Fanshawe alumnus setting the mood with entrepreneurial success
Credit: MELISSA NOVACASKA
Fanshawe graphic design alumnus Johnson Nguyen, is the creator and mastermind behind the successful Mood & Co. The candle company celebrates its one year anniversary this April.
Nguyen graduated from Fanshawe’s graphic design program and came up with the idea and concept for his company at the beginning of 2016, and after experimenting and figuring out how he would run his business, Mood & Co. launched April 2016.
Based in London and a candle-enthusiast himself, Nguyen began giving some of his candles to guy friends at housewarming parties because he had too many at one point. What he noticed once he started giving them to his male friends, was that they started purchasing candles for themselves and giving them to others as well.
This sparked an interest for Nguyen, who wondered how many guys buy candles, due to the fear and thought that women are typically the ones to purchase the warming lifestyle treat.
“I figured it’s time that people, especially guys, shouldn’t feel like this, because if anything, it helps you,” Nguyen said. “It sparked an idea of thinking about how many guys out there could get introduced to buying candles and seeing what the benefits are.”
With a vision of what he wanted his business to represent, Nguyen worked his way through research and trial and error to come up with a number of candles that pleased a wide variety of people.
The candles are made with 100 per cent soy wax, include essential oil blends and have no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants.
Acting as a one man show, Nguyen not only came up with the concepts of what he wanted his products to smell like, but also physically produced the candles, using his graphic design skills to create the labels and packaging of his candles. He also monitors and updates his website and social media platforms, attends tradeshows, connects with local businesses who might sell his products, and keeps up to date with new concepts and ways to make his business continue to strive.
Nguyen has partnered with other artists to help with some graphics for his labels, which is a way for them to get exposure too, but for the most part, the new entrepreneur runs the business on his own, though he does have plans to potentially bring more people onboard, with his main goal of opening his own shop, since besides being in other shops around the city, his products are sold online.
The concept of the scents of the candles is something unique for Nguyen. Not as appealed to buying the generic candles scents he saw on the shelfs, Nguyen found his niche to create the ever important scents.
“I started to take a different approach, I’m a big pun fan and I wanted to just look at scents differently, as an emotion and a situation, and so it started just coming to me,” Nguyen said. “Inspiration comes from everywhere, you just got to kind of be ready to really want it, to really search for it.”
An example is that Nguyen wanted to know what the scent would be when entering heaven, therefore he created “Scent from Heaven” candles.
“Scent and the City” was inspired by Sex and the City with the scent being a mixture of Manhattan, Central Park and the whole idea of not only the show, but the city of New York. Nguyen wanted the scent to be fun but also something that people would want to pick up not only for themselves, but for others.
The package of the candles is also important, as it reflects the vision of what the scent is about. For example, “Scent and the City” has a purple label to reflect the concept of the candle and TV show.
Other scents include “Kylite Jenner” “Kandall Jenner” “Kimye’ & The Kids” collection and “Netwicks and Chill”.
Nguyen has a collection of six original candles, but also makes limited edition collections, some for different seasons and different occasions.
One special occasion Nguyen was able to accomplish over his short time in the business was being selected as the only candles company featured in the gift bags at the at the 59th Grammy Awards this past February where he was able to hand deliver his specialty limited edition candle “Candle of the Year” to DJ Khaled and was able to congratulate Adele who also received his candle, on one of her wins.
The candle itself is a mixed blend of sophistication, unisex, L.A. inspired and captured a performance vibe as well.
“They say if you’re going to dream you might as well dream big,” Nguyen said.
With all his success in such a short period of time, there were doubts of how his business would go. His family and friends were weary at the beginning of his business, they are supportive of his journey so far and are even hesitant to help because they know Nguyen has it under control.
In terms of advice for future entrepreneurs, Nguyen keeps it simple.
“If you want to start a business, just make sure you have an idea of what the purpose is, why you want to do it and you got to go for it. I think there’s a time to start a business, this is one of the greatest times to do so with technology, with social media, it’s a good time to do that,” Nguyen said.
With that said, next up for Nguyen is working on some new projects including new scents, attending more shows and pop up shops, collaborating and perhaps creating more lifestyle pieces, all which will hopefully lead towards his end goal of having his own shop.
Mood & Co. can be found in a variety Local shops including Fanshawe’s own Live Chic and Purdy Natural in London.
They can also be found online at moodandco.com.