Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/zazapandemonium/
Tiktok account : https://www.tiktok.com/@zazapandemonium
Behind “Pandemonium” we find Élisa alias “ Zaza ”. She lives in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés in Ile-de-France and she is a wax maker. In her life, her passions are dancing, reading and writing . She is a charming and spontaneous person. And it is a pleasure to speak with her today.
OJL : Hello Élisa.
Élisa : Hello.
OJL : Four quick questions before getting to the heart of the matter.
As you live in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, can you tell us what your favorite café is there? And what do you like to drink there ?
Élisa : I never go out to local cafes (small laugh). I look for calm. I’m more of the “hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows, under a blanket while reading a book or writing my novel” team (laughs).
OJL : And what is your favorite park or place ?
Élisa : I would say, the banks of the Marne. I have very good family memories there.
OJL : Next, what was the last book you read? And the last song you listened to ?
_Regarding to the book: “ De verre et de cendres » by Reina Dolce. A reinterpretation of the Cinderella tale with a rebellious “princess” and an Evil Prince. An “ enemies -to- lovers ” romance in a magical world that makes you dream.
_Regarding to the song: “ A whole new world ”. A Peyton cover _ Parrish who covers music from Disney “ Aladdin ” with a rock sound.
I think it’s quite easy to understand from my answers that I’m a big romantic dreamer (laughs).
OJL : Finally, do you have a quote and/or proverb that you like ?
Élisa : “ Life is like a book: never skip a line or a chapter ” by Werber Bernard, French writer.
Indeed, if life or destiny places trials on our path, it is not without reason. It’s because we still have to learn to become a better version of ourselves. Never skip steps because that is also “ living ”.
OJL : Let’s talk a little about you now. How could you introduce yourself ?
Élisa : Those around me as well as my customers nickname me “ Zaza ”. I’m almost 26 years old and I’m a real Swiss army knife (frank laughter). I love learning and discovering. Indeed, I am not only a wax maker. At 21, I validated my License and obtained my state nursing diploma. At the same time, for several years, I was a photo model, which gave me opportunities, including one within a group of artists. Thus, I was able to be trained to become a “ fire juggler ” specialized in handling staff. And today, being passionate about books, I am writing my first novel. So I’m a…fairly active person (laughs).
OJL : Wow … Amazing. And who are the artists who shaped you ? Who struck you down ?
Élisa : When it comes to my business and therefore my creations, I don’t have any particular artists who have shaped me. I am a dreamer who loves fantastic, magical, magical worlds. I draw a lot of inspiration from the different novels I can read but also from mythologies. I am passionated about those ancient civilizations and their beliefs. I try to mix these two elements with my imagination in order to immerse my customers in my own world. And in my world, imagination and dreams have no limits (smile).
OJL : Looking at your creations, it seems that you evolve a little in the “ rock’n’roll ” and “goth” universe. What do you think of these movements? Their developments ? And “ emos ” and “pastel” movements ?
Élisa : In the “rock’n’roll” universe? I don’t really know or maybe I do it unconsciously because it’s a style that I appreciate in the music. On the other hand, I am very close to the Gothic movement, whether through my creations, my way of living, my tastes and my clothing style as well. I find that the Gothic style is often “ badly viewed ” by society due to a lack of knowledge or information on the subject and I dare to hope that things are evolving in the right direction. Personally, I belong mainly to the Victorian Gothic movement which therefore advocates a certain elegance, romanticism and which is inspired by the Victorian era, approximately 1837-1901, during the reign of Queen Victoria. As for other movements, such as “ emos ”, “ Steam punks”, “lolitas” etc… I find them exceptional because each one has its own story or draws its inspiration from an era, an event. I welcome differences with great respect and kindness. This diversity is enriching. It is our differences that make us unique.
OJL : How did you choose your pseudonym?
Élisa : I am often found under the name “ zazapandémonium ” on the networks. For “ Zaza ”, it’s quite obvious that it’s my nickname. “Pandemonium” is the official name of my store. It’s a reference to a video game/book license that I love. In this story we must reconquer the city of Pandemonium which is a place of conflict between angels and demons. It is our character, a simple mortal, who will emerge victorious from this fight. For me it was very symbolic because I created my shop during a difficult period in my life. Conflict reigned supreme but I came out the winner !
