Mama's Den Volume 1, Issue 1 - August 2020

Welcome to Mama's Den!

Hi Frères Branchiaux family!

Every Monday, I will send a newsletter to let you know about the business, order updates, and family life.  They might be long—like this first one—or they might be short—but I wanted to keep you in the loop of our progress and any updates regarding orders.


I quit my sons’ company last week.

They weren’t listening to me.  Our new customer service company wasn’t really answering calls satisfactorily.  I hired a virtual assistant to answer emails and they weren’t really personable enough. My oldest child bought a car that I told him not to buy within 24 hours of getting his first drivers license AND partially totaled the car within 24 hours of purchase.  Customers were calling and emailing about the status of their orders.  The warehouse was shut down for almost a week because we didn’t secure the right permit.  My husband accidentally mislabeled nearly 100 candles. The boys vacillated between fighting, playing, working, and arguing.

I told all of them—yelled it really—" I QUIT!  I will find a new manager.  I can’t do this anymore!”

I went into my bedroom and cried.  For a while.  I just needed some time to decompress.  Pandemic and business aside, it is challenging to run a 6 person household.

Needless to say, it was a rough week.

This weekend was much better.  It was Collin's birthday-- and I didn't forget it like I nearly forgot Ryan's birthday in June. Worst thing that happened this weekend? We were cursed out via text with a few F-bombs because a customer hadn’t received his candle yet. And if that was the very worst of my troubles-- to get cursed out because a candle hadn't arrived-- life is truly not that bad.

Collin's 15th Birthday

But— I have to look on the much brighter side— we were able to donate $500 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on yesterday. Customers have been posting pictures on social media and great reviews.  Our main fragrance supplier, Candlescience, featured our family's story on their site. Collin turned 15 this weekend.  And last but not least— thanks to all of you— we won the Klaviyo Owned Growth Story contest and $25K to put towards the business!

Ultimately, I re-hired myself, had an appointment with my therapist, sent 500 orders to a logistics center for fulfillment, hired two virtual assistants, and bought a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate our wins and put our losses to bed. Wading in self-pity only delays solving the problems--so I gave myself a pity party break (as many of us should do now and then because of the immense pressure we put on ourselves so often) and got back to work.  Having grace for myself is a challenge that I am working through daily--like many mothers--but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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We are will be packing orders up to 7/21 this evening.  We should be up to 7/31 by the end of this week. There are a few past orders that are floating out there and if you have contacted us, we are investigating with the USPS for the packages' whereabouts.  The USPS has been telling people that the packages are being held at the recipient’s request and that some packages have been returned to us.  Neither is true.  The USPS is in a perilous state at the moment due to policy conflicts.  We empathize with the carriers and the workers—many of them are doing their best in an increasingly difficult environment.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves
xoxo Celena Gill, mom of FB Candle boys