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Meet Tony Rouse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Rouse.

Hi Tony, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My story starts in 2012 at Neiman Marcus Atlanta when I was contracted on a branding project for a French Parfum House to increase in-store sales, brand affinity and overall awareness. I am happy to report that we more than tripled their sales during my time on the project and also found new inventive ways to introduce the product via packaging and innovation. What I would later realize that it was my time in “Fragrance Land,” as I would come to call it, next to the titans of industry, including Tom Ford, Clive Christian and Creed that the seed was planted that, “Hey… I could do this.” But this was only a buried seed as I completed the project to favorable reviews and that was that.

Flash forward four years and I found myself wanting to build a hotel, but I realized I had one simple problem… I didn’t have any hotel money. Especially not for what I wanted and so I prayed about it and asked God what I needed to do. I believe wholeheartedly in verse from the Bible, James 1:5, which says that any man that lack wisdom let him ask God of it, who freely gives it… and that’s exactly what I did. I figured I didn’t know, but He did. And the answer I got back was “Candle.” This kinda took me off guard, but I didn’t have any other option and I’ve gotten to the place of trust and realizing He knows my future better than I do, so why not. My thought process was if I can’t buy a hotel right now I will at least create what it should smell like. So we released and launched “SCENT by Tony Rouse.” I always knew candles typically were a “no man’s land” in that it is heavily supported by women, but I was like, I’m dope and this will be different so we proceeded to create our first high-end, masculine-scented candle to great reviews from friends and family at a $55 price tag. Flash forward four more years and a brand re-vamp… I am happy to report that we currently offer six (6) signature candles, had our Mogul Candle named a Favorite of the Year by internet sensation Tabitha Brown, 2 Times Square Billboards and even a remix by multi-platinum music producer, Suede the Remix God.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road… and if anyone ever says that they are lying to you. The biggest challenge was building a market in an arena that somewhat didn’t exist and being able to make it relevant and exciting and also getting people to understand that we’re creating an experience and not just lighting something on fire.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My background is in branding and marketing and in addition to being a chandler (fancy word for candle maker), I get hired by Big Brands to solve problems. One of my most favorite projects was re-creating The Silver Moon Barber Shop for Adidas, where I served as Creative Consultant on the award-winning project. We received The Phoenix Award from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Office, which is the highest award given by The City of Atlanta and it signified the story of Adidas helping to preserve the heritage of the oldest black barbershop in Atlanta that held a legacy for over a hundred years. My self-supplied alias is “The Curator of High-End Experiences”, but that is exactly what I do. I create experiences seemingly out of nothing to make it special for people. I have created and hosted award-winning chef-driven experiences in the city and also have my own eau de parfum fragrance entitled “SIGNATURE by Tony Rouse.”

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Yes. The best lesson I have learned is “Don’t Quit!” It all may look impossible, BUT IT’S NOT! Impossible is simply “I’m Possible.” If you need some encouragement, look at my story of a dude making candles that has started buzzing in Hollywood and can even now say an Academy Award-Winner (OSCARS) is a client. We don’t name drop as that is impolite, but we outchea…


  • Candle Prices start at $25 and go up to $100 per individual unit.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Shaquille Kokumo

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