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Meet Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi of Evil Queen in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi.

Ida-Sofia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Evil Queen started as a random idea – a serendipitous moment, so to speak. I was driving by a flower shop in Downtown LA called “Basic Flowers”. I thought to myself, “wow, what a horrible, but also hilarious, the name for a flower shop!”

That kind of sparked something in me! I knew I wanted to create something funny and giftable for millennials. Somehow candles came to mind and that’s where it all started! I launched Evil Queen in 2016 after countless hours of research on how to make “healthy” vegan candles. I quickly gained fans and customers through social media. At the time, I was the only “funny” candle company out there, which helped me gain exposure.

Now, just two years after launching, my candles are carried in over 400 stores/boutiques worldwide. I started by making the candles in my small apartment kitchen, then moved to a garage, and now I have a separate workshop. I still take pride in hand making all the candles myself, so you know the quality of product you’re getting. It’s been a thrill and a whirlwind, honestly, and I’ve loved every second!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If there’s a business out there that has a smooth road, I’d love to hear about it, haha!

While it may appear to be all smooth sailing from the outside, we have of course had challenges. I didn’t have a business loan when I started Evil Queen, I just put everything on a few credit cards and hoped for the best. There have been times when I’ve struggled to buy more supplies to keep up with the demand of large orders, and of course, there’s sometimes delays in our jar manufacturing or fragrance shipments, but its all little things in the end. I try and always look at the big picture and *usually* people are pretty understanding if a small delay comes up.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Evil Queen – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Here at Evil Queen, we call ourselves “candles with attitude” because that’s what I’ve always strived for. My goal was to create products that would be perfect gifts for any occasion. Sometimes candles can be seen as “boring”, yet so many people gift them to others! I wanted to change that, especially for the millennial demographic.

Creating something sassy that will make someone laugh is one of the best feelings, and I’m glad to be able to do that in a small way. It is also always important to me to make health-conscious candles. Our candles are 100% soy wax, non-toxic fragrance oils made with essential oils, cotton wicks, and of course recyclable glass jars. We are vegan, cruelty-free, and handmade.

Most people don’t know what goes into their candles – and candles made from certain waxes like Paraffin wax have been proven to be harmful to you and the environment. I wanted to make sure these candles could be burned by anyone, and have them smell great at the same time!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Long term, I hope to have a larger warehouse and more employees! Meaning I hope Evil Queen will be carried in even more stores around the world. We’re in a few larger stores already, one being Riley Rose, and I’d love to expand that even further. It may also be cool to have a small candle shop somewhere in LA where we can sell candles and host candle making workshops! I host them now at my candle making a studio in Pasadena, but having a more central location would be awesome.


  • All candles are $20 (for a 12 oz candle)

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