A Cup of Chai with Con & Nicole from Thematikos, VIC

Meet Con & Nicole, the Mother and son duo from Melbourne, VIC and creators of our brand new, delicious Prana Chai soy candle

Tell us a bit about yourselves

We are a Mother/Son duo from Melbourne, Australia.  My name is Con and Mum's name is Nicole.  What's funny is that neither of us come from or have what you would call a 'typical' perfume/fragrance background.  In fact, we have both pursued careers in Law!  With no real "experience" except for our own individual creative streaks and Mum's stint as a florist, we launched Thematikos in September 2020 - right in the middle of Melbourne's infamous COVID-19 lockdown.  

How did you get into the candle-making business?

Scents and fragrances have always fascinated us - particularly their ability to trigger memories and nostalgia.  For us, candles really felt like the first and most natural step into the world of smell.  In saying this, we didn't want to just create candles.  We wanted to go a step further and create something different, more meaningful.

There is definitely a certain fragility that comes with creating scents - what one scent triggers in one person is often completely different to what it may trigger in another.  Take for example, coffee.  To Person A, the smell of fresh ground coffee evokes thoughts of their 7am pre-work ritual at their favourite cafe.  For Person B, coffee takes them back to their first date and reminds them of the accidental cappuccino moustache they gave themselves while trying to impress their partner.  Person C doesn't even like coffee, but the smell serves as a fond reminder of his Mother who loved it dearly.  Such is the power of smell and the source of our inspiration.

Where did the name Thematikos come from?

We get this one ALOT!  

Our brand has taken inspiration from our Greek heritage and Thematikos is (in a sense) Greek for 'thematic' - of, relating to, or being a theme: a scene of thematic importance.  For us, the name stands for and represents our vision and the deeper meaning behind the products we create.

What's been the most challenging and rewarding part of starting Thematikos?

The most rewarding has definitely been the support we have received.  It has been so overwhelming and we are so appreciative of it all and proud of what we have done in such a short time.  It has also been so rewarding seeing all of our work, planning and visions actually come to life - holding one of our candles and thinking wow this all came from just an idea.

In terms of the most challenging, it would have to be COVID-19 and all the related difficulties that come with that - suppliers falling away, travel restrictions, communication....  Although, I have to say it's taught Nicole to get a little bit more tech savvy (Sorry Mum).

What's the best advice you were given or gave to someone?

It came from my Grandfather - 'Don't be scared of anything or anyone'

What's been your favourite candle scent? (besides Prana Chai, of course)

Such a good question.  

I feel tied to all of them and the ideas behind them - naturally it's hard to choose just one.  But, Prana Chai aside of course, for me, it's BY THE FIRE.  It's a really complex and smoky fragrance and reminds me of escaping from the city which I don't do enough.  

You've recently created an amazing Prana Chai scented soy candle, can you share a bit about the process of creating this?

With all our scents, we start with a pretty similar process - it begins with an idea and then a solid scent storm.  Many fragrances, vials, samples, trials, and burn tests later we land on our end product.  I have a book that I keep and develop my ideas in and Mum does something similar with her journaling.  We then bring our ideas together and see where we land.

With Prana Chai, I was lucky enough to be taken on a tour of PRANA HQ by the founders.  I learnt the brand story, got a feel for the processes and key ingredients (and of course, got my hands on the Chai).  A few cups of chai later, Mum and I had created our collaboration.

Is there a big goal you're working towards over the next year?

There always is..  Keep an eye out for our 'IN' collection which will land early 2021.


Grab yourself a limited edition Prana Chai soy candle