City of Residence: Ladera Ranch
Children: Paloma, 6 (left); Anais, 8 (middle); Poppy, 3 (right)
Whoever said, “you can’t have it all,” has never met Traci Arntsen, the mompreneur behind luxury candle company Voluspa. What started out as a business partnership between her and her husband from their kitchen, has found its way to 30 countries and inside spas, boutiques and department stores that include Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and more.
Before the children came along, Arntsen and her husband — both of whom had backgrounds in working with essential oils — decided to quit their jobs and start a company based on luxe candles. “Neither of us worked with a candlemaker, so we didn’t know how to make candles … the actual technique of making candles, we taught ourselves in our kitchen, and ruined tons of appliances in the process,” said Arntsen. Appliance wreckage aside, their passion and perseverance paid off. Within it’s first year, Voluspa sold a line to Saks Fifth Avenue, cementing the fact that Voluspa was a brand with staying power. Now, with approximately 100 fragrances in the line, a large headquarters showroom in Irvine and countless accolades and honorable mentions, Voluspa is perhaps the biggest name in candles today.
As the company grew, so did the Arntsen family. With three daughters in tow, Arntsen had to make some changes to her life as a businesswoman. “The business was my first child. It was what I poured my heart and all my creative energy into before the kids. When we started to have children, for a long time the work was really incorporating the two, and trying to layer the two together,” she explained. In order to do so, Arntsen had to give a little when it came to the business side of life. “I’ve always been intricately involved in decision making daily at Voluspa, but after my third daughter, it made a big difference in how much time I could invest, and I’m still working through that.” However, she took on the role of parent with the same amount of energy and enthusiasm as she did when she started Voluspa. “Being an entrepreneur by definition is that you are your work. It’s you. You start it, you create it and you produce it everyday. Children demand the same amount of intensity,” she noted. “I really love what I do for Voluspa, and a huge part of me would be missing if I weren’t able to work while raising a family.”
“Being a mompreneur has fulfilled me more than I ever imagined I could be, and I love being a role model to my daughters,” said Arntsen. “I want for them to go to a good college and have amazing careers, and as much as I love being with them at home all the time, I know in my heart of hearts that I want for them to see the struggles of really kicking butt in the world, because that’s the greatest gift I could give them.” A loving husband, three beautiful daughters and a booming business built from the ground up, there’s no doubt that Traci Arntsen has mastered the sweet smell of success.