Meet the Power-Couple Evodie and Christopher Who Recently Launched a New Business Together!
We had a lovely chat with the soon-to-be married couple Evodie Fleury and Christopher Rydberg Greaker. Together, they recently launched ReCollections Candles, a new line of luxury scented candles. In addition, Evodie is one of the co-founders of 9to9Daily, an online magazine for women! With us, they share how combining love and business works out for them, how ReCollections Candles came together and their best advices for those wanting to start a business themselves!
Firstly, we’d love to hear more about who you guys are!
My name is Evodie – I am 28 and I am French. I grew up in the south of Paris. In the last ten years, I have lived in Paris, in Edinburgh for 6 years finishing up Law School and started my career, in Switzerland where I relocated for work and finally in Norway to be with Christopher. Though my background was in the Law by education, I quickly realized I needed a career more in touch with my creativity, and so I moved to marketing and business. This led me to manage teams and hold various positions in International tech companies. I am passionate about entrepreneurship, woman empowerment and always wanted to create my own ‘thing’. So, when I moved to Norway at the end of 2017, I launched 9to9Daily and earlier this year we launched together our business ReCollections Candles.
My name is Christopher - 31, Norwegian. I grew up in a small town called Åsgårdstrand in the south of Oslo. I have also lived in a few places, from Copenhagen to Manchester, to Switzerland and Edinburgh. My background is in business and finance. As for most people my childhood has obviously shaped me as an individual and informed my view on life. I grew up in a very sport-oriented family where school but especially competition was important. This is something that has really stayed with me, not only professionally but also privately. I like to think that where Evodie is the creative one, I am the pragmatic one. There is a real balance at home.
We met during our time in Scotland and we are getting married next year in France. Without sounding (too) cheesy - we have been incredibly lucky to live our lives to the fullest, pursued our personal goals and always found a way to each other’s heart. We are true soul mates – the type that unconditionally loves, forgives, respects each other’s space (more often than not) and laughs every single day. We are big travelers, Vietnamese food addicts and big documentaries nerds.
Evodie, you’re one of the co-founders of 9to9Daily! What was your inspiration for starting an online magazine?
9to9 Daily was born in the end of 2017 as a digital platform that celebrates women who aspire to live up to their full potential. Our 9to9 readers are independent, bright, creative and self-reflective women who juggle career, side-hustles and have a real interest in selfcare. We create candid content to equip them and inspire them from 9AM to 9PM. It’s about the career questions you felt you could never ask; the mental-health issues we are all facing and discussions on skincare, fashion, exercises, books and podcasts recommendations to keep our busy-driven women inspired. A new addition to the blog is the 9to9girls interviews, which has been a real hit! I found there was a real lack of peer to peer inspiration in all the blogs and podcasts I was consuming. All interviews were around famous CEOs and their seemingly unattainable success. Yes, it was inspiring but hard to relate to. I wanted to read about girls like me. So, I started interviewing my friends, their friends and this grew to business owners, founders, artists, working mothers and more.
In addition, you guys recently launched as a couple ReCollections Candles, a new line of luxury scented candles, can you tell us more about this?
Thanks for asking! We launched www.recollectionscandles.com together at the end of January 2019, and it has already been quite the whirlwind! We had learned last year how smell could really trigger certain memory areas in the brain. But found there was a gap in the market for true customer driven candles. Brands were deciding what people should smell. So, we came up with the idea for a high-end candle line where it’s up to the customer to determine the scent based on what personal memories the fragrance evokes. We spent months crafting the right balance of scents, handpicking rich and beautiful French-made perfumes that would feel different to every sense of smell. By leaving the candles unnamed, every burn becomes your own memory lane. ReCollections Candles marries the heritages of French perfumes with Scandinavian candle craftsmanship, as a nod to our love story. Our candles are designed in Oslo, hand-poured in Sweden and infused with bespoke perfumes created in Grasse, the international capital of perfumes. They are made with a high-quality wax, designed to burn +50 hours, and are 100% natural (none of those nasty paraben, phthalate and paraffin) and are completely vegan (no beeswax).
