YouTube star Jackie Aina describes the 2-year process of creating her new 'affordable luxury' brand launching with candles inspired by her memories
- Beauty YouTuber and influencer Jackie Aina launched her lifestyle brand, FORVR mood, on Monday.
- Aina had previously worked with several brands on makeup collaborations, including Artist Couture and Anastasia Beverly Hills.
- Aina describes her new brand as "affordable luxury," and the products range from $32 to $49 each.
- She told Business Insider that the brand was two years in the making: "Product development takes a long time and I wanted to ensure that every detail was absolute perfection."
- While the main focus of the brand is candles, headbands, and silk pillowcases, Aina has plans to expand into fragrance and skincare products, she said.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
After several makeup collaborations with prominent brands, beauty YouTuber and influencer Jackie Aina launched her own lifestyle brand, FORVR mood, on Monday.
Aina teased products from the launch on social media during July to help build buzz, previewing the launch's signature items: four different candles following a pastel color theme, matched with gold accents on marble-background labels. It worked.
Over 45,000 people signed up for the pre-launch list, according to Aina. She said the August 4 pre-sale inventory sold out, but declined to specify how many units were sold.
Productivity coach Denis Asamoah, who is a cofounder of FORVR mood and Aina's fiance, wrote on Twitter Monday that the team was looking for a larger production facility to keep up with the demand.
For Aina, the launch day was the culmination of more than two years of work on the brand.
"FORVR mood has been in the works for over two years," Aina told Business Insider. "Product development takes a long time and I wanted to ensure that every detail was absolute perfection. The process of testing, pivoting, testing and pivoting seemed endless but we finally nailed formulas, materials, packaging, and branding. Each product exudes a part of me."
Aina is part of a growing trend of YouTube creators and other influencers who have made their own products. Some have launched fragrances while others have made fashion lines or built makeup brands. And earning revenue directly from fans has become increasingly important as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a downturn in the advertising market.
Aina describes her brand as 'affordable luxury'
Aina started her YouTube channel in August 2009 and now has around 3.5 million subscribers.
On Aina's channel, she gives her honest opinions about the beauty community, makeup, and skincare products, while using her personality and life experiences to appeal to her audience. Her channel has led her to accolades like the 2018 NAACP Image YouTuber of the Year award.
Aina's first product collaboration was with makeup and skincare company E.L.F in July 2016 for the limited edition J.Glow Palette. She has also done collaborations with the makeup companies Too Faced and Artist Couture, and most recently, she worked with Anastasia Beverly Hills on her "Jackie Aina Palette" of 14 colors.
But Aina wanted to move beyond makeup with her new brand.
"I created FORVR mood for those who love what I do and want to try the things that I recommend on a daily basis that aren't necessarily makeup related," Aina said.
Besides the $35 candles, Aina is also selling silk pillowcases ($49) and matching headbands ($28).
Aina describes the mood of the new brand as "affordable luxury" and "accessible boujee."
The 2-year process of creating FORVR mood
Aina and Asamoah run FORVR mood together, with Aina focusing on the creative side of the business and Asamoah leading operations and business development.
A representative for Aina declined to comment further on how the business is structured or its manufacturing partnerships.
The cornerstone of the initial launch were the four candles announced pre-launch. Aina said "Left On Read," "Matcha Business," "Cuffing Season," and "Caked Up," were all inspired by her own experiences, memories, and places she's lived and traveled to.
Her struggles growing up with hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, was a big inspiration for the candles, she said.
"In multiple ways, I just learned how to mask my body because one of the things that I struggled with the most was sweating," she said. "And so that relationship with fragrance kind of carried over into candles."
For some of her followers, fragrance and candles were not what they expected from the YouTuber.
"I won't lie, I wasn't expecting you to sell candles, I thought you were going to make clothes," one Twitter user wrote.
But Aina said it was an obvious and personal choice for her. From struggles with hyperhidrosis in her upbringing to her life and career path, each tells a "scent story," she wrote on Twitter.
'I burn my candles all day'
The candles are made of 100% coconut soy wax, with no sulfates or parabens, and are hand-poured in California.
"I wanted to be able to get the best quality scents with the best ingredients possible, and for me, the coconut soy was like a no brainer," Aina said.
Candles made of soy wax do not emit some of the toxic chemicals into the air that paraffin candles do, according to a 2009 study by South Carolina State University.
"Because we spend so much time at home, and if anybody else was like me, I burn my candles all day," Aina said. "So it was important to me that I wasn't putting anybody's health or breathing at risk while utilizing these candles."
Soy wax candles also generally last longer than paraffin candles. Aina said her candles will last up to 65 hours in burn time.
While the main focus of the brand is candles, headbands, and silk pillowcases, Aina has plans to expand into fragrance and skincare products, she said.
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