We had the good fortune of connecting with Corinne Fry-Rich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corinne, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
During the recession of 2008 I closed my handbag company Corinne Rene Handbags and went to work for my fathers business in ceramic engineering, where we make custom glazes for tile companies, dinnerware brands as well as many historical projects around the country. I describe the business as both artsy and sciency (if that’s even a word) anyways I learned the engineering aspect behind formulating glass and clay materials to develop the colors for ceramics, it was great but I needed a creative outlet all my own so I started the candle line in 2014 and learned perfume molecule blending which I found similar to ceramic glaze formulating. I brought in a great potter I knew through my dad to throw my ceramic containers and that’s when the line took off. My father lost his battle with cancer in May of this year and I’m so grateful I was able to work with him for so many years and carry on his legacy by running the family business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have had many artistic career changes from starting out as a makeup artist in the film and print industry then on to a costume designer for a few years before I started my handbags business which closed in 2008 then I went to work for the family ceramic biz which led me to my side hustle Chantry 1975 and my candle studio. I’m sure a lot of creatives agree it’s hard to be pigeon holed in to one category.In the early 2000’s my creativity was on fire and then things start to fizzle out, trends change and adapting as you get older can come to a screeching halt. I’m fortunate because I have my day job as a ceramic engineer and my night gig with my candles and pottery line. Having two businesses gets exhausting don’t get me wrong but for me it’s therapeutic, after a long strenuous day working on a historical project I come to my studio and get lost in scent and pouring candles or wrapping sage bundles with my French Bulldog Mimi, we’ll be lost in a great podcast or playlist just totally in the zone when my husband calls asking if I’m coming home anytime soon.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in the cutest little town just east of Pasadena called Sierra Madre, its known for wildlife, especially bears and artistic types, it’s a thriving little canyon community full of old hippies and adorable families that span for generations. A great day in our hood would start with a canyon walk to Mary’s Market for fantastic breakfast or sammi up through the craftsman houses and California bungalows and more than likely spotting a deer or ten in route. Second stop would be Old Town Pasadena or Down Town LA which is only 15 minutes from us. My Dad grew up in Lincoln Heights and my mom was a Pasadena girl so doing a driving tour of the neighborhoods is always fun for me. I’m a huge fan of old buildings and their history which is probably why I get such enjoyment when I work on a restoration project. The renovation that’s taken place in downtown LA has been a joy to watch over the years. 2020 has brought it’s challenges so maybe a parking lot concert then definitely hitting up a local outdoor brewery like Mt. Lowe in Arcadia would be on the itinerary.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family is what has pulled me through, when i say its a group effort and it all adds up I mean it. My dad showing me the ropes with the ceramic engineering which led me to a fabulous team of potters, my mom for always being my biggest cheerleader, my husband and step daughter for setting up and slinging our goods at events and popup shops, my sister who is also my graphic designer, my brother who helped gut my first little shop and put my flooring in. Every now and then you get to a point where you question if it’s all even worth it like when sales get slow and we have had so many of our wholesale accounts and shops we sell in across the country close up due to Covid and its heartbreaking but then I would get a fabulous private label gig for a huge brand and it would rocket us into the next adventure. 2020 has been all about keeping our spirits up and plugging away and keeping the tribe safe and healthy.
Yelp: Chantry 1975
Nicole Phillips Boyle Photo