Founder Facts: RLI

This week, we interviewed Rachele Innocenti Langmuir, the founder behind modern luxury scented candle brand, RLI. Read on to discover more about her capsule collection of candles, the inspiration behind each unique design and what's next for the brand...

Tell us about yourself and the story behind creating your brand?
My academic and professional background is in finance, but I always loved interior design and fragrance, and have always been a keen traveller. Starting RLI and working on creating these beautiful candles has been the perfect way to combine all my passions and so far it has proved to be the most exciting creative journey!
What makes RLI stand out to other candle brands?
Our candles have been described as a mini piece of art, that you can collect and it happens to smell great! Jokes aside, I think our distinct look with the minimalist artwork is what sets us apart.

What do you look for in your stockists and what values are important to you?
There are a number of considerations when deciding to partner with a stockist: of course the financials need to work but, most importantly, it has to be the right fit brand-wise. We look for stockists who value high-quality, luxury products with a focus on modern design or high-end beauty. It's important to share the same values and passions; the brand and the shop need to work well together.

The packaging and artwork of your candles is so unique - can you tell us more about how you came to partner with the illustrator and the message behind the artwork?
Thank you! The artwork has been created by Cecilia Carlstedt, a very talented Swedish artist (and the loveliest person!) who perfectly embodied our minimalist yet bold aesthetic. Each one of our candles is inspired by the memory of a different adventure in a unique place in the world, and each scent is inspired by the local flowers and aromas. They are all very personal to me as they are "re-interpreted" based on my own experience: for example, the R(H)OME candle contains notes of mimosa flowers and pomegranate as growing up we had both trees in the garden. Given the context, I wanted a female figure as part of the illustration but wanted to make sure it didn't necessarily look like me, but it had a universal appeal. The pose/context of each illustration is also a nod to the story behind that scent: for example, the Up in the Andes candle shows her with her hair windswept as it recalls the memory of an early-morning, windy horse-ride in the Andes.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on, or new releases for RLI?
Absolutely, we are working on our next 4 candles releases!

What types of stores stock RLI? What area would you like to see the brand in or grow into?
So far it is a mix of high-end beauty stores and (the majority) lifestyle boutiques or concept stores. We are definitely looking to expand further into stores with a strong digital presence, as we have seen that they tend to be more resilient in challenging times (for example during this COVID-19 situation).
What has been the biggest triumph since starting RLI? 
There are many memories I look back on fondly along the journey so far (the business only started about a year ago). Seeing our feature in the FT - How to Spend It, Arts Issue, was a real pinch-me moment! I used to read it (and still do!) and to see the brand featured there was unbelievable. It almost made it more “real”! Also going live on has been another great milestone!
How has COVID-19 impacted your business and what have you done to adapt?
It has definitely been challenging due to the lockdown and shops being closed, but we have tried to pivot our focus towards digital outlets and other countries (such as the US for example) to support sales. It has also been a good time to sit down and think a bit more about our social media strategy as well as new product launches. As mentioned, we are beginning to work on our next scents releases and having this time working from home/spending less time travelling around has helped me focus on that.

To shop the full range from RLI, visit their brand profile here.