Sophia Barnes

3 Young Maryland Brothers Find Success With Candle Company

The Gill brothers are a shining example of bright entrepreneurship — And they’re lighting up the candle business.

Thirteen-year-old Collin, 10-year-old Ryan and 8-year-old Austin recently received the D.C. Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and a Best of D.C. 2019 award.

How does it feel?

"Great and empowering. Because not a lot of people get these awards at one time," Collin said.

The talented trio launched their candle business, Frères Branchiaux (frair branch-oe), two years ago. The name means Gill brothers in French.

It all started because of a relatable issue: The brothers wanted more money for life's simple pleasures — Especially video games.

"We had a monthly allowance," Collin said. "We wanted more."


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The D.C.-area boys launched the business with the help of their parents and they’ve sold nearly 10,000 soy-based, scented candles.

They‘re hand-poured in their home studio.

They first sold at pop-up shops. Now they have expanded to 30 stores and are in the process of being sold at Macy’s.

"It makes me feel good about myself," Ryan says. Austin agrees, in particular about their museum customers.

Their parents don't want them to work too hard, especially with high-profile customers such as Google, the Mayflower Hotel and museums around the nation.

"They want us to still be kids while having a business," Collin said.

Now you can find out where they sell the candles in your area on their website.

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