Being millennials ourselves, we also wanted to focus on a product that reflected the aspiration of our own generation with increased focus on personalization and sustainability. We wanted to create a unique experience for each customer with a line of products that is by design personalized. It is the era of self-actualization and it was important for us to address to the individuality of each customer. We’re also of a generation that wants to know what we are buying and how things are made and have taken great care in developing products that reflect our own aspiration toward sustainability. This includes the production of the candles themselves but also the beautiful repurposable glass jars that people can keep and collect and our plastic-free approach to packaging and distribution. It’s all very circular.
Where can our readers buy ReCollection?
Our main point of sale is online. As Millennials (and coming from the tech industry) we wanted to create a true direct-to-consumers brand to establish a rapport with our customers, learn from their preferences to adapt and pivot. Our online store www.recollectionscandles.com delivers globally! If you are based in Norway, you will also find them in Oslo Raw cafes, NOFO, Follestad and at Studio Henni in Drammen. We are looking at opening more points of sales soon!
How is it combining a relationship and running a businesses together?
We’d be lying if we said we never had a clash at the beginning! But honestly, we were pretty good at establishing our priorities early on in the process. We knew this would only work if we made a point to have fun with it; it had to be done as a unit together and we both had to learn to delegate and rely on each other’s set of skills. And gosh it has been fun! We started working on the concept in a bar in Hanoi, worked relentlessly on finding the right mix of patterns, developed scents from Grasse, road-tripped to our factory and to our logistics partner with blasting music and bemused smiles on our faces. We learnt how to do web design and PR ground-work. We crafted our pitch, threw a very cool launch party and still to this day get so excited at every single sale. This was a common dream and is a partnership through and throughout. It worked for our relationship because we have known each other for so many years now, that we know how to operate together and what we need to be happy. I learnt to be patient and he has learnt to communicate more. Christopher drives the commercial aspect and I drive the creative aspect of the brand. We also have a rule to drop business at dinner time and always do something relaxing and non-business-related during weekends.
When you guys are not working on 9to9Daily or ReCollections, what do you like to do?
We are both sport enthusiasts. We train every day in a way or another, at the gym or outside (we ski a lot during winter time); and we started taking on yoga classes together last month! Our year is very much organized around travels. We love traveling and building memories together – in many ways it’s how ReCollections Candles came to life. We try to plan as many weekend trips, concerts abroad, friends visit and bigger summer trips as we possibly can. But at the end of the day, just like anyone else, we love a night in with a nice pizza, Netflix and a great bottle of wine. With the wedding planning going full speed – our plate is full!
Where do you see yourselves ten years from now?
Very much as a family, probably living in Norway but it could be somewhere else, who knows! We have faith that life will take us where it should. From a business point of view - we’d love for ReCollections Candles to be an establish household name. A brand that people love and feel a true connection to.
What is something you both wish you knew five years ago?
Evodie: I wish I knew to be gentler with myself. I was hungry to succeed, hungry to find love, rushing and running everywhere I went. I wish I knew that every dream of mine would come true, and that I could enjoy the journey a little more instead of focusing so much on the destination. I also wish someone had told me my super blond highlights were not the best idea!
Christopher: Have fun, work hard, and most of all value what you have. Not what you don’t have. As you get somewhat older, things always have a way of working themselves out. Again, hard work is always important but trust life. I believe everyone needs some good luck from time to time.
Can you share your best advices for those wanting to start a business themselves?
Funny enough, we wrote an article about it on 9to9Daily about what it really takes to launch your own venture. To pick the very best advices, we’d say:
Start with the big picture. And simplify.
Go big, build a vision board. And then rank essential or just nice to have. Be clear and try to have a non-emotional eye when doing so. Christopher helped me removing myself emotionally from some decisions. Similarly, I learnt a lot from the lean methodology, after years of project management and product management: launching is better than perfect.
Research your marketplace and define a clear customer audience. You are not for everyone.
I researched everything I needed to get to know our future customers. What would they buy, from whom, when, for how much? What do they like Instagram, what color palette do they like? Who do they follow?
Obsess about the customer experience! It should be easy to understand, easy to navigate, and amazing to enjoy.
Forget the hours. I won’t lie. Days are long, your mind won’t ever be able to stop. There will be sleepless nights. It lives with you, for the better and worse and no one else but you will get the work done. But if it’s your passion then you’re on for something meaningful and fun!