Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn

Meet Alethea

Founder of Burn Baby Burn

At Burn Baby Burn, they have designed their bell jars to convey the subconscious words you might need to hear for yourself or want to say to another through their hidden messages. 

The dome is a metaphor for the figurative wall we sometimes put up to distance ourselves from others. They believe that every one of us carries a bell jar within our heads. Your bell jar might look different from mine, but the matter of fact is that we are all fighting our own battles. 

In building a community of celebration and acceptance with a touch of humor and impertinence, they hope that they together can find the strength in numbers, and through that, find the strength within ourselves to lift our bell jars and BURN BABY BURN. 

You could interpret BURN BABY BURN in multiple ways. For Alethea, however, there was more depth to it than its attention-grabbing nature. She interprets their name as needing to boss up amidst adversity and stare straight into the fire, challenging it to BURN BABY BURN.

 

1. What drove you to kick start this company?

While I have written this as a founder’s story, I have to admit that it was BURN BABY BURN that had found me in the darkest of times. I had been in a completely different headspace just five months ago. 

For a considerable part of the one and a half years preceding the start of BURN BABY BURN, I found myself having become the punching bag of a very abusive man and was frequently in tears. Love, or whatever you call it then, had blinded me, and I complied to silence for a long time. 

The constant aggression from him, coupled with family issues that started to surface upon moving back from Toronto, soon found me crippled by the circumstance and isolating myself further. Even with weekly visits to my psychologist, I felt helpless to my predicament; I had no strength left in me from letting the currents take me along with it. By the second half of 2021, I had been diagnosed with depression and dissociative amnesia from the prolonged trauma. I was in a terrible place.

Five days after deciding that enough was enough in September of 2021, I had registered for BURN BABY BURN on a Friday afternoon at a cafe. I was determined not to stay home crying over an undeserving man. I was not going to be as SMALL and SILENT and ACCOMMODATING and CONVENIENT as possible any longer.

 

2. What is the story behind your company brand?

She walked into my first meeting with Yolanda, our creative genius, without a name or artistic direction but a vision of creating a brand that would give me refuge amidst the chaos. 

I had gone through the list of potential names with dad prior, and I still remember him commenting on how tacky BURN BABY BURN was. Fast forward to the present day, upon scanning through my crumpled-up sheet of paper, BURN BABY BURN had caught her attention. She said it would work, and for a moment, my heart swelled. 

At my darkest hour, someone believed in me. And for the next five months leading up till today, Yolanda held my hand and walked through to the end of the tunnel with me, where I found light. 

Now I want to pay forward the compassion these strong women have shown me to other women (and men) who know they have it within themselves to shine despite their testing predicaments. 

 

3. What are some of the main challenges your company faced?

I feel like I am at my prime and live my best life doing what I do now, and that imposter syndrome happens as part of every creator’s journey. 

There were three significant moments in my journey when I felt imposter syndrome hit hard. The first was when we had to make the difficult decision to rebrand in November 2021. By then, we were one and a half months into working on BURN BABY BURN and had the final product, labels printed, and the social media campaign ready for launch. After some harsh constructive criticism from a friend of mine, I had to take a step back to rethink and rebrand the entire company. For days I found it difficult to get out of bed because this decision meant that we had to throw one and a half months of work away and start from scratch again. It turned out to be the best decision we had made given the product we have now. 

The other two moments I experienced impostor syndrome were following each launch. We worked in full force weeks leading into each launch, with full conviction in what we do. With the nature of Burn Baby Burn as an e-commerce store, we present each launch to the world with the press of a button. It is rather underwhelming for a project we have been working tirelessly on for weeks of sleepless nights. But then I would have to pick myself up the next day because I understand that self-doubt is part of the process, and it is these questions we ask ourselves that guide us to our higher purpose.  

 

4. Are there any new/upcoming products/projects we can anticipate?

Our candles are released in drops because the creation process of each candle is tedious and time-consuming. 

We don’t just make candles; we tell stories, so you can expect products that support this narrative and add value to the community we are trying to serve. 

 

5. What are the three words that associate your brand with?

  • Community 
  • Self
  • Compassion 

 

6. What would you say sets you apart from other brands?

Most candles in the market have “muted” and “minimalistic” aesthetics. 

I have a fond appreciation for the arts and graphic design, and I find it necessary to incorporate it as part of my storytelling process. 

Also, we often hear many people complain about waiting until the end of the week to take a break or the end of the year to have a vacation finally. They make up the demographics who usually end up binge-watching Netflix into the night and turning up for work even more exhausted the next day. These are the same people who would likely sleep through the entire weekend and wonder where the weekend went by Monday. 

I believe that every one of us can go-getters should be able to afford that sacred window of time at the end of the day to unwind. BURN BABY BURN aspires for our candles to enable people to recharge with their message-based intention, for them to put their best foot forward the following day. 

 

7. When and how did this idea of making the products come about?

We have chosen candles as a medium to get our message across. The medium wax is interesting given its nature, much like us humans. The initial impression you might get is that it is stubborn and fixed in its ways. Time and heat are required for the solid wax to melt and turn from opaque to translucent. 

 Similarly, patience and warmth are necessary to understand and peel off another’s façade and get to their core. A different purpose drives every one of us, and it is with that safe space and willingness to be vulnerable that we can bridge gaps and make genuine connections on a deeper level. 

 

9. What motivates you to keep doing what you do?

I have always been a free spirit who spoke her mind and wore her heart on her sleeve.

It wasn’t until the painful episode that I had to experience abuse at such intensity and for such a prolonged period and was coerced into silence not to speak about what I was going through. 

For me, creating BURN BABY BURN had hence been driven very much by the fear of ever being isolated and silenced again from asking others for help when I may need it. 

Over the months, with more women coming on board to share their stories, BURN BABY BURN has taken on a personality of her own. I have witnessed the fear that used to push Burn Baby Burn forward evolve into beautiful energy of compassion powering the brand and myself. 

Follow @burn baby burn for their latest updates and new launches or purchase them off our shelves in kómma too!

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