Three young black boys from the Washington area are serving as an inspiration to kids around the world by opening up their own business.
Collin, Ryan, and Austin Gill are the owners of Frères Branchiaux Candle Company, and the brand can now be purchased in select Macy’s stores nationwide. A Jan. 28 news release revealed the 13-, 10-, and 8-year-olds’ all-natural soy-based candle brand was selected from thousands of businesses to get sponsored by Facebook and placed in the Market at Macy’s, the pop-up retail arm of the department store.
“It’s amazing and exciting at the same time,” the brothers said of their achievement in an emailed statement to Atlanta Black Star. “We work hard to achieve our dreams and our parents help us along the way. We love being able to give back while earning money. We are really thankful that other people have recognized our hard work and like our candles. Being selected to participate in The Market at Macy’s shows is that we can achieve the highest goals possible even while we are kids. ”
Products from Frères Branchiaux, which translates roughly to the Gill Brothers, will be sold in New York’s Herald Square Macy’s and at Macy’s in Pittsburgh’s Ross Park until early February 2019. This comes after the company, which includes candles named “This Woman’s Work” and “Love Jones,” sold items in San Francisco’s Hillsdale Macy’s until the end of 2018.
The boys’ combined ages add up to 31, but even at their young ages, they’ve managed to make an eco-conscious and socially conscious brand that benefits the local community.
“We decided to [create] a candle company because we wanted extra money to buy toys (Nerf guns and PS4 games, to be exact) and help the homeless,” the company’s about page reads. “We asked our parents for extra money for our allowance. They told us ‘No’ and to ‘get a job or start a business.’ We decided to start a business.”
The company’s goal is to “help savvy, eco-conscious consumers who want to beautify and enhance their environments with lush and unique fragrances that are non-toxic, organic affordable luxury.”
Frères Branchiaux, which also sells a variety of home fragrance options like room sprays and diffusers, was founded in 2017. Since then, they’ve collaborated with other retailers like Ace Hardware and ModCloth for special events and projects.
Yet despite their growing national presence, the company remains true to its DMV roots. The Gill brothers hand pour each of the candles, which are handcrafted in small batches.
With a firm belief in community partnerships, the business owners also utilize local designers, suppliers, and retailers for their products.
“Up next is going to trade shows to get more wholesale and retail accounts,” the Gill brothers shared. “We will also be popping up in major cities around the United States like Miami, Atlanta, NYC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Houston. We all play sports (football, baseball, and soccer) and will have really busy schedules in the fall (Collin, our CEO, is going to high school) so we won’t be able to vend as much as we do now. Eventually, we would like to have our own candle store. We plan on raising money to buy a candle truck —like a food truck — to use while vending and at special events.”