Michelle's Story

From biologist to candlemaker

After getting my PhD in cellular biology, I knew I wanted a creative career. So I used my science background to launch a skincare brand!

Sounds cool, right?

It was at first … but I soon found myself struggling to fit into the cutthroat cosmetics industry. Ironically the stress made my skin break out! I felt like a square peg in a round hole.

To calm my stress, I started pouring candles as a hobby, and gifting them to friends. I focused on creating fresh, sophisticated scents like the ones in my favorite boutiques — but without the hefty price tag. Soon, people were asking for them left and right.

... and that's when Modern Theory was born.

I launched the brand itself in 2019, with $1,000 and just 100 candles. And we sold out overnight!

Modern Theory quickly eclipsed my skincare business (which I shut down in 2020, phew!), and we’re now carried by over 20 retailers online and across the US (and growing!).

It’s been a wild ride! But the experience has shown me that I have the freedom to follow what inspires me, and to break free of expectations—even if they’re my own.

I hope my story empowers you to do the same.



“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

- Maya Angelou

Customer Love


"Candle smells incredible and brings back childhood memories I didn’t realize I had! Highly recommend."

- Nathalie B.


"Love all the Modern Theory candles!"

- Monica T.


"This candle smells soooooo good. It also looks pretty in any room with its simple nice design. Love it!"

- Yasmine R.