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Poet Chloe Mitchell Talks Luxury Candle Line and How our Senses and Safety are Connected.

Poet Chloe Mitchell Talks Luxury Candle Line and How our Senses and Safety are Connected.

Infused with both fragrance and fantasy, Maison de Foy delights us with a collection of hand-poured soy candles, carefully crafted to awaken the senses. “I want people to feel whatever they feel and just let it go through their body,” reflects Chloe, the CEO of Maison De Foy. Whether it’s rose petals and ylang ylang in the Rose Wood candle, sultry amaretto and oud in the Shalom, or rather the soothing notes of lavender and rosemary in the Janice Foy, these fragrances are carefully selected to be paired with poetry, nostalgia and the ritual of self-care. Janice Foy candle was also named lovingly after Owner’s late grandmother (a muse behind the creation of the brand). The excerpt on the label reads: “I still think of you from time to time. You may have been the greatest love I’ve known so far.”

A fine example of an artist working with all of her senses, Mitchell is already known for her popular collaborations with music artists, notably Rihanna, Kanye West, and Teyana Taylor. What’s more, she also possesses a deep sensibility towards creative expression. When she speaks, it is as though she has her finger right on the metaphysical pulse of things. We had a chance to catch up with her and explore all things brand origins — and her experience as a creative intuitive; one who makes it a practice to cherish safety, serenity, and emotional closeness. “Feel it all. Experience it all, and just let it go” as she declares. There’s an eloquence to her manner of expressing that only further translates into her creations. Read on to explore the gems she has shared with us.

Artist Roy Nachum, Rihanna, and Chloe Mitchell at Rihanna’s 8th album artwork reveal for “ANTI” at MAMA Gallery (2015)

DESCRIBE THE BEGINNING OF YOUR LOVE FOR POETRY.

Well, I started writing poetry when I was around seven years old. I didn’t know that I was writing poetry. I just knew that I had things I just needed to get off my mind. Sometimes when you’re so young, like seven, eight years old, it’s hard to really understand how you’re feeling and then also be able to vocalize it. Somehow, I decided to just write out how I was feeling at the moment, and then it just became my go-to outlet for expressing my feelings. As I got older, my vocabulary became more extensive and my awareness of my feelings grew. I fell in love with the art of writing, and it really became a part of who I was — and is still an integral part of who I am becoming. Writing poetry is my therapy. I honestly could say that I owe my life to poetry. I’m not sure if I would really still be here without it. It’s an extension of who I am. I’m so grateful for where it’s taken me so far. 

WOULD YOU SAY YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH POETRY IS MORE CHANGING OR CONSTANT?

It’s definitely something that remains constant. There are moments where I take a break from writing, but it’s something that I’m always going to do. It’s one of the best ways for me to express how I feel, whether it’s joy or sadness. Whatever I’m going through, I choose to use writing to explore that. I can express myself in a way that makes sense to me. I can’t really explain it, I just feel like, “Ah! Yes, it makes sense.”

WHERE, WHAT, OR WHO IS YOUR MUSE?

It really depends on where I am mentally, geographically, emotionally, and so on. I really see everything and everyone as a potential muse and definitely as a source of inspiration. I am obsessed with the sky, the clouds, trees, the natural world; I love music and food. I can find inspiration everywhere. I can really write about anything if my spirit moves me to write, it’s just a feeling that I get. I think that’s what helps me be a great writer, poet, and creative person. There’s so many different elements of life that you just have to look at and just really appreciate it. I’m also very visual. I love photography. It really depends, but I try to use everything and everyone as my muse.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE ATTUNED TO SUCH A SPECIFIC FREQUENCY. YOUR LOVE OF THE WORLD EXPRESSES ITSELF IN DIFFERENT WAYS. FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR EMOTIONS LINKING THEMSELVES TO YOUR POETRY AND THEN TO PHOTOGRAPHY AND THEN CANDLES. 

Different channels. Yes! I believe that there’s a certain level of creative openness or creative freedom that you have to possess in order to really see the beauty of things. You just have to have a level of openness. A level of awareness that connects you to your surroundings. 

AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PHILOSOPHY?

I feel like my creative philosophy is pretty much the same as my life philosophy. I never force it. It let it flow. I like to let creativity just guide me. Don’t force anything. Allow things to happen naturally. I’m a really big fan of creating an environment that allows me to fully immerse myself and my creativity and focus just on that. I don’t like to have distractions. I work better in calm environments. Drinking tea, lighting a candle — making sure I prepare myself mentally to enter a space where I feel good about doing what I need to do. Everyone is different. I’ve been in so many different work environments and I’ve learned that allowing distractions into my workspace just isn’t me. I like my environment to match how I feel on the inside — which is calm, serene, and ready to create. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS TO COMMUNICATE YOURSELF AUTHENTICALLY? HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE ACHIEVING IT?

