10 questions with The Bougie Bar candle-making studio
Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses–or in this case, the candles. Owners Jamie and Rusty Phillips of Bourbon Royalty Candle Company have expanded their business to include The Bougie Bar, a studio that invites you and your friends to create your own candles from start to finish. After having success with The Bougie Bar in Lafayette, the pair decided to bring the fun to the Capital City.
Read on to find out what Jamie Phillips has to say about the new location and what you can expect when you show up for a candle-making party.
1. What inspired you to open The Bougie Bar?
Our passion for candles and bringing people together to have a good time inspired us to open The Bougie Bar. Through the years of operating our sister company, Bourbon Royalty Candle Company, several people wanted to host their friends and family for candle-making parties in our warehouse. The warehouse is far from “bougie,” so we decided in 2019 that it was time to open a storefront that better aligned with our own vision.
2. What makes The Bougie Bar stand out?
The number one thing is that you will actually use this candle and not just toss it in the closet! Second, we do not host classes—we provide an experience. Other competitors run through the candle-making process so quickly that it takes away from the overall purpose, in my opinion. We also allow our guests to mix up to three fragrances for a completely custom combination; some of our competitors only allow you to pick one fragrance. These things, combined with our vast offerings of fragrance and container options, give us a strong advantage against our competitors.
Always a good time. We strive to provide the perfect candle-making experience for all our guests, whether they are celebrating a divorce or a birthday. (Yes, we have hosted divorce parties before!)
4. What is the difference between a private party and a social party at your studio?
A private party requires a minimum of 10 guests in a party, and you have the space to yourself for two hours. A social party is more of a social experience where you can reserve a handful of seats for you and your friends and share the candle-making experience with others.
5. What’s your favorite scent that you’ve created?
My favorite scent so far is Bamboo and Teakwood. Rusty’s favorite is Basil and White Tea.
6. When did you open?
We opened our Lafayette location in October 2019 as a three-month pop-up where we hosted over 1,000 people! Since then, we have moved to a larger space on Jefferson Street downtown that allows us to accommodate walk-ins as well as a larger gift selection. We opened our Baton Rouge location on March 26, 2022, in Mid City and are so excited to immerse ourselves in the area and local culture.
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7. What’s the meaning behind the name?
Bougie is the French word for candle! Being in the South, we wanted to add a little French twist to it … plus Candle Bar was already trademarked!
8. What’s a typical day like for you and your team?
A typical day for our team begins with coming into the store to bag up all the wonderful creations from our guests. We make sure that our fragrance and container bars are set just right for our guests, and ensure that our gift shop is inviting. We have a fun job.
9. What’s your professional background? How did you get into the candle business?
My professional background is in cybersecurity strategy, training and communications. I love my job, but I also thrive when I see others enjoying my candle passion. Candles started as hobby in 2008, selling them to my coworkers, family and friends. I started my first company in 2008 at the age of 18 and then rebranded to our current wholesale company, Bourbon Royalty Candle Company, in 2013. Our company services more than 700 wholesale accounts across the Mid-South and Gulf South regions of the United States.
10. What’s one thing you want customers to know that they might not be aware of?
That adding more fragrance oil to a candle doesn’t make it stronger. There is a science behind the madness!
For more information, follow along @mybougiebar.