We’d like to think that our café is much more than just (seriously) good food and see it as a hub for independent artists, artisans and producers to showcase their goods. From the regularly changing art on the walls to the coffee we serve, we work hard to make sure your visit is a feast for both the stomach and senses. This week, we caught up with Peckham based candle makers Fellowstead whose beautiful scents enhance every dining experience. Read on to find out more from founders Gavin and Simon.
For anyone that doesn’t know, what is Fellowstead and what do you produce?
We are Simon and Gavin, the makers behind Fellowstead: a small batch, hand poured, home fragrance company based in Peckham. We make soy candles and reed diffusers using natural ingredients and paraben free fragrance.
What was the initial inspiration behind Fellowstead?
Fellowstead is our ode to ‘slow living’. A couple of years ago we realised that we were both living pretty hectic lives that weren’t necessarily resulting in us being any happier so we decided to shift our focus. Our home became integral to this idea and we developed a passion for creating and working together whilst there. For us, Fellowstead became a conscious effort to enjoy and savour our time at home with each other, with friends and with family. Candles are a perfect example of this. Burning them at home when unwinding really heightens the moment and scent has an extraordinary ability to evoke memories and emotion.
What is at the heart of what you do at Fellowstead?
Home and community have always been integral to what we want to do with Fellowstead: The brand began in our home and we especially like to bring them out when friends and family visit. As we talk more and more to the people who use our candles we’re understanding that we have a product that somehow finds its way into the homes and daily rituals of the people who buy them – hearing from a customer that they’ve enjoyed burning one of our candles over dinner with friends, or alone with a book, is really gratifying. We’ve grown a bit since starting out in our tiny kitchen, but our core values have remained the same. It’s important to us that we’re creating products that are honest and authentic and even today all our products are hand poured by us.
What is the biggest challenge you face on a day-to-day basis and how do you overcome this?
Working together. It was the whole motivation behind getting started and its allowed us to build things on a pretty solid foundation, but it has its quirks – working with your partner throws up a unique set of challenges but there are also far fewer boundaries when navigating the creative process, as we know each other so well.
What has been Fellowstead’s greatest achievement to date?
The growth we’re seeing is particularly exciting. What started as a hobby that quickly got out of hand is steadily growing into a very different lifestyle for the pair of us, one that we didn’t imagine possible a couple of years ago. This spurs us on and we can’t wait to see where we might be in another year or two.
From one business to another, what advice would you give you other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own company?
Slow and steady wins the race. That’s one thing we’ve learnt massively in the last year or so. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself to ‘grow, grow, grow’ and to be bigger than you already are, but it’s important to grow organically and allow things to happen when they happen. It can be frustrating, particularly when you have lots of ideas – but we’re finding that our ideas evolve every couple of months and we’re often relieved we didn’t do everything all at once.
What does the future have in store for Fellowstead?
We feel like we’re just getting started. We have a number of scents in the works, and we want to explore other ways in which we can interpret products that promote the ideals we began the company with – at the moment Fellowstead is just our take on scent and home fragrance, but we have lots more ideas to work on.
What does a typical day at Fellowstead look like?
Pouring. Lot’s of pouring!