From Detroit to Austria: Baroness Monica von Neumann Puts a Regal Spin on the Candle Business

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Madame Noire: How did you start the business?

Baroness Monica von Neumann: I always loved candles. I saw room for me in the marketplace.  I knew I could form the perfect team to develop the perfect scents and the most luxurious packaging.

MN:Why candles?

Baroness: I am known for always having fresh flowers and candles in my home.  Candles was [and] is part of my strategy to my brand, Baroness von Neumann.  Candles are the inaugural product of this brand.  In a not so great economy, the sales of small luxury goods increase.  Candles are the perfect choice in these economic times.

MN: What have been some of the obstacles you’ve faced?

Baroness: Finding trustworthy vendors, realistic and targeted timelines for production and getting people to acknowledge that an African-American Baroness is a tastemaker in a competitive market.

MN: What do enjoy most about your business?

Baroness: I enjoy the creative part the most.  I have a nose for scents.  It is beyond gratifying to see my vision on store shelves.

MN: Many would think as a Baroness you would either be home relaxing or jet setting. Why did you decide to go into business?

Baroness: I decided to go into business because it was time to get the von Neumann name out there.  I am proud of my husband and my family. My husband would be proud that the von Neumann name is attached to a respectful product and our family crest is our brand’s logo.

MN: You support several charities. Why is this important to you?

Baroness: I am very much so involved in philanthropy. March to the Top holds a special place in my heart.  They focus on building hospitals and orphanages for AIDS and HIV-affected children.  I believe that giving back is so important.  [The March to the Top Foundation (M2T) helps underprivileged people of Africa by providing support in health care, education and conservation.]

MN: What’s a typical day is like?

Baroness: I don’t have typical days.  Each day is different.  Consistently a typical day includes answering emails, daily meetings with my staff and day-to-day operations of my business.  I take a strong lead in every decision-making aspect of my business, may it be developing more products, scents and spreading brand exposure. I am busy and I love it.

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