Meet the 2020 Owned Growth Stories Winner, Freres Branchiaux 

In June, we launched the second edition of the Owned Growth Stories program in search of finding businesses that are taking control of their growth and owning it. In our first year of running the program last year, we received close to 200 entries into the program and awarded the $5,000 grand prize to Norman Love Confections.

This year, we raised the stakes and upped the grand prize to $25,000 for the winner.  

In order to enter the program, applicants needed to answer a short survey that described their growth story. Before we talk about this years winning brand, we want to unveil some statistics on the 2020 program: 

  • Over 800 brands entered and told us how they owned their growth
  • Five finalists were selected through an internal Klaviyo judging panel and each of them won a free year of Klaviyo 
  • We had over 7,500 combined views of the five finalist videos 
  • We had over 13,800 individuals cast a vote   


In an effort to diversify how the winner was determined, a weighted voting approach was developed. Here’s that breakdown: 

  • 25 percent based on the total number of video views
  • 25 percent based on the total number of votes received
  • 50 percent based on internal Klaviyo judging as to which brand clearly articulated their growth story the best. Everyone within Klaviyo had a chance to vote for which company they thought should win based on their stories (and yes, this made for some great slack conversations) 


After all of the votes were tallied and weighted, we had our winner: Freres Branchiaux!

Freres Branchiaux was founded in the Washington D.C. metro area in October 2017 by brothers Ryan, Collin, and Austin Gill after they wanted to buy video games and their mother, Celena, told them to “get a job or start a business.” 

Not only did the boys start a business, but they’ve grown handmade candle brand Freres Branchiaux at an impressive rate. Today, they have over 11,000 online customers and are sold in over 50 retail locations across the country. 

After Celena (who acts as the liaison between the boys) found out that Freres Branchiaux had won the competition, each boy had a different reaction when she told them. 

“Ryan, my middle son, said that he knew that we were going to win. My oldest son, Collin, was laid-back and happy. My youngest son, Austin, was jumping for joy!” she said. Celena went on to tell us that “this was really the first-ever competition that involved a monetary component that they’ve won.”

But the team behind Freres Branchiaux admitted that they couldn’t have won without the support of their community. “All of our family and friends had a contributing factor in this win. They shared the contest among church groups, friends, and in their communities, so it really felt like a group win,” said Celena. 

So, what are they going to do with the $25,000 grand prize? Celena and the boys shared three areas they plan to invest in to make an impact on their business and in some cases, it already has:

  • Purchasing a new wax melter – “We’ve already spent about half the money on a wax melter. This will help us increase production to 1,000 candles an hour so we can fulfill more orders.”
  • Hiring production assistants – “The production assistants will help us create more candles, increasing our capacity and helping us to keep up with our demand.”
  • Putting money towards a candle truck – Yes, you read that right. “When we were vending at a street fair last year, Collin noticed how the food trucks just rolled right up, not needing to set up anything, and started selling. So, he suggested we get something similar,” said Celena. The Freres Branchiaux team has been saving up for the candle truck ever since and the grand-prize money will help them save towards purchasing one. Once the truck becomes a reality, Celena said, “We’ll likely take it to destinations across the country that they’ve wanted to visit to sell candles and explore.” 


We’ll be sure to check in with Freres Branchiaux to see how the prize money is helping to fuel their growth later on in the year. 

Until then, congratulations again to Freres Branchiaux and the four other finalists, and a giant thank you to all the brands who participated in our Owned Growth Stories program. And, of course, thank you to everyone who voted!

Interested in more owned growth stories? Find out how Power Meter City tailored their marketing automation strategy to their business.

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