The Family Behind Fragrance & Candle Company Nerridah & Ross

Just the phrase ‘family business’ is enough to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Add exotic and sweet-smelling candles, diffusers and more into the mix, and you can spread that warm, fuzzy feeling around your home as well (literally).

Based out of Werribee in Melbourne’s south western suburbs, family owned and run candle company Nerridah & Ross stock and ship an array of products, from salt, selenite and essential oils, to hand, face & body products and greeting cards. Partnering with and promoting brands from all over Australia, there isn’t a premium or sought-after scent that they don’t sell.

Whether you’re after a special fragrance gift pack for a friend or family member, or just a little something to light for yourself at home, Nerridah & Ross has something for everyone, every occasion and any room of the house, office or outdoor space.

So, keep reading to go behind the scenes at the fragrance and candle company and learn more about the brand from co-founder Sue Stinchcombe…

1. Who are the people behind Nerridah & Ross and how did the brand come about?

My husband Phil and I are the founders of the brand. The name Nerridah & Ross comes from both of our middle names, and for me, it’s been a nice way to honour my grandmother as it was her name too. We’re responsible for setting up the candle company and making the day-to-day decisions, as well as packing the orders and getting them to the post office.

In our ‘real’ lives, I am a secondary school English teacher and Phil works in the automation industry. For some time, we both had an interest in the retail space and starting an online business allowed us to do so without having to commit to shopping centre hours as well as helping us keep our overheads a bit lower. 

Our daughter Elisha is a wonderful support to us. She unpacks stock, creates Instagram and Facebook stories and loves chatting about our newest products and what we will be getting next. Our son Jake doesn’t have as big a role in the business as he doesn’t live at home, but if we need someone to do a postal run or to promote us to their friends, we can always count on him.

2. What’s your earliest memory of scent and why do you think it’s so important?

I have very vivid memories of the smell of fresh hay at my grandparents' farm and growing up, the smell of the jasmine at our family home as well as the fresh, salty smell of the sea. I love that a fragrance can transport me back to a memory, like the soft, powdery, violet scent my great grandmother used to wear or the citrus notes of 4711 Eau De Cologne in the little bottle with the blue & gold label. 

For Phil, it’s the smell of fresh cut grass or the smell when it finally rains after a number of hot days in a row.

Jasmine flower

3. Do you have a preferred method to fragrance your home?

We have diffusers in the smaller spaces of our home, such as the bathrooms. In our living areas, we usually burn candles, sometimes the same scent other times we mix and match. 

I’ll often burn tealights too, usually fragrance free so that they don’t compete with the candles, but I have them in tealight holders to add to the feel of the space. For some reason at Christmas we always have wax melts filling the air, maybe because I have always loved the Elume range (their signature scent of cinnamon spice is always perfect for the festive season!)

Elisha enjoys the sweeter fragrances and she usually has her own candle burning in her bedroom. 

4. What are some of your favourite brands and fragrances?

As the world’s worst person to ask for a favourite, I’ll do my best. Mine always changes and I’m not good at committing to any one fragrance so, this week – candles I’m loving are Lost in Amalfi by Glasshouse Fragrances, Moonlit Lake by Scarlet & Grace and Grove from the Myles Gray Bare Basics range. Oh, and I really love Pomegranate & Raspberry by Surf Coast Candles too (told you I can’t choose a favourite!)

We use Scarlet & Grace’s Black Raspberry & Vanilla hand and body wash in our bathroom (also Phil’s favourite candle scent) and Ecoya’s Juniper Berry & Mint in the kitchen. We also love The Commonfolk Collective’s body bars and Ecoya’s celebration hand cream (Vanilla & Musk) can always be found in my handbag. 

Elisha’s favourites are a bit like mine, often changing throughout the seasons. She likes Tahaa by Glasshouse and Vanilla & Nutmeg by Elume during the festive season. At the moment, she is loving Coconut Vanilla Bean by Elume, Lotus Flower by Ecoya, Gingerbread House by Glasshouse and Equilibre by Myles Gray – but not all at the same time! She also loves her Toasted Coconut car diffuser and is enjoying Champagne & Strawberries as her body wash, as well as an array of Glasshouse Eau de Parfums.

Jake, like his dad, has just one favourite – Elume’s Oriental Musk. He sometimes considers other fragrances, but when he heads for his home it is always with an Oriental Musk something (candle, diffuser, melts) in his possession.

5. Why is it important to you to stock Australian made products?

When we first started looking for products to stock, we consciously tried to find brands that were closely linked to Australia, as we felt like this would allow us to support Australian handmade businesses and we believe that the quality is going to be better. We have loved the opportunity to really get to know the people behind the brands and feel like we have made some really good choices. 

We are always looking at new products to bring on board, and we like to be able to speak with the people who are responsible, not just a candle company ‘agent.’ We like to find products that are well made, use good ingredients, smell beautiful, and are functional and unique – for the way they are made or for the products themselves.

A woman candle making

6. Who do you think the ideal Nerridah & Ross customer is and why?

Many of our customers are gifting, and we love helping them by providing free gift wrapping and by hand-writing on the accompanying gift cards. We have been really excited to wrap presents for a number of prospective Bridesmaids and Maids of Honour – it makes us feel a bit special to be part of such a significant moment in peoples’ lives.

We also have lots of customers who are spoiling themselves, so we think having a wide range with a good variety of price points means people can always fragrance their homes with their favourites. 

7. If your candle company could be endorsed by a celebrity/public figure, who would you want it to be, and why?

Hmmmm, I think one of the Hemsworths. No seriously, I think it would be someone that:

  • Genuinely loves and uses the products that we stock
  • Likes our choice of products for the brand, so I think it would probably be an Australian who appreciates supporting Australian products

8. What’s next for Nerridah & Ross? Any new brands or product types coming soon?

Scarlet & Grace are releasing new packaging which is gorgeous, and we love Glasshouse and Ecoya’s Limited Editions that come out each year. Elume has released some new pillars which we are looking forward to stocking and there are a couple of brands we are hoping to add – nothing certain yet though, so we have to keep that quiet for now. Our subscribers and members of our Facebook VIP group will be the first to know!

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