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Small Business Survivors | Nose Best Candles on pandemic beginnings, going viral on TikTok and opening a store in Brooklyn

Nose Best Candles
Brittany Furnari (l) and the Nose Best Candles store in Brooklyn.
Photos courtesy of Nose Best Candles

An online candle shop that went viral on social media is reaching new heights with a new Brooklyn storefront.

Nose Best Candles was launched by Brittany Furnari and Cristian Abbrancati in July 2020. The two started by making soy wax candles in their homes and selling them online.

“We figured out how to make soy wax candles in a studio apartment kitchen,” said Furnari. “We wanted to give people a different experience than just a typical candle.”

Each candle has a quirky name such as Big Spoon, Mountain Daddy, and What A Prick, just to name a few, and is made in-house in a reusable jar. In an effort to make the candle into a unique experience, each candle comes with a cocktail recipe in an online speakeasy and a curated Spotify playlist to really blend your senses and give you a feeling of synesthesia.

“It was perfect for stay-at-home orders, it gave more of an experience with it,” said Furnari. “Now it’s taken on its own personal, fun and inclusive brand, which was important to us because Cris is queer and I’m BIPOC. We wanted to also have community aspects to the brand to make people laugh.”

Photo courtesy of Nose Best Candles

Nose Best established itself as an online shop over the course of the pandemic. Then, in June 2021, Abbrancati posted a TikTok that took the business to new heights.

“We had been posting 2 to 3 times a day for a month, really trying to harness the power that social media has. We were following trends and crazy ideas, and the one that blows up is an elevator pitch talking about the company,” said Abbrancati. “It sits at 2.2 million views and was why the shop sold out three times in a row.”

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On top of their new TikTok notoriety, Nose Best Candles made their way into the Queens Night Market, which Furnari described as a “gamer changer.” With sales going up, Furnari and Abbrancati found that they were in need of some more space.

On Dec. 1, Nose Best Candles opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Brooklyn. The store shares the space with Butterfly Club, a store that highlights local merchants and meets the same standards of sustainability that Nose Best Candles aims to meet.

“We basically wanted to create a home vibe. What we curate in this store is perfect for the bookworm or homebody that is trying to find things in life that are sustainable or upcycled,” said Abbrancati. “You need things in life like candles, a comfy t-shirt and skin care. We have our business, but Butterfly Club brings other small businesses that are curated into this space and products that go beyond just a candle. What we sell not only makes you feel good, but also do good for the earth.”

“Butterfly Club has items selected with different brands that are inclusive and sustainable. They are all very small businesses and you can feel good about supporting local artists,” said Furnari. “It feels really good to put money in the pockets of people who commit to doing well.”

Photo courtesy of Nose Best Candles

In the coming months, Nose Best Candles wants to start up candle making classes and host events in the space, and maybe over time open another storefront. For right now, it’s important for both Furnari and Abbrancati to plant roots in the Brooklyn community and understand what’s happening in their neighborhood.

“How can we as a store put our work into people outside of the store?” said Abbrancati. “We can be known as the candle spot, the sustainable spot, the upcycled place, while doing things with the community. It’s great to build a brand and a business, but if there is no bigger purpose, what is fulfilling you?”

Nose Best Candles is located at 96 Knickerbocker Avenue and is open from 12 to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. For more information or to shop online. visit nosebestcandles.com.

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