Gizelle Drue, 34, has gained a reputation for providing a premium line of scented candles locally.
Drue, the owner of Tobago Wyck, said her candles capture the varied essences of Tobago's unique and scenic sites.
When she spoke with Business Day recently, Drue shared her inspiration as well as the story of how the business was formed.
“Tobago Wyck became a reality and was registered in August 2020.
“The idea of a local candle company came to me during the first covid19 lockdown. I knew I wanted the name to be local and synonymous with local themes, so I came up with the idea of Tobago Wyck.”
Drue said she has worked tirelessly to create unique mixes of aromas with a signature Tobago influence that can immediately transport clients across the landscape.
“I chose to start Tobago Wyck because I know that candles and scents are a thing that many people love, therefore I wanted to make something that would create nostalgia for locals, local tourists, and international tourists.”
Since 2020 international visitors have been unable to visit Tobago owing to closed borders while those within TT continue to struggle to cope with the covid19 restrictions limiting movement.
Hence, the mother of three thought about ways to bring back memories of places that people would typically visit on the island.“The majority of my themes are made up of local sayings: beaches, villages and landmarks in Tobago. There is Store Bay Bliss, Pure Pigeon Point, Sex on Grafton Beach, Mt Irvine Madness, Englishman’s Escape, Majestic Moriah Mountains, Sultry Speyside.”
She said she is content with what she has accomplished to date as her customers are satisfied.
“It’s much more than I expected. To date, I am so surprised by how pleased clients have been with the product line, and its packaging – it encourages me to do more.”
Proudly, she said her most popular candle is the Tobago Man.
“Tobago Man is a strong, musky, sultry man scent that is loved by both men and women.”
She said while her focus is mainly on candles, she also makes other items.
“I make reed diffusers with different essential oils; I also make mini scented hand sanitisers; I am currently making body yoghurt and body scrub; I sell incense and different sage products.”
She said all her items are made from scratch, adding that her products and materials are also mostly sourced locally, which includes beeswax.
“I am very grateful for the bees; without them many things could not be made, including candles. My customers who enjoy the beeswax are very knowledgeable and look forward to those items. I also use soy wax, as beeswax is always in very high demand on the island and (is) sometimes difficult to source.”
As business continues to bloom, she is ready to burn even brighter for the world to see.
“My hope for Tobago Wyck is grand. I wish for it to reach the living rooms, bedrooms and offices of people all over the world, hopefully, in an attempt to love and remember Tobago for its beauty, and the memories they may have had here.”
She has given herself three years to achieve this feat.