We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheena Tahilramani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheena, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success and the success of Banter & Bliss Candle Co. is my willingness to try new things and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself—especially at the beginning stages of the company. Now that we are out there, I can be more strategic and selective with our collaborations and partnerships but when I started, every opportunity was a chance for exposure.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Banter & Bliss is the premiere provider of candlemaking experiences on the West Coast with services offered for all kinds of events—from workshops to weddings to experiential activations for major brands. While it fills our hearts that our customers live and love our products, it really brings us joy when they learn and laugh with us at our popular candlemaking events. That’s pretty much how we like to sum up the Banter & Bliss experience…live, love, learn, and laugh! In addition to our popular candlemaking events, we operate a robust eCommerce business selling our line of home fragrance products online at www.banterandbliss.com. We believe in the saying “from a little spark may burst a flame.” From purchasing our supplies from small mom and pop businesses to organizing production partnerships with non-profit organizations, we strive to have a positive impact on our community. Our candles come in a variety of exceptionally fragrant scents and are made using all natural soy and coconut wax blends and lead and zinc-free wicks. Our soy wax is made from soy beans grown by American Farmers and our candles are scented using phthalate free fragrances and essential oils. Our home fragrance line includes candles, reed diffusers, wax melts, room & linen sprays, crystal potpourri, gift sets, match bottles, & more! If there is anything that I’ve learned along the way it is—if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Starting a candle company was difficult. The market is super saturated and we had to work hard to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. I think we’ve managed to do that fairly well over the years. Additionally, in the age of COVID-19, I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve been able to stay in business and stay overwhelmingly busy as a result of our online presence. We’ve actually grown since March 2020 when the global pandemic began and have been working in the studio everyday to fulfill our online orders and develop new products. We’re currently looking for opportunities to expand our retail presence, too!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, this is such a fun question! Some of the places that I’d definitely hit up are The Bungalow (both Santa Monica & Huntington Beach–because, why not?) I’d probably make them buy a candle at The Bungalow because I hear they are ah-mazing! Wink. Wink. I’d be sure to take them to my favorite bakery, SusieCakes, and we’d probably get a whole Celebration Cake. I’d take them to CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles and treat them to a candlemaking workshop with Banter & Bliss Candle Co. and a watermarbling session with Meaning-full Art. I’d take them to some of the awesome markets to shop for local artisan goods. We’d definitely eat at Citrine, Katana, Gjelina, Capo, and Scopa. We’d hang out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my Shoutout to the Los Angeles cohort of the Tory Burch Foundation Education Program. I had the opportunity to participate in this program in 2014 with an amazing group of women entrepreneurs. During three-month courses hosted in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, selected entrepreneurs attended classes and received weekly one-on-one business advising to develop a strategic and tailored plan for business growth. The program helped me gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation and marketing that I was able to practically apply to my business.