Ella Kennedy is the Founder of Bread & Weather, a handmade scented candles and naturl soaps, made with essential oils business.
How does your creativity present itself?
I love playing with ingredients. When I have a recipe or a formula I have a
starting point. Then I like to see how many elements I can change and what the effect is. I used to love chemistry class in school – the experiment part of it anyway. Then I studied culinary arts in college and worked as a private chef/caterer for eight years. Now I make candles and soaps where
my ingredients are wax and essential oils. I don't think I could paint or
make music because there aren't enough boundaries for me. I like a few
rules and then to play within that. With food the rules are it's got to be
edible and delicious. With candles they have to burn with a nice flame and
a nice scent (not as easy as it sounds to achieve!). Then within that you can
go anywhere with presentation/design/colour/shape etc.
What is creative about your work?
Both taste and scent are senses that have a lot to do with memory and
association. I like to try and put ingredients together in a way that gets a
particular reaction from people. I love when they taste or smell something
and then look at me with wide eyes that say 'Oh! That! How did you know
What is your most used item / software / app in your work?
My kitchen. I converted a stable at my parent's house into a production
kitchen eight years ago. It's got everything I need and the best day is when
I can go in there and mess about with ingredients in peace. On days when I
don't feel inspired I sometimes go and sit in there and usually within a few
minutes I'll start to feel better and have an idea about how to get un-stuck
from whatever the problem was.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Anxiety. You name it, I can catastrophise about it.
How do you deal with that?
I've been using the 10I Happier meditation app for over two years. I also
started to journal a lot since the pandemic. I have seven different journals
on the go at the moment. Both of those practices help a lot.
How do you top up your creative cup?
Rest. It is so easy to overwork yourself when you're self employed.
Everything is better and easier after a day off or a nap. I knew I didn't want
to be self employed as a cook any more for over a year but could not solve
the problem of what I was going to do. It was only when I finally gave up
trying and said 'sod it I'll just take the furlough money, sit and look out the
window and do nothing' that the candle idea came to me. It was exactly
like in the movies. The whole idea came to me fully formed. I immediately
started filling up folders with lists and ideas and plans. It is the perfect fit
for me. So that movie montage is a cliche for a reason I suppose!
What podcast / book / person would you recommend to another creative
Company of One by Paul Jarvis. It gives you permission to do your thing in
your way. It opens your eyes to all the ways there are to be be creative
and self employed. I've found it really helpful and encouraging. I can't even
listen to it while driving because I want to pause it to take notes every five
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