Recently, I got together with the amazing Scott Travis, entrepreneur, and actor, over cocktails... because I like daytime drinking. Scott and I have known each other for a couple of years now, and he’s become a big part of my life. Scott is the owner of CBT Candle Company, in addition to his work in the entertainment industry.
Michael: So, when we first met, it was through our mutual friend, LA talk radio icon, Sheen Metal. She told me that you had your own candle company. How did you get started doing that? How did CBT become a thing?
Scott: Well, I’d been in accounting pretty much my whole adult career. I was one of those consultants that went into companies and found out why their accounting processes weren’t working, and fixed them. My life was all about numbers and 18 hour days. I was always stressed. The only time I was really relaxed, as my partner used to say, was when I was in the kitchen making candles. It was just a hobby. I made candles for fun and for gifts. Well, about nine years ago, my partner and I decided that I deserved a much-needed break from work, so I took some time off. I went up to the Bay Area to see my parents and my Dad and I started talking about his own company and how he loved being his own boss. I made some smart ass comment about how I should do something like that, but it would have to have nothing to do with accounting. My dad said that I should start a candle company. He said that it was the only time I had ever sounded really passionate about something. I laughed and we moved on to another subject. But a couple days later, on my long drive back to LA, the whole idea started making more sense. I conceived the whole thing in my 6-hour drive home.
I got home and started the ball rolling, and by the following month, Creations by Travis was born. I knew everything about candles and how to make them, and the accounting aspect, but everything else like marketing?...thank the Lord for Google. And once I was up and running, it was literally by word of mouth. All of the friends and relatives I had given gifts to became my customers. I was asked by a company that a friend worked at to do a private label for their company Christmas party and that turned into private label candles for weddings, then golf tournaments and finally celebrity branding. To have something celebrities could put their names on was enticing to them. Candles, lotions, salt scrubs, linen sprays and now colognes. I have celebrities coming to me for branding. I have even started producing and directing my own commercials. Creations by Travis has now turned into CBT Candle Los Angeles. And after 9 years, it’s still just me and two employees and I am loving it.
Michael: You’re from the Bay Area, you said. I know your step-mother, Kathy Garver. I believe many of our readers will know her, as well. Tell us what it was like growing up with her.
Scott: Yes, originally I am from the San Francisco Bay Area, but have lived in Southern California
for about 25 years now. I actually grew up with my mother, Diana, and my stepfather Glen. My father and Kathy Garver married when I was 12, and they lived in the Bay Area also, so I saw them often. Kathy, as you know, played “Cissy” in the television series, “Family Affair,” from the late sixties to the early seventies. She also was the voice of “Firestar” in the television
cartoon series “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends” on Saturday mornings. Kathy and I have always had a close relationship, but have become even closer in recent years. As a matter of fact, she was my first celebrity brand. And now I am producing a web series called “Aunt Cissy” with her.
Michael: Oh, very cool! Tell us about “Aunt Cissy.”
Kathy returns to the role of “Cissy” from “Family Affair,”, but now she’s in charge of her teenaged twin niece and nephew, “Muffy" and “Cody.” They have been uprooted from their senior year of high school and are forced to leave behind everything they care about and they are not happy about it one bit. And we have “Frenchie,” Mr. French’s nephew, to help Aunt Cissy with the house, the kids and to keep her from going insane. Did I tell you that our own Terry Ray is playing “Frenchie” along with also writing the script?
Michael: We LOVE Terry Ray! So, now, describe your celebrity candles.
Scott: My celebrity brands just came to me one day when Kathy and I were talking at dinner and she suggested that I do a candle for her, and that’s how it all started. Since then I have asked some special actor friends of mine if they would like to have their own line of candles. Our mutual friend, Sheena Metal; Alison Arngrim, famous for playing “Nellie Oleson” on “Little House on the Prairie;” Carolyn Hennesy, who was nominated for an Emmy for her role as “Diane Miller” on the daytime TV series, “General Hospital,” and others. Now I have celebrities coming to me. I work with my celebrities and my clients in the same exact way. I work with
them to create their own original scents and package them for them.
Michael: You and I developed a fragrance together called “Proteus.” Tell us about that process.
Scott: “Proteus” was originally going to be a candle, but you had the idea for a cologne. I remember, you told me what you had in mind, and I went from there.
Michael: Yeah, for many years, I dreamed of having my own cologne. I remember the “White Diamonds” commercial with Liz Taylor when I was a kid, and ever since then, I knew someday it would happen. I wanted it to be named “Proteus,” because that’s the name of my favorite Shakespeare character, from “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” I knew what I wanted it to smell like. Amaretto is my favorite liqueur, and I wanted to wear something like that!
Scott: Right. I ended up blending a few different scents together and “Voila,” we had the scent. Some amaretto, some fig, a mix of some masculine florals. Then we chose the bottle and went through the process of creating a label, and then we had it. We launched it in November of
2016, and it’s been a terrific success. We also did the “Proteus” commercial together. Making that commercial, in a sense, helped me rekindle my love for directing and producing.
Michael: That was a great shoot! And we had the super sexy Mario Mosley in the commercial!
Scott: That was a great shoot!
You can check out the commercial on YouTube.
Michael: You’re also an actor, and you’re going to appear in the 5th season of “Child of the ‘70s,” my web series which now can be found on Dekkoo, the Gay online subscription service.
Scott: I’m not really an actor, per se, but recently I did a reality series called “Radical Dating,” which, I have to say, was really interesting and fun to do. We’ll hopefully be able to see it soon. The producers are in talks with a few cable channels. And I am super excited to be a part of “Child of the ‘70s” with you. Especially since so many of my friends are in it, including Sheena Metal, Amy Linker(who starred in “Square Pegs”), comedians Bruce Vilanch and Judy Tenuta, and Beverly Sanders, who used to be on the TV series “Rhoda.” When I first met you, I fell in love with your series, so being a part of it now is really very exciting.
Michael: We’re super excited to have you! So, if people want to check out your candles and your fragrances, they can go to www.CBTCandle.com
Michael: Oh and do me a favor, will you? Design a candle for Vin Diesel, so I can meet him and ask him out on a date.
Scott: I’ll try, but only if you agree to do a cameo in MY web series.
Michael: Deal! OK, now, let’s order another cocktail!