Home Life Series

An early Mother’s Day morning with fragrance muse, mumma, boss woman and founder of Celia Loves, Stefi Kerby

In the lead up to Mother's Day, we're honouring the myriad of inspiring and nurturing relationships we have with women daily. 

Meet Stefi Kerby, mother of three, fragrance muse and the savvy businesswoman behind Celia Loves. Her handcrafted candle and chic scent business isn't just about products; it's a redefinition of self-care and the little luxuries we cherish in our daily routines. 

We recently joined Stefi and her beautiful family for an early Mother's Day breakfast at her Geelong family home. We reflected on the essence of motherhood, the female figures that inspire her, and the journey she's embarked on to becoming a successful boss lady.


Hi Stefi! Thank you so much for spending the morning with us. For those who are new to your incredible work, can you please introduce who you are and what you do? 

Hey Queens! So I’m actually a few things… a mum of three sassy little girls, a former lawyer turned scent-obsessed girly, a gemologist in training and the founder of the most iconic Australian Fragrance House: Celia Loves. We produce epic scented candles, room sprays and diffusers that elevate your self-care rituals, hosting moments and gifting game. We’re for the girlies who crave chic, luxurious and indulgent product experiences that *won’t* burn holes in their pockets. Cue our mantra: Celia Loves, Made to Burn Not Collect Dust.

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You’ve grown your own hand-crafted (and deliciously scented) candle and fragrance business, Celia Loves, from the ground up! What are your biggest pinch me moments to date? 

People loving the brand as much as I do and wanting it in their homes is the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment I could ever ask for! But other defining moments have definitely been all the ‘firsts’ - first wholesale order, first employee, first warehouse, first major retailer partnership, first international order… the list is honestly always growing!

Who are some of the female role models that have inspired you throughout your career? 

Any woman having a go and pursuing a life they want for themselves is pretty damn inspiring to me. Julie Bishop, Edwina Bartholomew and Turia Pitt are some of my North Stars when it comes to paving your own way. At each phase of my career I have sought out inspiration from other iconic female founders of brands like Frank Body, Shameless, Jumbled and KIC. Also, our stockists who have the courage to curate meaningful retail spaces for their customers. The grit and determination it takes to weather the retail industry storms inspires me endlessly.

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On top of being a full time boss lady and fragrance muse, you’re also a mum to three gorgeous girls. What has been your biggest accomplishment as a mother and a business woman?

My little girlie pops are my biggest flex. They are creative, kind and self motivating (except when it comes to cleaning their bedrooms, but whatev). Give them some warehouse cardboard and sticky tape and they’ll create a masterpiece. They have so much creative freedom within our home and their imaginations and happiness is my biggest achievement. As for my business, my biggest achievement would simply have to be going all in on myself and Celia Loves. Growing the brand to where it is now whilst simultaneously knowing in my bones how much more we will achieve is something I’m very proud of.

With such a busy schedule, how do you make time for yourself each day? Can you take us through your self care routine and how you unwind and regenerate? 

This is something that fluctuates. I am *obsessed* with reformer and hot pilates so I try to schedule in a few sessions each week. But for me, self-care can also look like going to bed early, listening to my body when it’s tired and maximising rest. 

As soon as I walk through the door after work, it’s a candle burning (obvs), comfy clothes, my current go-to playlist in the background and family chats. I’m skincare obsessed so my unwinding time before bed is a full skincare routine. 

Self-care is also a Sunday Reset routine that feels equally relaxing and energising for the soul. We actually have a playlist for this on our Spotify! So I highly recommend throwing that on while you put some fresh bedding on and spritz your fave Celia Loves room spray. This is probably my favourite way to get cosy at home.

What about scent has the power to transform a space, a mood or an experience? Why is it important, and what is your signature scent? 

I am about to seriously geek out on this question! Scent has a magical ability to transform a space, elevate an event or transport you to another moment in time. It’s an absolute necessity IMO. 

I recently hosted my Birthday Soiree at home and scattered our mini trio candles en masse down a long table, so when guests arrived they were greeted with a combination of soft scents and flickering moments. It was so magical and really maximised the experience for my guests by setting the scene for the night ahead. Cue: tablescape of our dreams. 

If you’re in my home during the warmer weather months, you’ll absolutely smell Nectarine Blossom, Chilled Sangria or our cult fave Japanese Honeysuckle burning. Pink Himalayan Salt is also a staple for creating a calming moment - it’s the ultimate Boujee Burn. 

Now that the weather is starting to cool down I am all about the warm, creamy vanillas and soft woody profiles. Velvet Cherry, Vanilla Muse and Green Moss & Vanilla are now on high rotation! Sweet Magnolia and Pistachio & Caramel should also get a mention as they’re my year-round cosy staples.

Mother's Day is right around the corner, and we're sure you've got some fantastic gift ideas up your sleeve! What are three gifts you’d love to receive as a mother and entrepreneur? 

We love a fluffy robe update, so I’ve definitely got a Kip&Co terry bath robe on my wishlist! The ‘Hatch’ pattern is calling my name. 

Our trio candle sets are honestly such a chic and affordable gift, so I would never say no to one of these! Three scents for the price of one is a big slay. 

For maximum skincare benefits I always love a silk pillowcase. I love the Pink Champagne silk pillowcase from Kip&Co. Dear family: if you’re reading this, you know what to do.

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