Dolly Parton Sainted Cushion

Like a gift from the gods, My Sainted Aunt is the celebrity and customised prayer candle brand, created during the Pandemic, by best friend duo, Stuart McDonald and Dilka Emmanuel.

In the twelve months since launching, the pair have already made a 6-figure turnover and are identifying new opportunities to grow their business, including the launch of a new cocktail range, featuring Boris Johnson, Chris Witty, Nicola Sturgeon and other well-known faces.  The idea for the quirky gift and homeware brand came from the growing desire by Stuart and Dilka to escape from their respective jobs in media and real estate.  They initially started their business as a side-hustle, each investing £1,500 into the business.

This enabled them to develop a working prototype, build a website and raise as much awareness as they could muster among friends and contacts. Inspired by a similar business in the US, their quirky, celebrity-themed candles quickly drew attention from many fans, including Amanda Holden, Jeremy Clarkson, Louis Theroux and Zoe Ball, to name a few.  The pair continue to add new products to their range, including celebrity and bespoke cushions, hand sanitisers and scented candles.

Says Co-Founder, Stuart McDonald, ‘What started as an idea to bring some fun and joy into the world when it honestly felt pretty bleak, has turned into something neither of us could have imagined.  We both quite quickly decided to make this our full-time job and dedicate all our time, effort, and resources to making it work.’The duo has faced some challenges along the way, not least the time when their social media advertising accounts were unexpectedly stopped.  While the accounts are now re-activated, the pair were faced with the challenge of adapting their marketing strategy rapidly.

Adds Stuart, ‘We have experienced a few bumps along the way, but we’re thrilled with the growth of our business.  Our designs and celebrity themes are irreverent and fun and we’ve found a market in people who don’t take life too seriously.  We’ve developed our product range significantly and identified new celebrities to pay homage to, reflecting the ever-evolving pop culture and events of the past year.’The expansive product range of the quirky gifts and homeware can be found online.