Christina Degreaffenreidt, 36, Multifaceted Creator
When you’ve got a lot of talents, sometimes it’s hard to know where to use them.
Now the Mebane-native is ready to fill your home with her premium candles and seasonal scents throughout the year.
Christina moved to Greensboro to attend UNCG. She considered studying interior architecture, but wound up entering as an undecided freshman. A roommate inspired her to go into the apparel business.
“She would always see my drawing. My head was always in a book – super nerdy,” Christina said. “She said, ‘You were always good and drawing and you dress very well. Did you know we have an apparel program?’”
Her mom made sure she studied business, as well.
“Mom pressured me to have a background in business. She felt, if all else fails, you can always use general business knowledge.”
Christina landed an internship with Nautica, part of the global apparel company VF Corporation brand, which was then headquartered in Greensboro. She got to work in the New York office. She loved the challenges, being pushed to get results, and days with endless variety. She unpacked and organized samples, did market research out at stores, and prepped her managers for meetings.
“A lot of people think the fashion industry is very pretty, and it is far from it,” she says. “I came back to Greensboro and they just continued my internship with the company.”
She worked for VF in product development for seven years, determining everything it takes to bring a design to market. She worked on female tops.
“It was a great learning experience. You learned all the details in what you need to know to make things,” Christina says.
She has worked as a merchandiser since 2015 for Lee jeans, now at the VF spinoff Kontoor Brands.
“It’s crazy. It’s fun. No two days are the same,” Christina says of the job. “One day you could be doing spreadsheets, handling samples, one day on a conference call with Asia.”
Early on in her corporate career, she knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur one day.
“Clearly I like a challenge. It’s something about the challenge of can you do it and then doing it just really resonates with me. Growing something for the next generation of my family, as well, is something I want to do,” she says.
She stared a plus size fashion line – before plus size fashion was the juggernaut it is today – with some co-workers at VF. They were a little too green to make a go of it.
“Fail your way to success. It’s the best teacher,” she says.
After spending much of 2019 prepping, she launched the home décor business Multifaceted in early 2020. She sold original products, including wall decoration and wide variety of other items, all with floral access.
She had spent four months on research and development for a candle product when the pandemic urged her to bring it to market.
“I had to shift my priorities,” Christina says. “People are at home right now. Now is a great time for them to buy a candle for their home.”
The question was, of course, how to break into a saturated market?
Her product is eco-friendly. Each candle is accented with a flower stamp. She designs her own seasonal scents.
“It was months and months of research and development. Months of testing. Everything we put in our candles is premium nontoxic ingredients. You don’t have to worry about chemicals or toxins being released into your air space as the product burns,” she says.
The jars are made out of recycled glass. You can return your empty vessels and they will give you a discount on a new candle or refill them for you or “to help the environment and keep waste out of the landfills.”
In summer 2020, she joined the Greensboro Chamber’s Launch Greensboro program, which helps entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.
“I really wanted them to help me focus. I was having a hard time. It’s called multifaceted because I do a lot of things and I have a lot of talents in a lot of areas…I needed someone to tell me, ‘Hey Christina, focus.’”
Focus, in this case, came from a thorough examination of her sales figures. It was clear: candles were by far her best seller, accounting for 90 percent of sales.
She’s been growing ever since.
Christina designs the candles and focuses on the business and strategy. She brought her sister on board to create the product.
Right now she has a line of holiday scents – Sleigh Ride, Gingerbread, Sweater Weather, and Autumn Harvest, to name a few. Her favorite is the Sweet Potato Pie scent.
“It’s just a southern classic. It literally smells like someone is baking a pie,” she says.
She loves coming up with the concept. Ideas just come to her, she says.
Every other Saturday morning you can find Christina at the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market. She also has wholesale options and got into her first set of specialty stores outside of North Carolina.
And the products are always available online, at www.multifacetedgso.com.