Ida Sofia, creator of the candle company Evil Queen; is showing the world how a one woman show can dominate and suceed in the ever-flourishing e-commerce space. She’s a creator at heart; not only does she hand craft her candles after developing unique (and sassy) fragrances, she hand letters and designs her own labels, manages orders and shipping, oversees customer sevice, all while balancing the books. Needless to say, every crucial role that plays a part in a small business’s success is played by Ida.
Evil Queen candles smell divine (my favorite is Boss Babe) but the best part of all? They are environmentally friendly made out of 100% soy wax, and fragrances free of chemicals, so you can enjoy your candles, worry free!
What inspired you to start Evil Queen? Have you always wanted to make candles?
The story of Evil Queen starting is actually pretty random and serendipitous. My boyfriend and I were driving in downtown Los Angeles one day and passed a flower shop called “Basic Flowers”. I laughed to myself and thought, “What a horrible name for a flower shop!” But then, it clicked. I said, “Basic Flowers: for the basic bitch in your life.” My boyfriend thought it was hilarious, and that’s where I got the idea to start making sassy products! The idea of making candles was something my boyfriend and I had been talking about before, but I had never made one in my life and didn’t even know where to start. I didn’t know anything about candles before starting Evil Queen, so it’s been a big learning process, thats for sure.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your own business?
I think some of the bigger challenges are just doing SO many things at once. I’m the creative minds behind the products, the maker of the candles, the shipper, the inventory manager, the customer service, the accountant… etc. It get’s to be a lot sometimes, and I’m excited to be able to delegate tasks to people once I can hire someone! But for now, it’s challenging and fun every day to try and do everything 😛
How do you find balance between running your own company and creating and shipping products, while simultaneously pursuing additional creative pursuits such as being a freelance graphic designer etc.?
I had a lot more time to do my freelance work at the start of Evil Queen. It’s taken much more of a back seat now with the growth of my company, which isn’t a bad thing! If I have slower days though, and I’m not designing new products for Evil Queen, that’s when I’ll get back into calligraphy and graphic design. It’s not as often as I’d like, but hopefully in the future when I get some help with Evil Queen, I’ll be able to do it a bit more.
What does a typical day in your shoes look like?
I wake up whenever I wake up (perks of working from home :P) – it’s usually around 8 or 9am. I check some emails and head downstairs to my office and immediately ship any orders out that have been placed the night before. My USPS and FedEx pickups happen in the early afternoon, so I have to work quickly to get them out by then! After the packages are shipped for the day, I’ll get some wax in the melter and answer emails / do other computer work while that’s melting. It takes a few hours. Then after that, I’ll head to the garage to finish making the candles once the wax is melted. I always make the candles later in the evening because they have to cool overnight regardless, and I’d rather use my daytime doing things in daylight.
Honestly, no. Of course I hoped for the best, and I knew I had a good product that people would enjoy, but I figured it would be hard to get the word out there. Especially selling candles ONLINE because people can’t smell them. I had a friend meet Jac at a tradeshow, and she showed her my candles, and the rest is history! It works well with Jac because we have similar brands, so we have similar fan bases. I love working with her, and we’re continuing our collaboration this spring as well! It’s funny, being in Nasty Gal and working with Jac were two goals I had on my “goal board” for the future. I was thinking maybe in a five year span, not within SIX MONTHS of opening. It was insane. I still can’t really believe that happened.
I have to know… What Evil Queen candle is your favorite?
I get asked this a lot and it’s a really hard question to answer because I’m biased and love them all!! But, I do find myself lighting Champagne Showers and Calm Down the most. I have some new candles coming out soon that are some of my favorites as well!
You also recently wrote and published a Poetry Book, In My Universe. What inspired you to write your own book?
Long before Evil Queen was even a thought, I was a writer. I’ve written short stories and poems for years – it’s something I started doing in high school. It’s always been my way of expressing myself. I was kind of in between jobs, and decided I finally had some time to compile all my poetry I liked into a book, and I just kinda did it! It’s been well received, and I’m super thankful that people can relate to my poetry as much as they do.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
I have two — Samosa House in Silverlake and Taverna Tony in Malibu. Two completely different styles of food but I love them both because of it! Samosa House is vegan Indian food… don’t knock it till you try it. The Veggie Chicken is TO DIE FOR! Taverna Tony on the other hand is a more upscale Mediterranean restaurant for special occasions. I love to spend a birthday or anniversary dinner here!
What is your favorite workout?
I used to work at a few different workout classes, so I’ve always been into the group setting! I love all barre classes, tbh. But I’ve recently gotten into boxing and kickboxing. It makes me feel really strong and empowered.
Favorite shopping destination?
Style Society Boutique in Costa Mesa! They have everything. I always buy something when I’m there. ALWAYS.
My boyfriend and I love relaxing and watching movies, so when we have date night we love to splurge and go to iPic. They have in seat service (drinks + food!) and comfy reclining chairs with blankets, pillows, and free popcorn. It’s the best.
I had this amazing fav brunch place in WeHo called Open Air Kitchen, but they’ve recently closed. I haven’t found my go-to since that! There are a lot of good places in West Hollywood though, and all of them have been a good time. Honestly, I love anywhere with bottomless mimosas + a fun vibe. Any place that makes you wanna get up and dance is a fun brunch to me.
What is your favorite activity in the city?
Can I say playing with puppies? Haha! I want to adopt all the dogs. But another thing I really like doing, even though it’s not technically in LA, is going to Laguna Beach. It’s so serene there. My favorite LA beach is Manhattan Beach. I used to spend all my day off there a few years ago. It’s a cute little beach town where everyone is friendly.
Primped and Styled
How would you describe your style?
Comfortable and simple. I work from home so much, so on a normal basis I’m in yoga pants and a comfy shirt. But when I do go out, I dress pretty simple and elegant. And I wear a lot of black.
Any big time items you’ve been coveting?
I’m always lusting over a Chanel bag – would love to have one someday.
Any recent trends you steer clear of?
I’m always down to try everything, but I’ll be the first to say not everything looks good on me haha. I can’t think of a particular trend I’m trying to stay away from, but dresses with stomach cut outs usually don’t flatter my body type.
What is your favorite online shopping destination?
As I said, I get most of my clothing from Style Society boutique, and they have a website: www.stylesocietyboutique.com. If they don’t have what I’m looking for, I’ll look at some brands I like such as Free People, Urban Outfitters, Lou & Grey, etc.
What are your 5 Holy Grail beauty products?
- Soaps from Beetle & Bones. I use them all the time, and love all her other products too (bath bombs, face masks, etc.)
- Cleansing Grains from Urban Oreganics. I love this stuff!
- Tarte Cosmetics. I can’t even pick a favorite product, they’re basically the only makeup I use. I’ve used their BB Creams, foundations, lip products, mascara. Seriously. All of it is amazing.
- Vanishing Cream from Lush has been my go-to moisturizer for years when my skin is acting up. It’s to die for.
Do you have a signature fragrance?
Who is your celebrity girl crush?
EMMA STONE! And Rachel McAdams.
What are your three favorite movies?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my all time fav movie. I also love the Harry Potter movies and anything mysterious, like Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train.
If you could have lunch with any woman dead or alive, who would it be?
That’s a really hard question, there are so many amazing women in the world, I want to learn from them all! Honestly I’d love to chat with Michelle Obama. I feel there’s so much I could learn from just being in her presence.
Where is your happy place?
I’m a big homebody, so I’m truly happiest at home. But, I do love the water, so beaches, pools, hot tubs, those are my jam too.
What are you drinking?
Red wine…. always. Usually Cabernet.