Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on the recent launch of your company, Boonzy Arts Candles! What inspired you to create this new business, and what is “Boonzy?”
Lauren Rock: Thank you! I left a full-time job last year with the support of Bob Peterson (my boyfriend and business partner), so that I could focus on my voice-over career and find some other job with a bit more flexibility. Bob and I started making candles as holiday gifts a few years ago, and Bob suggested that I start making them to sell. I was hesitant at first, because there are so, so many candle sellers out there. Then, I started getting fun ideas about different scents corresponding to movies, books, and TV, and I couldn't help falling into a deeply creative process that has been quite fulfilling and fun. I realize that I am in a unique position to pursue this endeavor, so I am incredibly grateful.
"Boonzy" is a word that Bob and I dreamed up. We tried to remember exactly when it started coming up, but its origins are fuzzy. Still, we use it every day. It can mean many different things: comfortable; cozy; cute; pleasant. Or it can be used as a noun. (Our cat is always a boonz.) We use it like The Smurfs use the word Smurf. Context is what defines it. It's still so strange to me that it's out in the world, this goofy thing that two people created in their silliness, but it makes me happy to share that feeling with everyone.
BD: I can only imagine that making candles is a time-intensive and arduous process! How would you describe your creative process of choosing scents and making candles?
LR: Most of the time the idea of theme comes first. So, I know I want to do a Twin Peaks candle, and the wax color and scent should somehow pay homage to the theme. When I get an idea for what those should be, I have to start cooking! I experiment with different dyes until I get the right color. Then, I test the scent by making small batches with an oil or several oils. A lot of times the oil smells different in the bottle than it does in the wax, so it's important to make the actual candle before committing to a scent. I put in the maximum amount of oil in each batch, because I like the candles to be as strong as possible.
Usually during the testing process, I am thinking about the label. This is where Bob comes in. He's got design skills! We work together on creating the original designs that are on our product. We still get giddy every time it all comes together.
BD: Does Boonzy Arts Candles have a staff of creators, and what can you tell us about these individuals and their contributions to the company?
LR: Well, obviously Bob is a major contributor in so many ways: design; concepts; general moral support. There would be no Boonzy Arts without him. He is a man of many talents, as you can see on his website. I like to tell everyone that we are a power couple, because we both started businesses. He started a sci-fi and fantasy publishing company, California Coldblood Books last year.
My friend, Brett Jackson, created the wonderful designs on both the Double R Diner mug and the Star Trek mug candles. He's an incredibly talented designer, and I am humbled to work with him. See more of his very entertaining design here.
BD: Given that each candle has its own geeky theme, where do you find inspiration for each candle?
LR: Oh man, I want to do a candle for every book, TV show, and movie I love! But, I read a lot and watch plenty of TV/movies, so I can't do them all. Plus, not every concept translates. So, I tend to go with themes that aren't too esoteric and that have some kind of iconography that is recognizable, or can conceptualized visually.
I keep a list of ideas that I flesh out when inspiration comes to me. Each candle takes a lot of research and development, so I like to have a strong idea for what I want before I get to cooking, with some flexibility for happy accidents.
BD: You recently participated as a vendor at Wizard World Las Vegas. How was your first Boonzy convention experience, and are there any upcoming conventions where our readers will be able to find your work?
LR: Boonzy Arts shared a table with California Coldblood Books (What did I tell you? Power couple!) at Wizard World Las Vegas, and we had a blast! It was actually the debut of the candle line, so I was nervous putting them out on that table. There's always that fear, "What if no one likes what I'm doing? Who am I to sell handmade crafts? What if I actually suck?!" But, it was so great to interact with people who loved the candles, either because they were fans of the theme, or just because they enjoyed the scent! I had people who had never heard of Hedwig and the Angry Inch buying a Sugar Daddy candle, because of the way it smelled. It was a great way to launch the product and do some networking.
We'll definitely be at other similar markets, both locally in Los Angeles and cons in other cities. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have a game plan. Follow us on social media if you want to keep up!
BD: Can you give us the inside scoop on any upcoming candle themes or scents?
LR: Yes! We have quite a few non-themed scents coming out that aren't necessarily as "fun" as, say, a Star Trek candle, but smell incredible. I'm currently testing some woodsy and herbaceous scents like sage, rosemary, and palo santo. As for the next couple of themed candles, I'll give you some (really easy) hints: "Feed me, Seymour!' and "Who ya gonna call?" I will, of course, have a Buffy candle, but I am still trying to figure that one out!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Boonzy Arts Candles?
LR: We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also have a blog on our website, which is boonzyarts.com. We'd be delighted if you joined us there!
Boonzy Arts Candle Giveaway Extravaganza!!!
Fanboy Comics is be providing an opportunity for fans to win one of two Boonzy candles:
1) Careful, Man, There's a Beverage Here! Candle - "Calmer than you." The dude abides. This candle looks and smells like a caucasian. (That's a white russian cocktail, for you novices out there.) Enjoy the scent of coffee liqueur and cream without having to go to Ralph's for half-and-half. This little guy has over 50 hours of burn time, and after the candle has burned down, you can reuse the jar (with lid) to hold roach clips, Creedence tapes, or rent checks. (It's already the 10th). The label is a Boonzy Arts original design.
2) Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Candle - "Make it so." This candle is nestled in a space mug and is Earl Grey scented, with hints of lemon. This little guy has about 45 hours of burn time, and after the candle has burned down, you can reuse the mug for your replicator beverage of choice. The label is a Boonzy Arts original design.
How do you enter to win one of these awesome candles? All interested fans should enter by 1) following @BoonzyArts and then 2) retweeting the following when you see it posted on the Fanboy Comics (@FanboyComix) Twitter account:
Enter to win a @BoonzyArts candle from FBC! Follow @BoonzyArts then RT to enter! #TheDudeAbidesBoonzy
Readers MUST follow @BoonzyArts in order to be entered to win. We’ll be tweeting this message for the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled! Multiple entries are permitted, so retweet away! The contest will officially close on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 5:00 p.m./PST. The FBC staff will choose two lucky winners, and the winners will be announced on the Fanboy Comics website on Friday, June 12, 2015, along with being notified via Twitter. (Please note that this contest is for US residents only.)
Congratulations to the following winners:
Careful, Man, There's a Beverage Here Candle: @Dryden13
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Candle: @Skittels9
Fanboy Comics will also be hosting other giveaways in the future, so be sure to sign up for FBC's free daily e-newsletter, The Fanboy Scoop, so you are sure not to miss any of our updates or contests! You can also follow Fanboy Comics on Facebook and Twitter (@FanboyComix).