We were so grateful to have a chat with the creator of The Commonfolk Collective who makes "mindful" soy candles and body products. Fi has created such an amazing brand and we were so excited to ask more about it and how she got going...
The Commonfolk Collective really stands out from the crowd and has such a unique angle. What lead you to starting this amazing brand?
Thank you so much, it really came from an experience I was going through in my life after I lost my mum to cancer. I was devastated. Not long after, we had decided it was time to move on from our family business we had for most of our life, so it was a huge time of change.
I knew I wanted to do something of my own and start something creative, but it was also happening during what was the hardest time of my life, and I found I needed help to heal.
I had a lot of inspiration saved on my phone, maybe on Pinterest or screen shots of favourite quotes and images I loved, but didn't really feel going to my phone all that motivational.
"I have always love burning candles, I think they can completely change your mood and give a relaxed ambience and its always been a ritual of mine, so the idea to combine a quote or image that could inspire me or remind me to just stop for moment with a beautiful smelling candle just seemed like the perfect combo."
I had so many ideas and images I wanted to do, and once I started, it became a passion and has absolutely been a huge part of my healing.
Life moves pretty quick these days and I think we all need some reminders to slow down and that is the intention with all of our products. One of our candle has the words "fall in love with moments" which is one of my favourites and I use this quote to remind myself to go through life in this way. Its all about creating feel good rituals.
Can you tell me a bit about your philosophy of ‘Calm Your Space, Sooth Your Soul’?
I'm really big on creating a relaxed environment to create the right feeling, no matter what you are doing.
"Before I start my work day I always light my "breathe" candle and have the same chill out music out on. By doing this, I've created a ritual that my mind and body gets used to and helps to keep the body in flow rather than feeling rushed, essentially calming your space which then soothes your soul."
My body knows its work time because of this ritual I've created by crafting a relaxed environment. If you set the scene the body responds, even lighting candle while you cook dinner can calm the environment. Create a calm space and you'll feel more relaxed. It even works when I burn a candle for the kids while they are in the bath, they instantly chill out. Our souls needs some nurturing!
What ways have you found people re-using their beautiful glass candle jar?
I love when people send me photos of how they re-use their jars. I personally use my jar to store my tea and coffee in. I have so many different herbal teas so I know have a jar for each one. Our jars are custom made because I wanted to achieve a unique, clean, raw, minimal look with the intent that they can be repurposed. Some use them to pot plants in, some fill them with treats and give as gifts, the jars can be reused in the bathroom for cotton buds + hair ties etc. One friend recently showed me that they used our raw recycled lids and screwed a few of them onto the wall for her kids to hang their medals and caps on.
You’ve recently launched your new delicious body products, why was having them organic important to you?
Our skin is our biggest organ and we already soak in so many toxins and pollutions else wear, so washing and moisturising your hands and body with organic goodness is so important. It always means my kids are using organics daily as well. There are a lot of products out there and its important stand out. Its hard to use organics all of the time in your food and products so you need to try to pick the most important ones when you can.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated while running your own business?
I love being able to create something from nothing, put it into action and make something happen. I find that so motivating and its addictive. I love sitting a little on the edge of my comfort zone and have now become used to challenging myself enough so that I continue to grow, whether it be emotionally or in a business sense.
I have many rituals in place now to keep me on track as I juggle, creation, design, logistics and home life, so these help me to stay focused if things get hectic.
My work philosophy is "I work with purpose and intent" and I say this before I sit down to tackle any task.
Most work days I always tackle a creative task or a task that requiere lots of focus first. As many of us know, the to-do-list is never complete, its always evolving and growing and I find being able to tick of a really satisfying project or task first thing in my work day, leaves me feeling motivated for the day, rather than that feeling of chasing you tail. If you start the day with emails and social media, hours can go by as you sit there reacting to world and its easy to loose focus.
I'm lucky to have many creative friends who also have their own businesses, so we keep each the motivated when we need it, its fun to chat and have others to share and talk over different things invoiced in working for yourself. I'm also lucky to meet and collaborate with some awesome photographers and work with some incredible imagery that is always keeping me motivated and inspired. I have to mention my gorgeous husband, we have always worked together in some shape or form, whether in be back in our family business or renovating homes together, and he is away an incredible support when I get stuck, need advice or need a little push.
With such an amazing brand behind you, what advice would you give other entrepreneurs with a business idea who aren’t quite sure how to take that first step to starting out?
Just start. I had a private Instagram account for a month before I put it out there, but at least I had started. When I felt nervously ready to hit that 'public' button and put it all out there into the world, the ball was rolling and there was less time to wonder and more need for action.
For me I would feel so much worse not trying and then wondering " SHOULD I HAVE..." , rather than trying it anyway and whether it works or not, giving it a go at least involves some personal growth, so already you have achieved something in my opinion.
Some tips of mine would be - less shoulding and more doing! Don't get too distracted by what others are doing as you can let too much doubt creep in. Learn to trust instincts. Keep a planner. Batch your time. Stay on top of paperwork. Schedule social media. Keep learning.
What is next to come for The Commonfolk Collective?
I'm currently working on some new ranges that will be launched at Life Instyle in August! Some great gifting candles and more home products too! I get a little too excited sometimes and have so many ideas I have to pace myself. We are now in 100 stores around Australia which is unbelievable and I'm very grateful.