We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Whisenand and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was raised by a mother who loved to create. She made pottery in the kiln in our backyard and dabbled in crafts, including the art of candle making. Inspired by my childhood and first mentor in the arts, I started creating scented candles for our home. After 20 years spent in the real estate appraisal business, I have seen the inside of many homes. It’s an intimate experience to walk through someone’s home…the pictures on the wall, memories created and shared, design styles that come and go, and the intangibles that make a really special home just that…special. It’s a balance between the people that live there and the meaningful items that are collected and displayed that lend presence and charm to a special home. I have always had a passion for home décor; I love creating, and knew I wanted to produce something unique that could lend itself to the appeal and personality of someone’s home. In 2017, my husband Taylor and I began to create our brand that would become backhouse. Together in our brainstorming sessions, we shared what makes a home special and how the best of life and some of our most important memories happen inside those four walls.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always loved working. I have worked since I was 15. Probably one of the most influential jobs I had was from the age of 16-21 when I worked for Ralph Lauren. There were so many talented people there with just great style which instilled a passion for design in me. After graduating college and after a few jobs, I landed on getting my Real Estate appraising license. After 20 plus years working as a real estate appraiser and life taking some turns I did not expect, we started bachouse fragrances. Many of the names of the scents are inspired by my road to growth and finding my place in life. Without realizing it, backhouse became such a special labor of love and a real journey of becoming the person I am today. I love the creative outlet of backhouse and getting to design packaging and branding while pouring candles. I am so grateful for every client who has been so supportive. It was a scary thing to launch. I think it’s natural to have doubts and it took encouragement from so many people-people really believing in me to take the next step.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I LOVE THIS QUESTION!!! What I love about this question is that I feel sooo blessed with where I live. I was born and raised in so cal and keep so close to my heart how much I love where we live. well-pre covid! I will write this as if covid is not a thing and California is Texas! First day…78 degrees out…we ride our bikes to C’est si bon to pick up sandwiches for the beach. Spend the day enjoying the surf at 34th street and the sand on our toes. On our ride home, stop at the Lido tasting room for a glass or wine. Get home and ready for dinner -first night CDM Restaurant …love it there! Next day-off to the Lido House for two nights. Enjoy their pool/walk to the beach and eat at Malibu Farms/Zinque and shop at Jenni Kayne/Alchemy Works/Elyse Walker/Clare V and all of the other amazing shops! Then hit Laguna Beach for some shopping at Laguna Supply and a day at Montage spa. More eating an drinking at A Restaurant, Haute Cakes, Eat Chow and of course shopping at Fashion island. Last stop before my bestie departs, the Long Beach flee market. I always love the hunt for the perfect treasure.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no way that I would be where I am today without my husband and my parents. My husband is always supportive of me/my vision/my passions, etc. So…when I mentioned (on the fly) that I could make candles to him, he was like -WHAT?!!! LET’S DO THIS! All in….maybe even before me! When I have doubts or need a clear direction on something-he is always there to tell me what I need to hear. My parents are always there to encourage me, tell me how proud they are of me and are ALWAYS there when I am working hard and need help with my kids or need some mini candles wicked! It takes a village so I am here today because of so many others also. My kids -who help me with photos/moving boxes/wicking samples and anything I ask of them…which is all of the time! And my friends-how could we get through life without them! I am beyond grateful to so many!