What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet the folks at one of Downtown’s newest meetup locations, The Bougie Bar, Lafayette’s first candle making party destination. Open since October 2019, The Bougie Bar helps you create a candle that is customized for you using the techniques and skills they use in their own retail business, Bourbon Royalty Candle Company. Book your own private party, or join in with others during their Social Parties, which have no attendance minimums. The next Social Party is April 17th, 2021, so sign up today!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I started making candles in 2008 as a hobby with a candle kit! After success in selling those to co-workers and craft shows, the hobby turned into a wholesale business known as Bourbon Royalty candle company, which my husband and I own today. The Bougie Bar was born out of an idea that we had to bring people together, share our love and passion for candles, all while sipping some wine! We opened the Bougie Bar in October of 2019.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

The term maker, to me, means someone who creates pieces that they are passionate about to share with others.

Who or what inspires you to make?

What inspires me to make is the fact that we can craft products that remind people of the South, which is the base for Bourbon Royalty. I also want to create a brand that people know and love, all while being able to leave a legacy behind for my family to carry on.

At The Bougie Bar, seeing people come together to share the experience in creating the perfect candle hits the nail on the head. Scientific studies show that 75% of our emotions are triggered by smell – just think about how the smell of crayons probably will bring you back to your childhood. Fragrances can take stress away, bring you to a different place and honestly let you escape for a minute. Not too long, because we do not want you to leave your candle burning unattended. 🙂

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

Being a Maker in downtown is almost a world in its own. Downtown Lafayette has a vibrant culture and sense of family amongst all of the businesses. When Rusty and I were looking for a place to open The Bougie Bar, our first thought was Downtown Lafayette. And honestly, we never looked at any other location because we knew we wanted to be there. Being a part of the development of downtown along with the festivals, restaurants within walking distance and art galleries, it was the perfect choice for The Bougie Bar.

Why is making important to you?

Making is important to me because I get to share my passion with others. I enjoy educating others on candles and the benefits of soy wax and the environmental aspect of it. The only wax we use is soy and it is all farmed in the USA. And, as I mentioned earlier, fragrances allow you to escape your world for a while…or clear up that smell after you make a roux!

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I think the fragrances that have remained in our line from the beginning are something that I am very proud of! Picking out fragrances that thousands of people will all like is almost an impossible task. Queen of Bourbon, Zydeco Amber, Orleans Tea and Voodoo are just a few that have been with us since the inception of Bourbon Royalty.

Along with that, founding The Bougie Bar with my husband in 2019 was a huge milestone for us and I am pretty proud of it as well. It is like our third child – coming after Bourbon Royalty and our fur baby, Stella!

What up-and-coming Maker trends inspire you the most?

Obviously the DIY trend excited us quite a bit! Along with that, I always tend to keep an eye out for trends in home décor that help us source our pottery. Trends are trends, so sometimes it is hard to make decisions based on trends – sometimes they work and sometimes they do not.

I also love how several platforms have been created (like Maker Faire) to allow Makers to get their items in front of retailers or consignment shops.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

Two words: do it. My father always tells me his is proud of my courage and tenacity – starting a business without knowing what will happen and investing time, money, sweat and tears. You will never know if you will succeed if you do not try at something.

Second piece of advice: grow at a pace you can handle and don’t put yourself in financial hot spot to try and compete with the big box stores. Start small, but make sure you start.

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

Between our two companies, we go through about 60,000 – 70,000 pounds of wax each year!

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