Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory.
It’s a quote that’s been said again and again, but no one knows that better than Elana Joelle Hendler, the artist behind EJH Brand of candles, stationary and other products. Hendler has partnered with celebrities like Joan Cusack and recently launched her own showroom in Los Angeles, but she still made time to talk to me about how she got her start, where her inspiration strikes, and how to set the mood for a perfect summer party.
Were you always an artist…that kid always drawing on the walls?
Yes, I’ve been drawing probably as long as I’ve been walking. I remember when I was little, I used to open those oversized Disney children’s books, take a piece of paper from the printer and a pencil and do my best to copy the lines and shapes of the characters.
Then how did you begin your line?
Slowly! It took me a few years to really flesh out my plans for EJH and get an understanding of what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to create a lifestyle brand, and it was very important to me not to start in just one product category, so we launched EJH with candles, pillows, stationery and art prints to give our customers variety and a good sense of who are as a brand.
Candles are such a unique medium! How did you decide to include them in your line?
I’ve loved candles since I can remember. When I was a little girl, […] I used to set up a bubble bath for myself as a child, playing Ella Fitzgerald, and lighting all my candles to set the mood. Natural candle light can create a very personal experience and when I decided to start my own product line, I was really excited at the idea of creating a candle collection.
How do you use candles in entertaining?
There are so many great ways to use candles when entertaining. When having a party, I love to burn our Grapefruit Signature Candle in the kitchen and our Lemon + Fig in the guest bathroom. I think creating a subtle ambience in different spaces adds a nice sensory experience for your guests. Candles are also lovely as decorative pieces to put on a dining table between serving platters or small floral arrangements.
What are some tips and tricks you have for throwing a great (and sweet smelling!) summer event?
For summer parties, always have colorful dishes made with fragrant fresh fruits and vegetables in season! Dishes don’t have to be complex…in fact the more simple dishes made with the right ingredients tend to be the greatest hits! If you’re using fresh herbs and farmer’s market ingredients, you’re going to have dishes with such beautiful colors that will really bring your table spread to life.
How about tips and tricks for women looking to pursue an artistic passion?
Have a clear understanding of what your goals are with your creative talents from the get-go. Determine where you want to be and how much of the creative and business side of things you’re going to handle yourself. Be passionate, persistent, and make smart choices. […] It’s very important as a woman in business to stand on your own two feet and say, “This is who I am, this is what I’m doing and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
What can we expect from you in the future?
New artwork and new lifestyle product categories emerge! I’m so excited about the launch of our new EJH Eucalyptus Mint Organic Lip Balm, inspired by our best-selling Eucalyptus, Mint + Sage candle!