14 Dec Shining Bright | Andrea Schroder
We met Andrea Schroder at her home office, a cozy and pristine cottage on her beautiful farm, tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains, just outside of Los Angeles where she lives with her Actor and Film Producer husband Ricky, their four children, four dogs, and many farm animals. As we entered the cottage, the smell of her homemade candles burning was simply intoxicating, along with the comfortable and welcoming feeling of the decor she created herself, all calling our name to relax and stay for a long while.
For as long as she can remember, Andrea has been interested in interior design. As a young child she was always be moving furniture around her room, shopping for fabrics at vintage stores, gardening, and creating homemade crafts at home. When she was 18, she met her husband Ricky, and built their first home from scratch. “I did it on a super tight budget and a super short time frame and I loved it, and that passion just confirmed my passion and love for all things interior design and specifically making a home special.” Today, Andrea wears many hats, renowned Interior Designer, yes, but most important to her, a mother, a wife, and an active philanthropist of children’s charities.
Andrea’s passion for creating candles began as a way to give guests and friends a beautiful and personal keepsake gift from her, using items grown on her farm as well as the most pure and organic ingredients, “I wanted to make sure that whatever I burned in my house was going to be perfect.” Her candles are handmade with food-grade pure coconut oil, “It’s like a soft blanket, the way that coconut oil delivers fragrance. It’s really great and once you start getting used to it, it’s hard to have any different type of candle. Every product of mine is not only non-toxic but it’s actually nourishing. You can use the warm candle wax straight from one of my candles as a moisturizer, once it’s heated you can rub it all over your skin making it soft and smelling amazing. I use it for my legs, my hands, my arms. It’s a great product and it’s awesome that it’s in a candle.”
FOCUS: Your candles really are a reflection of you, tell us about your inspiration for them?
ANDREA SCHRODER: My grandmother, Kathleen Partridge, was this amazing poet in England. She has published probably over 100 poetry books, and I grew up reading them. I lost my grandmother when I was a little girl, and so I loved that I had her books to read. And I said, “What if I put a poem on my candles?” They’re my poems and I was trying to find something that was totally unique to me and that I could share with others that was uplifting and so that’s what birthed “The Poetry of Fragrance”. Every single product of mine comes with a different poem. I’ve adapted all the poetry from my grandmother and, my son writes poetry, he might be embarrassed for me to tell that, but I’ve used his on a few of my new room sprays. And so it’s just really fun that it is really, really unique. I just am shocked that every day I open a book of hers and find another poem that matches perfectly with the fragrance that I’m developing.
FOCUS: Do you have a favorite poem?
AS: [holding up a pillow from her line] I just love this poem. And it says that, “Just one heart was happier because your smile was true. One wrinkle in the folds of life was smoothed because of you.” It’s just like a good day-to-day thing to get out of ourselves and think of others, because I think that when we get so caught up in ourselves, I know when I do, myself personally, that’s when I actually feel the worst. So I put that quote on a pillow so I could be reminded of it continuously.
FOCUS: Because you work out of your home, does your family help?
AS: Last year for Christmas I was slammed with more orders than I thought and we had to bring like a thousand candles into my kitchen and my entire family was labelling for hours and hours. Ricky has come with me to candle meetings. He tests fragrances. But then sometimes he’ll give me suggestions and I’m like, “Mmm…stick to acting, stick to directing, you are not directing me, this is real life.” [laughing] He’s super supportive any chance he gets. He gave Andy Cohen a candle during an interview and Andy became a fan of the candles. And he gave one to Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show. So I’m totally lucky to have him as a support and help get the word out.
FOCUS: What are you working on right now?
AS: One of the business areas that I’m developing right now, which I’m really, really, really excited about, is the ability for people at home to have home parties and supplement their income without having to go out of the home for work, because I’m really passionate about somebody, whether it’s a mother or a father or an aunt, being with the child at home, if at all possible. And so, for me to develop a stream of revenue that could allow somebody to spend time at home with their child, I know it’s not possible for everybody. And so, I’m really excited about that part of the business. We are totally hands on, we’re totally home-friendly, we’re a totally mommy-friendly, family-friendly company. And that’s probably the thing of which I’m the most proud.
FOCUS: Your charitable work with children is impressive and extensive, how do you fit this into your schedule?
AS: My charitable work with children did not start with my business. When I was younger I was not wealthy, but I would often babysit for free or take a meal to a new mom, and then stay and do her dishes. It was how I was raised – to care for others. Selflessness is a character trait that is amplified by opportunity. My business has opened up so many new ways to give. Currently I am working on a candle called Lemonade Laughter, which is packaged with a poem about caring for children.
A portion of each of these candles will go to Childhelp International, an organization committed to saving children from severe child abuse. Merv Griffin donated his ranch to Childhelp which houses the most severely damaged children. Five children a month in the USA die from child abuse. It’s hard to believe, but when you are a mother, being able to help prevent suffering amongst children is not work – it’s motivation.
For store locations, to purchase products, candle subscriptions, and to host your own candle party for profit, go to: