to keep Studio Billie an authentic and bespoke business.
Most rewarding aspect of running a small business?
There are so many rewards to owning Studio Billie. The biggest reward would be packaging each order myself, and then seeing people styling my candles in their own home - it’s such a rewarding feeling!
Also, I am lucky to work with my partner and father, who wick all my candles throughout the week, and are the biggest supporters of my business.
What would your advice be to someone who is wanting to start up their own business?
Stop waiting and just do it. I see a lot of people with great ideas, but some seem to get stuck in analysis paralysis, constantly researching and thinking about the type of business they would like to create.
Luckily (or unluckily), I have always been very impulsive when making decisions. This has sometimes gotten me into trouble, but mostly acting on an idea quickly has been where I have been most successful.
What makes your product unique?
I am proud that Studio Billie now has the largest range of sculptural candles in Australia. I am constantly sourcing new designs and moulds from all over the world, and releasing new designs each month. Even when not lit, I’ve always found that candles are such a simple way to bring warmth to your home. We are proud to work with local suppliers - like our wax supplier ‘All Australian Candle Making’, in Arcadia, who provide our natural soy wax blend. We are also currently stocked in over 20 boutique retailers across Australia
What are your aspirations for Studio Billie?
I have SO many exciting things in the pipeline that I just can’t share yet but be sure to follow @studio__billie to follow our journey!
If you could have a cocktail with anyone, who would it be and where?
Firstly… The place would be my dining room table, with candles lit… Secondly, it wouldn’t be a cocktail, but instead a beautiful Pinot Noir from Tasmania. I love more than anything my family dinners - with my father’s impeccable indie playlists, my brother's quick wit and my mother’s Tarot card spreads.
Studio Billie - https://www.studiobillie.com/
Eden and Bell - https://shop.edenandbell.com.au/
National Gallery Australia - https://nga.gov.au/
All Australian Candle Making - https://candlemaking.com.au/
Instagram - @studio__billie