• Journal Archive

Flambeauxs' Monique Champagne is from the bayou. "I think I always knew I’d move to New Orleans — I lived here when I was little for a bit and always just kinda loved it, and would always come back every time I left." She tells us this from her small studio in the Bywater, cinder-block walls etched with half-quotes and draped with small transparencies.

We visited her studio and talked beginnings, process, and hiding candles. Last year around this time we spoke with Monique pretty in-depth about New Orleans and her work.

I always thought 7-day candles were really fun, and I just wanted to learn how to print on them because I had all these ideas of what would be cool on a 7-day candle. But printing on them didn’t come very easy – like how do you get this on this round silky glass? So I would print stickers and stuff - but then my girlfriend did some perfuming and had these little bottles and we were like, “Oh, we should print on the bottles” and that’s kind of how it started. Once I figured that out, I was excited to realize I could do it on the candles. It’s been a learning process, but it seems I’m getting better.

I’m trying to do more of my own artwork – like I love quotes (sometimes that’s just what you need, just a quote or music have always gotten me through – no matter what). I like this idea of having this spiritual aspect of it – quote on a candle from a song that ‘just got you through’. But then I started thinking of ways I could put art on there – I’m not a particularly great artist, but the candle is a cool medium.

I’m pretty lucky in regard to the artists that I get to work with (the train roars loudly just outside the studio window). Obviously with ‘You Go Girl’, he’s just the sweetest guy and so creative and wonderful – and I just love his stuff, so I reached out to him about doing some candles. He was into it right away, so we just started hanging out, printing candles, and hiding them. If I like someone’s art, I try to just reach out to them and say, “Hey, let’s do a candle.” Most of the time, people are totally down. When I have the time, I try to keep it fresh with new artists.

The very first candle, we hid right away. That was kind of the point of the whole thing – just giving them away and spreading light and kindness. Also, the idea of a scavenger hunt is just so fun. So just kind of keeping an adventurous spirit about it all. I’d say the best part of it really is the hiding of the candle. Half the time I don’t hear back or know what ever happens, and that’s pretty fun too. But it’s also really fun when someone’s like, “I got it!” (Laughs) Yea, I love hiding them. And they’re easy to hide, they kind of can be in a rain storm for a little bit, it’s not like they get too beat up.

I think just sticking to the collaborations and the hiding thing – I don’t know what’s next, it kind of just organically happens. I’ve had a lot of interest in these candles – random interest. I didn’t think it’d be like that, but I would like to focus more on it when my current job is over. But I don’t know where it’ll go, which is kind of fun. People ask for custom candles often – marketing companies, people getting married, a lot of non-profits (I try to give them to non-profits almost for free, because that’s really cool and they can sell them easily). I like to figure out how to make that work – to make a product for a company with a purpose that resonates with me. Like animal welfare – I guess the word is out that I love animals. I also have a lot of pals in Austin, so bringing it to Austin would be a fun venture too.

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Weekend Notes + A Christmas Mixtape

Merry Christmas, New Orleans.

Some Announcements:
-- We will open early at 10AM on Saturday and Sunday at both DNO Garden District and DNO Downtown.
-- We will also offer a free tote with purchases over $10 (in-store only) and free shipping on online purchases over $50.

    And in celebration of the holiday season, we put together a playlist with zero Christmas songs — instead, it's a regional mixtape that'll make you feel right at home. Enjoy the sounds of Ernie K Doe, Clifton Chenier, and other Louisiana icons.

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    BEST LOOKS OF 2017

    Today is our final day to guarantee shipping in time for Christmas. Take a look at our best looks of 2017...

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