I think you just have to always honor how you feel and how you think. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s been a practice of mine for a while. I haven’t always been the best at honoring myself or putting my feelings first but when you love people and you care about people, you don’t want to pretend. I’ve learned to allow my feelings to be there, give them room to come — and room to pass. I can’t allow outside influences to change me into someone that I have to work at maintaining. It’s exhausting to keep that up. I don’t have the energy. It’s also important to have people in your life who really accept you for who you are. And it’s rewarding to stand on who you are and to be able to convey that through your body language, through the way you speak, and the way you carry yourself. You learn what your body reacts to. Your body will always give you signals on what’s going on around you. It’s like your antenna.

I’D LOVE TO TALK A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK AS THE CEO OF MAISON DE FOY. A CANDLE LINE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE WRITTEN WORLD AND THE PHYSICAL. WHAT WAS YOUR MAIN INSPIRATION FOR EXPLORING THE REALM OF SCENT?

I think this is my favorite question. I had this idea to create Maison De Foy years ago, but different things were happening. One day, I was like, “No, I just need to go ahead and do this.” I’ve always loved candles. They make me feel calm and safe and relaxed. They’re a part of a ritual that makes me feel grounded. I can’t create without burning a candle. I realized yesterday that it’s something I’ve been very passionate about without knowing. It’s always been a part of how I protect and take care of myself. I make myself some tea, I light my candle, I get my paper and my pen, with my computer on the side, and allow myself to just let my mind do what it needs to do. 

Maison De Foy came about because my grandmother passed away a few years ago. Her maiden name was Foy. She was one of the most important people in my life. She still is. Creating this brand was a way for me to just say, thank you. Thanking her for being my second mom, thanking her for being my home away from home, thanking her for just loving me so passionately — the way that she did — and being a true angel in my life. I don’t know where I’d be without her. She gave great advice; she just knew how to make me better. My love for candles and then my love for her, Maison De Foy just made sense. This is her legacy, just as much as it is mine. I named the candle after her. She made me feel loved and protected. It just really made sense to just go hand in hand.

SO SENTIMENTAL. THEY LOOK GORGEOUS, TOO. I LOVE THE ROSE PETALS.

That’s my favorite one. I’m obsessed with roses and I’m obsessed with anything rose scented. I had to make a candle that really spoke to who Chloe Mitchell is. If I were to be a candle, it would be the Rose Wood candle.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE THAT PEOPLE FEEL WHEN THEY INTERACT WITH YOUR ART?

I hope that people feel what they’re afraid to admit to feeling, out loud. I have a slogan that I wrote, and it goes, “I hope my words touch you where my hands can’t.” I’m a very emotional person. In a good way, I think. It feels like a super power, almost, to be able to feel what everyone is feeling, but I had to learn how to protect myself, honestly, from all of that. It’s amazing when people can relate to you in those crazy, distinct ways. I always want people to feel inspired, motivated, loved and looked after. And related to. I want you to feel everything that is good for you because you deserve to feel it all; especially the love, the joy, and the happiness. This world is full, at times, of such sadness. And then, you have things like poetry that can really help you make sense of it. It can make you feel something so beautiful, and words can make you feel like velvet, or like the sun setting down over New York City. Empathy takes you to other places. I want people to feel whatever they feel and really just let it go through their body, experience it, and just let it go.

I CAN TELL YOU’RE A POET, I LOVED THAT RESPONSE. SO, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR PERSONAL SUPERPOWER? 

I think my super power would be my ability to understand things on a deeper level. There are certain conversations you can have with people, and then there are certain conversations that you can’t have with people. I think it’s my ability to always seek information, have a curious mind, be open-minded, as well as my ability to reach people in a way that greatly impacts their lives — I think that’s one of my superpowers. 

It’s my ability to recycle energy and use it for better things. I know now that I have a way with words, and so I’m able to connect with people on a deeper, more emotional level. We both end up feeling seen and understood. I’m a romantic at heart. I romance myself all the time and I’ve learned that when I always treat myself well, that’s always going to spill over into my relationships with people. It’s important for me to let people know how I feel about them on a daily basis, because we’re here today and gone tomorrow, so it’s just important to let people know that, and just be a person of light. It sounds cliché, but that’s just the way I’ve been living my life until today. It has gotten me very, very far.

