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candle in black glass sits on a counter with fragrance spray

Recent Grad Zenas Butterfield Launches Luxe Candle and Fragrance Brand A|Z Apothecary

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Zenas Butterfield moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of 11. He attended North Hollywood High School before FIDM where he earned his A.A. in Merchandise Product Development and B.S. in Apparel Technical Design. He graduated cum laude in 2021 and went into business with his mother, Alicia Butterfield, founding A|Z Apothecary, a California-based luxe candle and fragrance brand utilizing vegan coconut soy wax and high-grade essential oils. We caught up with the entrepreneur, who plans to develop a fashion line as part of his contemporary brand, to learn more.

Tell us about A|Z Apothecary and the inspiration behind the brand: It started when I was looking for fragrances for my room and when I was looking for certain scents, I couldn't find the ones I was looking for. And when I was able to find a scent, the aesthetic of the holder or spray bottle didn't fit the look of my room. I decided that I could probably make what I was looking for and decided to launch A|Z with my mother in 2021.

Zenas Butterfield standing outside on the street with a stop sign in the background

Why vegan coconut soy wax? A lot of the candles and sprays on the market are full of dangerous chemicals and parabens that can be very harmful to your body, over time. We wanted to make a natural product that is made with everyone in mind. Also the coconut soy wax is very delicate and can melt from human touch so it's also easier to clean.

AZ Apothecary candle

Your brand is featured on YouTube channels including Kyron Warrick and Drip Tea Market. Tell us more about your marketing strategy: I wanted to highlight the Youtube fashion community because not only are the people I selected people I watch, but I also think that they are some of the most underrated people when it comes to brand awareness. We also are trying to get more of a lifestyle element with our advertising so that's what we're currently working towards right now.

fragrance spray styled with slices of fresh lime sitting on a table

What are your ultimate goals for your company? A storefront that carries multiple brands, special collaborations, essential clothing line of basic daily wear, a skincare line engineered by my mother who's an esthetician, and home goods. I kinda want A|Z to be a one-stop shop for people to continue visiting.

Zenas Butterfield standing with his mother Alicia Butterfield

How did FIDM help prepare you for entrepreneurship? By giving me everything I needed to design the product and have the product come to fruition.

Anything else you’d like to share? To any student reading this, work smarter! Only working hard will burn you out and stagger the process.

Learn more about A|Z Apothecary at azapothecaryca.com and on Instagram @azapoth.store.

Categories:  Apparel Technical Design Merchandise Product Development Alumni