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It is at the Emosia company headquarters, route d’Elbeuf in Grand Bourgtheroulde, that we meet, a month and a half after the announcement of the acquisition of the start-up My Jolie Candle, the president of Emosia, Olivier Sillion, and the new director of My Jolie Candle, Guillaume Rolland.
At the end of July, you announced the acquisition of the start-up My Jolie Candle, is it a brand that you have been interested in for a long time?
Olivier Sillion (OS): Yes, we had already met them in 2018, when they were organizing their first fundraiser. It was a little early for us, first we needed to reorganize the company internally before asking if it was an interesting diversification.
We track them, look at their performance and what could cause difficulties. We identified that for companies that are created and that only exist on the Internet, it is more difficult. When it comes to candles, it’s still nice to see them, touch them, smell is a key element.
We approached them again this year.
We are heritage brands, inscribed in people’s minds for a long time, but we haven’t won much over the young audience.
What is your interest in buying this company?
OS: They were moving towards an omnichannel strategy, with points of sale and still selling online, but they didn’t have the means. We have these resources, we have the expertise, an attack force, 7,000 points of sale worldwide, we are capable of agility and organization. Between us and them, it matched.
Guillaume Rolland (GR): For us, it was a strategic acquisition, as the brand has a very strong reputation among young people, generation Z, between 18 and 35 years old, is a target more adept at social networks, selling online.
OS: It’s our youth component. We tend to have heritage brands, which have been on people’s minds for a long time, but we don’t get young customers very often and this brand completes our offering.
Strong awareness of My Jolie Candle aged 18-35
In relation to the old team, what has changed in the acquisition?
OS: We took on the whole team, 35 people, minus the manager, who wanted to do something else. Guillaume became the boss of My Jolie Candle. He created his start-up SensorWake when he was 18, in his garage. He developed it and we bought it in 2019. He continued to take care of the olfactory awakening and later became the innovation director of the group.
GR: The team is motivated by the development prospects and industrial know-how offered by Emosia, which knows candles and home fragrances perfectly. We will be able to diversify the offer.
We want to expand the offer around perfume.
Precisely, what do you intend to do with My Jolie Candle?
GR: Let’s make innovations, new products. We want to expand the offer around perfume, candles without jewelry. People love My Jolie Candle fragrances.
OS: Our aim is to use the group’s industrial know-how for My Jolie. Within a year the candles will be manufactured in our factories, we are making a gradual transfer.
Three purchases in three years
This is the group’s third acquisition in three years, after the start-ups Bescent and Carmin Créations (2019 and 2021) and the Devineau group (2019), how to ensure that Emosia maintains harmony?
OS: Emosia is a composite company. We seek to maintain a double spirit: attachment to brands and their unique spirit, which we do not seek to untie, on the other hand, we seek to create a complementary link that unites us all, this link is Emosia. We leave autonomy to the brands, but we define a structure.
Is it a desire to turn today more to candles than to lamps?
OS: Lampe Berger is a niche product. It’s a great product, it perfumes, purifies the air, but it’s still a lamp that doesn’t light up, a flameless combustion that responds to a ritual. Lampe Berger is to home fragrance what veal blanquette is to food: the result is wonderful, but it’s complicated, it takes time.
Not everyone will use a Berger lamp. Candles make up a quarter of the world market, being the most used product in people’s daily lives to perfume. The candle represents 60 to 70% of our revenue, against 25% for the Berger lamp.
The Berger lamp is a niche product.
Do you have other companies in sight for a potential next purchase?
OS: We are not traders, we are manufacturers. Today, we have acquired all the know-how that we believe is necessary in the home fragrance market.
Industrial companies with products that cannot be manufactured, I don’t see any. From the brand’s point of view, the objective was to cover all units of need and customers. Currently, thanks to My Jolie Candle, we are approaching 7 to 77 years old. Maybe what we would still miss is luxury, but we don’t have to buy back for that, we can do it ourselves. There, in the short term, I don’t see any strategic acquisitions.
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