IF YOU COULD USE THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR AURA, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Loving, compassionate, and free. Over the years, I’ve realized that the reasons that people are drawn to me are usually the same. I was always thinking, when I was younger, like, Why are you talking to me? There isn’t a sign on my forehead that says, “Come talk to me!” You know? I’m quiet, I mind my business, I just go about my day, but somehow, some way, people just gravitate towards me. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that there’s a certain level of compassion that maybe isn’t as common as I assumed. There’s a certain amount of love that I give or have for myself that many people don’t have. And then, also a certain amount of freedom, I guess I would say, in my creativity and my way of thinking, and being, and doing, that a lot of people don’t have. Those would be the top three that I would definitely choose for myself.

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IT’S SO TRUE. SOMETIMES IT TAKES A WHILE FOR YOU TO REALIZE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SEEING IN YOU, WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT, WHAT THEY’RE GRAVITATING TOWARDS. YOU THINK WHY AM I SO EMOTIONAL? OR WHY DO I THINK SO MUCH? BUT AS YOU GROW, YOU LEARN HOW TO CHANNEL IT IN PRODUCTIVE WAYS. 

Exactly! You become more aware of yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, and who you are. It’s about making the decision to choose to be good. I think we all have a nature or a way about us where we can be mean or selfish or vindictive, but we’re human; we’re flawed. I think choosing to do good, choosing to be honest people, choosing to be kind, choosing to have compassion, that’s what we need more of. It’s easy for me to choose that because that’s what my life is all about. I don’t like conflict; I don’t like negativity; I don’t like drama. I make sure that my life is in alignment with how I want to live it.

I KNOW IT WASN’T ADVICE, BUT THAT’S SUCH GOOD ADVICE! ON YOUR SITE, IT SAYS THAT YOU VIEW YOUR LIFE AN ART PIECE. HOW DO YOU WORK EVERY DAY TO HONOUR THAT PERSPECTIVE? 

I pray a lot. I’m not a religious person, but my faith in God is very, very strong. I am in a constant state of gratitude. During the pandemic, I had moments where I wasn’t my best self. I wasn’t happy, I was going through a lot emotionally, and those times helped me remember to just stay as close to God as possible. Praying, talking, having genuine conversations with people that remind me of everything there is to be thankful for. I don’t always feel motivated to create. I’m not a machine. I need breaks too — there’s always another day to do better, to feel better, and to get it right. but I really am nothing without my creativity. I owe my life to writing and to poetry. I thank God everyday, and I don’t take it for granted. There’s a state of gratitude that is just really who I am. 

WHAT ABOUT YOUR WORK ETHIC ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

My drive, my determination and my discipline. The focus I have when writing and creating brings me so much joy and helps me stay in contact with my best self. In my personal life, it’s the same; there’s no separation. As much as I create in my professional life, and I’m dedicated, and I’m disciplined, and I have drive that also spills into my personal life. I am very passionate about my friends, my family, my health, my mental health, my physical health. It’s all just one wheel. I’m most proud of the fact that I keep going.

REALLY WELL SAID. EVEN THE DETOURS ARE A PART OF THE JOURNEY. 

Absolutely. All the changes, give yourself patience. That’s not always the easiest thing to do for ourselves. Again, we can be so quick to extend grace, patience, and compassion to others but sometimes we lack that for ourselves. Again, it’s just really about honoring your feelings first, and putting your feelings first, and absolutely saying no when you don’t want to; you don’t have to explain it. No, is a complete answer– that’s the full sentence– or yes, when you feel compelled to do it. I think a lot of people need to learn to really honor their feelings, because I think that will solve a lot of problems.

THIS HAS BEEN SUCH AN INSPIRING CONVERSATION. I HAVE TO ASK – ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY NEW PROJECTS AT THE MOMENT?

My current passion project is Maison De Foy. I always have a few writing projects going on, because that’s my heart. I’ve been working on a book, not working on it, going up and down about if I want to publish another book right now. Personally, when I published my first book, it was very nerve wracking because never in a million years did I ever think I’d be publishing a book, and publishing a book with personal testimonies, personal thoughts. IThat’s how I felt when I published Therapy Sessions. As an artist, as a creative, you’re always going to be sensitive about your work, you’re always going to be your worst critic. I was really afraid initially of putting my feelings out there. 

Again, I’m not that person who’s going to be at the forefront. I’m going to be chilling on a couch somewhere in my own zone. But I don’t regret it at all. It helped me develop my emotional state and my spiritual state, and it was a great way for me to come into my own. I wrote that book, I don’t know, maybe 2016. To this day, people still will send me messages and write emails and tell me how much that book has helped them. I’ve worked on Blame Game and people still resonate with it. That was 10 years ago. But I get messages about how the poem that I wrote was so impactful, how it really changed the song, how they really felt connected to what I was writing. 

Those are the things that keep me motivated and keep me inspired. It really is a privilege to be able to touch people with my words.

THANK YOU, CHLOE! 

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