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Community Highlights: Meet Michael Brent and Connor Street of Alstad & Churchill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Brent and Connor Street.

Hi Michael and Connor, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
We had many conversations throughout the pandemic where we realized that we weren’t being creatively challenged like we had been in the past. We both come from very creative backgrounds and were used to constantly moving from one project to another. This past year and the pandemic really forced us to slow down and take a look at what we wanted to do with our time. We knew that we wanted to move in the direction of being our own bosses and owning our own company, and that’s really where the idea of Alstad & Churchill came to life. We had previously been selling small jewelry pieces to friends but really wanted to grow and have more offerings. We began brainstorming what we wanted to create in a brand and were in an instant agreement that we wanted to create products that allowed people to express themselves and their individuality. Jewelry and fragrance were at the top of our list for products, so we moved forward in creating a home fragrance line. Through about a year of trial and error in our tiny home office, we finally had created a product we were proud of. As our launch date approached, we were excited and nervous at the same time. You never know if people will like your products as much as you do. Much to our satisfaction, our candle line sold out in two days! We knew that we were on to something, so we filed all of our paperwork and Alstad & Churchill was born!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not… From shipment delays due to covid to being scammed by fake website developers, our road has been anything but smooth! We have constantly been learning to adapt to new situations and obstacles, and we really try to look at every problem as an opportunity to learn and grow. After being scammed out of a big chunk of our start-up money by someone who was supposed to build our website, Connor decided to learn how to build it himself. It took almost six months to complete the site, but that hard work that went into it is something we’ll be proud of for the rest of our lives. Everyone told us that it would be difficult starting our own business, and they were right! But we’re extremely proud of what we’ve created and we hope everyone else enjoys it as much as we do.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Alstad & Churchill is an online store specializing in home fragrance, bath and body, and jewelry. The two of us make almost all of our products by hand right here in Los Angeles, CA. We make everything from men’s grooming products (beard oils, beard balms, etc.) to candles and room sprays, and even Alstad & Churchill merchandise (sweatshirts and hats. Our most recognizable product is our signature white, cement candle. When we first saw these vessels, we instantly fell in love and knew that this would set us apart from other brands. Putting a clean, white label on top gives the concrete candle a minimal yet chic design. Of course, we hand pour every candle ourselves and inspect each and every product to make sure that it’s up to our standards. We’re proud of everything we create, but we’re especially proud of our seasonal candle line. Each season, for a limited time, we make three signature scents that reflect that season. So far, every time we announce a new seasonal line, we sell out! You’ll know when our products arrive at your door with our signature Alstad & Churchill packaging, and you will enjoy the unboxing experience almost as much as you love our products!

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I think the biggest lesson that we learned throughout the pandemic was patience. We had to plan months in advance for orders from some suppliers, which could be very frustrating at times. It also taught us to be creative. Many suppliers and vendors went out of business during the crisis, so we weren’t able to obtain certain materials. This made us start thinking outside the box and come up with new and innovative solutions. We’re grateful that we were able to not only start our business during the pandemic but also thrive during it!

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Image Credits:

Photos by @Benjamin_Farren

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