OJL : Sincerely congratulations for this victory. And how did you choose… Your logo ? The pentacle is a sacred symbol but sometimes poorly considered.
In the movie “ The Da Vinci Code ” it is said that it is linked to Venus. Some say that when it is reversed it is linked to Vulcan.
What can you tell us about him ? You certainly know a thing or two about it !
Élisa : There is so much to say on the subject of the pentacle but I will go to the simplest part. It is a symbol that has different meanings depending on cultures and beliefs. And unfortunately, this symbol can be frowned upon again due to a lack of knowledge or simply because of differences in point of view. We could spend hours comparing the differences in interpretation of symbols in different cultures ! I find it fascinating but I’m going to refocus on my store (laughing).
To return to the pentacle in my shop, the meaning is completely different because I based it on Celtic beliefs. The five “branches” are therefore: fire, earth, water, air and spirit. It is therefore a symbol of harmony with the elements of nature and I use them all in my creative process : fire to light the candle; the land that allows farmers to grow the soya and rapeseed that I need; water for the water bath melting technique; the air essential for combustion and the spirit which is my creativity and my imagination. It sometimes takes me days to develop a model from A to Z.
It was therefore obvious to me to choose a stylized pentacle to illustrate my store.
OJL : Fascinating. Thank you very much for these… clarifications ;-). Let’s talk a little about your work now. What are you creating ?
Élisa : I am a wax craftwoman, so I create candles and artisanal fondants.
OJL : Creations that make you want… And how can you define your style ?
Élisa : I would say that I have a fairly unique style compared to other wax makers. I have a fairly fantastic, gothic, magical and esoteric style.
OJL : What techniques do you use ?
Élisa : When it comes to melting the wax, I mainly work in a double boiler. This allows me to melt my waxes gently according to my needs. Indeed, each wax will have a different melting point. There are temperatures to respect. The same goes for adding perfume, you have to respect temperatures so as not to alter it. I have to handle my raw materials at high temperatures. To give you an example, my rapeseed wax for molded candles must rise between 57° and 61°C in melting point. I can’t say more about my techniques, a magician never reveals the secret of his tricks! (laughs).
OJL : Silence is indeed golden. Can we place you a personalized order ?
Élisa : Yes, it is possible to place a personalized order. On my official website, some models are already fully customizable: for the colors and the scents. By using the contact form at the bottom of the home page of my site, you can write to me to compose your own model that we will make together from A to Z.
OJL : Sensational. Besides, can you tell us more aboutthe policy and values of the Pandemonium store?
Élisa : I think it is, in fact, very important to talk about it. The job of wax craftsman is not easy because the majority of my work… is administrative. People don’t know that. In fact, each candle/melt must be declared to ECHA ( European Chemicals Agency) which brings together the Poison Control Centers of France and Europe. Therefore each candle/melt has compositions, labeling, dosages to be respected and declared for the safety and health of consumers.
The legislation in the field of candles is very heavy but justified.
Therefore, the values of my shop, Pandemonium, are obvious. To best protect the health of consumers and that of their animals by offering them products of unique quality with vegan , GMO-free waxes. But also original perfumes developed with perfumers from Grasse, phthalate -free and CMR-free (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances ). I impose the best possible quality on my raw materials.
OJL : Wow … Impressive. Do you have a story about creating one of your products ? Or one of your sales ?
Élisa : An anecdote, I don’t think so… On the other hand, I remember a personalized order that really touched me. A woman contacted me with a rather unique request. You must have seen it on my site, I have a collection on the theme of angels. So this lady asked me for my candle molded from a Cherub with a very specific color and scent. This candle was going to be for a friend of hers, whose child was hospitalized with cancer. She wanted this candle to accompany their prayers. It was therefore with great emotion that I carried out this order which I will never forget. That’s what I love about this job. I am already a nurse and yet, even through my candles, I accompany people in certain moments of their lives, whether it is a funeral, a baptism, a hospitalization, a wedding, etc…
OJL : Very moving indeed… Last question. You definitely have friends who are doing amazing things ! If you want to promote them a little, now is the time !
Élisa : My friends are not in the field of artisans/creators. But I make a little dedication to them as well as to my Mother. They always believed in me and always pushed me to become better and achieve my dreams. I can never thank them enough !
OJL : Well done to them. And above all, congratulations to you. May Our Lady protects you.
Élisa : Thank you.