We’re excited to catch up with Victoria, LOHN co-founder, on the cusp of spring and next week's launch of LOHN’s newest candle collection, Resort. While the snow is still falling here in Toronto the checkered pools and striped umbrellas that inspired this sun-soaked collection are calling.
HH: LOHN's story goes back past 2016 - the year when you and co-founder Kat sat down to conceptualize LOHN - all the way to high school. We love a long friendship, and want to know, how do you prioritize friendship while also building a successful business?
VM: I can’t believe Kat and I met almost 20 years ago. When we reconnected in 2016 after working in the cosmetics industry with the idea to start our own thing we didn’t know each other that well. Our friendship has really grown over the last 6 years while building a business.
In that time, we spend more time together than with anyone else and we’ve learned a few things along the way that help our relationship. We applaud each other’s hard work, share ways in which we can improve and take time to celebrate our wins!
When we were in NYC for a trade show we went for a spin class and brunch before we went to set up our products. It was so fun and we’ve since decided to have regular founder dates to get outside of our day-to-day.
HH: LOHN has such a dynamic and fun range of scents that evoke places, memories and time - like sitting around a fire in a dark forest, hello Dym! We’d love to know, which LOHN scent are you currently burning and what does it evoke for you?
VM: Thank you! We love hearing what our scents remind our customers of as it’s always different.
I’m currently burning Oest, one of our essential oil candles that has bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, rosemary and vetiver. These oils have aromatherapy benefits for depression, exhaustion and stress - just a few of the perks of being human. I’ve been lighting it at home when I need a moment to calm down. It brings me to my childhood and playing around in my grandma's backyard garden.
HH: LOHN just launched its newest collection, Resort, with candles named Sun, Sand and Surf. What places inspired you to create this collection? We have to say, Surf smells like our surfer boyfriend’s tee (if surfers even wear tees).
VM: When we were thinking about what to do for our next collection, we looked to fashion for inspiration. There’s a fall/winter collection, a spring/summer collection and Resort! We wanted to create a collection that would be perfect for the upcoming seasons with scents that were super punchy, very tropical and reminded you of being on vacation.
I was inspired by a hotel in Tulum, Mexico called Hotel Panamera for the colour palette, its cyan waters, cabana stripes and checkerboard tiled pool. When we designed the scents we closed our eyes and imagined being somewhere warm. We wrote down different scent notes that came to mind; like neon sunsets, ocean waves, and sun-kissed shorelines.
HH: Let’s go back to a time when flares and Uggs were a thing…for the first time. ;) What do you wish you would have known then? What encouraging words can you pass on to young, local entrepreneurs today?
VM: Haha. I love that they’re back in style! I wish I knew that it’s important to throw perfectionism out the window. It’s the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the last 6 years. Perfectionism will only hold you back. Letting it go has been very freeing.
My advice to young, local entrepreneurs today - establish your company’s mission, vision and values and use them as your guide. It’s easy to get distracted and this will help you stay on your path. Also, try not to put so much pressure on yourself.
HH: It’s the end of the day and you’ve found yourself with a free evening. What are you going to do, what’s for dinner and who are you with?
VM: I'm going to see if there’s a concert going on in the city and go on a date with my husband. We met at The Velvet Underground and share a love for live music. We’d probably fit in oysters & cocktails at La Banane on Ossington first.
HH: What vision do you hold for the future, for both LOHN and for our Mama Earth?
VM: For both LOHN and our Mama Earth, I envision a future of empowered women. As women founders, we’re passionate about supporting women. We hire women on their co-op terms in STEM-related programs and we contribute to women’s empowerment charities like Rethink Breast Cancer and Interval House.
LOHN started with just the two of us, and over the years we’ve created a network of talented women that have helped us get to where we are today from graphic designers to web developers. We can’t wait to see how the work we’re doing with and for women will shape our future.
LIGHTENING ROUND, THIS OR THAT
- Oil or cream cleanser? Oil
- Bath or shower? Shower
- Salty or sweet? Sweet
- Cook or take out? Take out
- Coffee or tea? Tea
- Morning or night? Morning
- City or country? City
- Summer or winter? Summer
- Binge-worthy show? The Last of Us
- Toronto eatery? Beast Pizza
- Local Shop? Peach Boy (my sister just had a baby 🙂)
- Evening snack? Charcuterie
- Song? Pyjamas (feat. Remi Wold) by Benny Sings
- Ritual when you get home? 15 minutes of quiet time
- Activity to wind down? Light a candle & curl up on the couch with my husband
- Beverage? Mint tea