With Sister-In-Law Whitney Houston In Mind, Pat Houston’s Marion P Candles Is A Labor Of Love

April 28, 2014  |  

A line of therapeutically scented candles might not seem like a product borne from the loving relationship between sisters. But that’s exactly what it is in the case of Marion P Candles, a collection of luxury soy candles inspired by the precious bond of sisters-in-law Pat and Whitney Houston.

Pat Houston managed the career of the most lauded singer in history, spending time with Whitney on the road and off.

“During the holidays, she always wanted to come to my home,” Pat Houston recalls. The women shared something that transcended their working relationship and embraced family and friendship. That alone was evident in the way Whitney addressed her manager and sister-in-law.

“It was always Marion P,” says Pat Houston. The nickname, a term of endearment from one sister to another, comes from Pat Houston’s given name, Marion Patricia.

Whitney Houston’s affection for her sister went beyond a sweet pet name. She championed branding Marion P onto something — anything — that shared Pat Houston’s kind and comforting nature. To sweeten the prospect the Grammy-winning singer, who shunned lucrative advertising offers, agreed to endorse whatever bore the name.

The concept finally came during a leg of the 2010 Nothing But Love World Tour. Ignited by Whitney’s persistent persuasion Pat, ventured to launch Marion P Candles. It’s the ideal business model for two candle enthusiasts, and Whitney immediately advocated the operation. While touring Pat Houston delved into the candle industry. A freshman in a $2 billion industry competing with everyone from Yankee Candle to personal favorite Jo Malone, she endeavoured to create a product that draws spotlight in a dense marketplace.

As Pat reviewed prospects she kept this in mind: “I knew it had to be something different and special. Not just candles, but an experience.”

While in L.A. Pat Houston arranged a meeting with a woman whose business focuses on organic aromatherapy candles. Inside the Hotel Wilshire they collaborated and eventually settled on handmade candles that melt into an oil that perfumes the home and soothes the skin. Marion P Candles are set in glass jars and packaged in biodegradable white boxes — both adorned with 24-karat gilded logos. Lighting a candle is an intimate pleasure, so each of the Marion P’s pots is scented and named to create a spiritual connection. Pat Houston, guided by her personal bond to Israel forged after a number of visits, chooses fragrances she calls “scents from the Holy Land,” such as Jordina (fig lychee) and Jericho (cedarwood amber).

However creating a loyal customer base from Hollywood to Budapest is not Pat Houston’s only goal. After noticing a disturbing trend while visiting family and friends in North Carolina, she had begun a career in community action years prior. Now she had another avenue for helping young people in need.

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