Graeme Ferguson is one half of Aather - a new luxury candle brand with creativity and collaboration at its core. Its debut collection of 12 signature scents are built on the desire to bring people together and we love them all! We chat to co-founder Graeme Ferguson about building a business during the pandemic, creating a product that is designed to last, and how he balances work and family life.
What led you to start your business?
At home, my wife and I have always used fragrance to help set the scene for a gathering. Whether it’s a big family get-together or an evening with friends, a candle is always lit to help punctuate the occasion. But we noticed, when shopping around, that there was a real gap in the market for candles that are designed specifically for these shared moments. So in 2019 we set out to create a home fragrance brand that would help set the scene for socialising in your space, and Aather was born. Then the pandemic hit and actually the idea of togetherness became even more poignant. For many of us, everyday life has become more blurred by screens, constantly pulling us away from time to pause and regroup with ourselves and others. We are out of practice when it comes to socialising, so launching a collection that would help set the scene for new shared moments, felt very timely and has really resonated with people.
Like LPOL, conscious design and expert craftsmanship is at the heart of your brand. How have you achieved this?
Having worked in the candle retail business for over 20 years, we already had a strong understanding of the industry and lots of great connections. Fleeting trends and disposable design really isn’t our style - we wanted to create a timeless and refined candle collection that celebrates a slower and more mindful pace of creativity. So, collaborating with the very best in perfumery, design, glass artistry and wax craftsmanship, we launched with 12 signature fragrances that have been formulated in London, poured in the French town of Grasse, and mindfully encased in a mouth blown glass vessel that is designed to be treasured long after the candle burns out.
What steps have you taken to be more sustainable as a business?
Building a sustainable business is a journey and we are constantly re-thinking the way we work. All of our ingredients are cruelty-free and sourced sustainably from seasonal crops around the world. This was always important to us but actually designing a beautiful object that people would want to keep and repurpose after the candle’s burnt, was our priority. Also to limit our impact on the environment, our custom packaging is recyclable, biodegradable and responsibly sourced.
How would you describe your day-to-day?
One of the best parts of my job is that there is no ‘typical’ day. Usually on a day when there are no big meetings, I start my morning by checking and responding to emails. I try to do any creative work mid-morning when I can - whether that’s brainstorming new campaigns or helping someone on the team with any questions they might have.
I work at the office in the morning so I get to see everyone - from office members to the warehouse team. In the afternoon I head home, pick the kids up from school on the way, and then work from home for the rest of the day. It is a good balance that works well for everyone.
What does home mean to you?
Home for me should be comforting. We have considered every item in our home to be centered around a feeling of comfort. It is a place for our family and friends to come together and have fun, laugh and chat. We love our children having friends around, it’s great to watch them play and converse with each other.
Name a forever item of clothing or accessory that you couldn't live without?
Clothing is not a massive part of my life. I try to keep things simple when it comes to fashion. One of the most important items that I use most in my day is my Mac (the joys of living by the coast in Ireland), and I do have a nice rucksack that I travel with.