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Northlake resident welcomes all through villain-inspired wax business

Northlake resident welcomes all through villain-inspired wax business

Northlake resident welcomes all through villain-inspired wax business
October 25
10:25 2019

A welcoming environment with scents pouring out of every door is a space Holli Harrison, Northlake resident and owner of Villainous Wax, hopes to create by sharing her love for fandoms and wax melts with her fellow villains. 

Harrison began her business to help cope with the loss of her father in 2016 while she was still an undergraduate at Stephen F. Austin University. While earning her business degree, Harrison found an interest in the indie wax industry and began her own small business on July 1, 2016. She now has more than 500 scents and customers, or what she likes to call “villains,” worldwide.

“I consider myself a mad scientist,” Harrison said. “I noticed there was a total gap in regards to fandom-based scents. So I launched with just Disney villains and then went on to horror villains and I really love that I can still do this three years later. I really love that now I have my creative outlet that I can do stuff with.”

Villainous Waxes are all based off popular fandom villains and characters, ranging from Hades from “Hercules,” Yoda from “Star Wars,” villains from “Sailor Moon” to scents from “Lilo and Stitch.” With a wide range of characters and scents, Harrison rewatches movies and television shows to really understand the characters and their background in order to fully create a scent that truly brings the character to life. 

“I have always been very attracted to the dark side,” Harrison said. “I figured [Villainous Wax] was kind of spooky and a little dark and twisted like I am. What makes Villainous Wax really different is that we don’t do just one fragrance base. We are all house blends, with like five to six different fragrances. It is really unique, very tailored specifically to the character. They are really meant to bring the character to life.” 

Harrison is proud to have a Jewish woman and LGBTQ owned and operated business, and she said running the  business by herself has its pros and cons. She says it is a double-edged sword being a part of all the operations, including creating scents, controlling her own social media, packaging, shipping and taking care of everything on her own. 

“Being the one that has to do everything [is the most difficult part],” Harrison said. “Really making a name for yourself and figuring out what is going to set you apart from all the other small businesses or just candle companies as well.”

Throughout its three years of operation, Villainous Wax has shipped to multiple countries worldwide, from Canada to the Philippines. Being able to see her products be shared around the world keeps Harrison working to become bigger and better. 

“It’s really surreal actually,” Harrison said. “I love it that we have ‘villains’ everywhere and I hope it spreads.” 

When life gets tough and running her own business becomes challenging, Harrison focuses on the bonds she shares with her villains. Harrison said the Facebook group that they call their “lair” has become a family that shares more than just an interest in fandoms and wax melts.  Harrison always reminds her villains that there is always a safe space with her.

“There have been a lot of personal things going on, and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep doing this through 2020,” Harrison said. “[When it becomes challenging,] I always go back to our Facebook group. I know these people by name, we talk a lot and not just about [Villainous Wax]. I always make it very clear that they can always come to me if they need to talk about anything.”

Along with her villains, Harrison finds motivation from her close family and friends. Harrison’s life partner and medical technician integration specialist Erin Hicks is proud of how far Harrison has come in three years through her small business and how much she puts back into the community. 

“She just one day said ‘Hey babe, this is something I want to do,’ and to see it grow throughout the years is super cool,” Hicks said. “It’s all [Harrison]. [Harrison] is very giving, and is very willing to help everyone out. [Harrison] does a lot of her philanthropy and [Villainous Wax] is all about giving back to the community that we belong to.” 

With Hicks traveling for work almost weekly, Harrison said she has found herself becoming a hermit and only spending time in her house working on waxes. While this is what she loves to do, she decided she needed another job to get her out of the house. Inspired by her love for scents, Harrison began to work at a local Lush store and because of that has gained more friends that show support to Harrison and her business. 

Madison Houts, friend and floor-leader at Lush has been a customer of Harrison’s for about nine months. Houts has been able to work with Harrison on one of her latest themed boxes by helping collaborate and photograph for Villainous Wax. 

“[Harrison] is a super passionate person throughout both jobs for sure,” Houts said. “Photographing with her is always really fun because she always has a little bit of a backstory behind all of her waxes which is super beautiful. She puts a lot of creativity and thought into [her products] and you can really tell when you receive the boxes that [Harrison] is putting a lot of hard work into them.” 

Villainous Wax creates many products from single use “scent shots” to whole “loafs” of waxes. Harrison recently began the option of subscribing to her waxes with a monthly subscription box. Each month has a different theme ranging from “Bob’s Burgers” to her newest collection, Academy of The Unseen Arts, inspired by the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”. Along with the special edition wax in her boxes, Harrison showcases other local small businesses and other candle companies. 

A percentage of Villainous Wax’s sales go straight into the business philanthropy. One organization Harrison is passionate about funding is The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is an organization that helps younger members of the LGBTQ community who are struggling with any situation in their life or just with their sexuality. Harrison is hoping to expand into more organizations within the Denton area in the future. 

“Usually 25 percent of the collection price [goes towards philanthropy],” Harrison said. “It’s not just from profits or anything else. It is straight from the collection price, most of the time I match the proceeds as well because it is really important to keep these organizations going. If I don’t necessarily use them, other people still need them.” 

Proud of what she stands for and of the impact she is trying to make, Harrison said she hopes Villainous Wax offers a place for everyone to feel included and accepted. 

“I have this master list of ideas that just continues to grow and I never want to leave a fandom out or make anyone feel like they are left out,” Harrison said. “I’m not going to say I represent everyone, because obvously I don’t and I’m aware of my privledge. But everyone should be welcome everywhere and that is my main thing. That is why I’m very public about this company, who it is run for and who it is run by as well as what we stand for.”

Featured Image: Holli Harrison, creator and owner of Villainous Wax, decorates a batch of wax melts in her home office in Northlake, Texas. Harrison creates a variety of melts based on popular fandoms, such as Disney villains, Star Wars, Sailor Moon and Bob’s Burgers. Image by Samuel Gomez

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Bayleigh Swanton

Bayleigh Swanton

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