Colorful minimalism with a side of happiness, please! That would be Agni Tilla's special if she had a restaurant.
Agni, founder and designer of to:from
, is our studio neighbor and a very inspiring, creative woman.
Let's meet her!
Ahoy Agni! Welcome to our journal, we are thrilled to chat with you today! Could you tell us a bit about you? Who are you, where are you from, where are you based…?
Hey! Thank you so much for having me. I´m a product designer, entrepreneur and a mom of 3 kids (2,4 and 11). My latest project is to:from
where I create design centric, gift ready candles. I was born in Latvia but in my early 20s I moved to Toronto, Canada where I had my first experience as a product designer and small business owner. Then I spent 4 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and before moving to Barcelona permanently, I spent a couple of years in Prague, Czech Republic and backpacking with our first born around Asia.
Toronto, Barcelona… you are a nomad! Does the city you live in influence your work?
I guess so. I have been away from Latvia for 15 years. Barcelona is my adopted home city now and also one of the main influences for my work. When I first visited Barcelona I instantly fell in love with this city and soon after we moved here my next project (to:from) was born.
We discovered you years ago when you had a super fun project of cool watches called May28th ! What did you learn from that time? Do you miss it?
Yes, it was a great learning experience. Starting from product design, production, all the small business every day things. I had zero experience before May28th and as the brand grew so fast I was learning along the way. I miss all the firsts.. first order, first press publication, first big wholesale order.. and my business partner. It was a very exciting time.
Tell us everything about your handmade candles project: to:from. Have you ever imagined it would be such a success?
I started to:from while I still had May28th and a little design store in Gracia, Barcelona. I noticed that there were not many good quality (made of natural wax, essential and non toxic oils) and also affordable candles available. So after long, long hours of trial and error I made my first collection of tin candles and offered them to my store customers. Very soon after a successful launch, other shops would ask me where I got the candles. With my previous wholesale experience I slowly started to expand the range and work with more and more stores. During this time 2 of my kids were born and Covid happened so I moved all the production to a tiny house (6 m2 haha) that my husband built for me on the terrace of our Barcelona apartment.
It was a challenging time and I had to decide if I would take to:from further or keep it as a hobby. I decided to give it a shot and give my full attention to this project. Since then we have moved twice as we needed a bigger space for production and our workshops, grew our team, started to sell worldwide in stores like Le Bon Marche, Merci Paris (FR), Designers guild (UK), Ban.do (US) and worked with many amazing brands, like yours! I didn't imagine that to:from would go so far but now I can´t stop and I´m proud of what we have achieved.
We love our collaboration! Levante and Poniente candles are amazing and we can’t pick a favorite. Do you have a favorite?
And I love our collaboration! It was so smooth and just a perfect match. Thank you so much for trusting me with your vision. My favorite is Poniente!
Thank you so much for joining us, Agni! It's always a treat chatting with you!
Don't miss to:from's beautiful candles and our special collaboration, Levante & Poniente.