Inspiring Leaders : Katerina Juskey of Lohn
What inspired you to take the leap into the candle market? What makes LOHN different?
Victoria and I were always inspired by the power of scent, and its ability to transport you to a different time and place. After graduating from chemical engineering and working at Estee Lauder in Quality Assurance, I knew I wanted to learn more about the art of perfumery so I went off to pursue a fragrance and cosmetics Masters program in Europe. My favourite course was perfumery formulation, by far. While Victoria and I were doing our competitive research in 2015 and 2016, we noticed a lot of minimal, black and white brands on the candle market. We were always fans of home fragrance, specifically how candles made us feel calm and cozy. We wanted to create a candle brand that was colourful, elevated and inviting. Two years later, LOHN was born :)
What is your favourite Lohn scent?
Lately, I've been loving SURF, our limited edition scent from our Resort Collection that smells like a luxe beach hotel with notes of sea salt, lime and vetiver. As for our core collection, I am a superfan of ZIMA. It's beautifully calming, with notes of rose, bergamot and clove and it reminds me of an earl grey tea... it's also the perfect scent for all seasons.
Lohn is a responsibly sustainable brand, that is a part of many initiatives to offset the carbon footprint of making candles. How important was this decision when deciding to work with local suppliers?
Very important. In the spirit of Earth Month, we admit we're not 100% sustainable, but as engineers we're constantly working towards developing better solutions for our planet, partners and community. We always request supporting documentation from our suppliers when sourcing new packaging and ingredients. Some of the ways we work towards sustainability include: making our candles with organic coconut and soy wax for clean and responsible burns, using sustainable cotton core wicks and food-grade vessels, pouring in small batches to avoid overproduction and using FSC-certified paper and recycled materials to package each order.
What is something you wish everyone knew when it comes to selecting scents?
This is a good one! Most people think that 100% essential oils are "better for you", but surprisingly it's more common for people to react to essential oils due to the natural allergens within them. I always say that fragrances are very much like food, and it is really unique to each individual as to how you will react so just make sure you do your research and ask the right questions from the brands you're purchasing from. We have documentation from all of our fragrance suppliers to prove that our scents are phthalate-free, paraben free and completely safe to enjoy in your home. Our Forage Collection is made with 100% essential oils for those who prefer that.
What is the best advice you received that you still practice every day at LOHN?
Focus on the effort and steps to success, not the outcome. As entrepreneurs, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get a lot done in a single day, and generally, the to-do list is never-ending. I used to focus too much on how I'd feel once we achieved our "big goals", whereas now I focus on doing my best each day and it has taken a bit of the pressure off. Certain habits have helped my overall mindset with this. For example, every morning I make an effort to meditate for at least 10 minutes and it's been life changing. It's a non-negotiable for me now, and this small habit has helped me handle daily challenges and stressful situations with ease.