Chrissy Fichtl, Founder of Apotheke, Shares Her Insights on Running a Brooklyn-based Business, Her Favorite Places in Red Hook, and Love For Home Fragrances
Chrissy Fichtl is the co-founder of Apotheke, a luxury home fragrance company based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After challenging herself to make the perfect bar of soap, Chrissy’s passion for home fragrance was born and inspired what we know today as Apotheke. She lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn with her husband Sebastian and her two daughters, Penny and Rosie. Each day she walks through the neighborhood to visit the Apotheke factory where the candles are poured by hand to share her love for fragrance with her team and anyone that passes through the flagship store.
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I get up at 7AM and I go downstairs. My kids, Penny and Rosie are up already with Sebastian. Sebastian makes me coffee every single morning. We usually hang out and chat, I get Penny and Rosie ready for School and Sebastian takes them to school at 8:20AM.
Once they head out, I get in 20 minutes of a Peloton ride with Cody Rigsby. I shower and leave the house to head to Baked for another coffee and their famous chocolate chip banana bread. Afterwards, I walk to work and make it there by 9:30AM.
WHAT ESSENTIALS DO YOU PACK WITH YOU TO SUPPORT YOU DURING YOUR DAY?
I always have my Warby Parker Winston Glasses. My daughter Penny loves making bento boxes for everyone in the family. Mine normally has a PB + J or a salami sandwich, cut up fruit, and chips.
Of course, I always bring my tote bag with my laptop - I take it back and forth between the office and my house. The only reason my day is full of productivity is because work, kids, school, and home are within an 8 block radius. I’ve spent a lot of time curating our lives to be Red Hook centric, it’s such a great community by the waterfront in Brooklyn.
WHAT DOES YOUR SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE AFTER WORK?
I try to be home by 5:30PM. If I’m really winning, I’m picking Penny and Rosie up at aftercare at school. We may have a little hangout at the park before we go home. Sebastian cooks dinner, his specialty is chicken milanese. The kids in the neighborhood will ask their parents to come over for dinner just to have the chicken milanese – it’s pretty famous.
Once dinner ends, it’s a pretty tight schedule with the kids going to bed at 8PM. Dinner, baths, books, and bed. Once the kids are asleep that’s when the real fun starts, I kick my feet up on the couch and turn on Netflix. I love watching Narcos.
I have to put my sweatpants on. As soon as I get home, that’s when I grab them. I go to bed around 10:30, and I have a simple nightly routine. Sebastian just sits on the couch – we’re really tired once the day has finished.
How do you work to find balance between being a founder/co founder, and a mom?
My schedule helps. I really rely on my team, they keep me in check on everything especially meetings. Our entire lives being in Red Hook helps a ton. I can end a work meeting at 2:30PM and I could be at a school luncheon at 2:45PM – that’s the beauty of it.
What is your best piece of advice or words of affirmation/encouragement for working/entrepreneurial moms?
It takes a tribe to be successful. It’s everything. Having friends that can help you with your kids, having a mom friend that can take the kids for a sleepover one night a week. Having a supportive partner that listens to me talk about candles 24/7. Believe in yourself – you have the vision for what you want your life to be. There’s nothing stopping you from achieving it.
What’s a typical weekend look like for you and your family enjoying Red Hook?
As a family we love to ride our bikes to Dumbo on the weekends and explore the city. Taking the ferry all around is something we have a lot of fun doing.
We also love the Valentino Pier, it has the best sunset of all of NYC. Sometimes we get pizza at Hoek and eat it while watching the sunset.
When Spring comes, it’s great to get flowers with the kids at Chelsea Gardens right across from our office. The kids go to Red Hook Art Project and make art with Tiffany. I believe all kids should be able to have an arts program in their life and we love supporting this local non-profit and seeing Penny and Rosie participate.
Baked is my neighborhood coffee shop and I love their baked goods. You need to try the chocolate chip banana bread. They also have killer homemade sea salt caramel bars. If you can’t tell, I love sweets.
Fort Defiance is a great place if you’re looking for a mid afternoon cocktail – I love the King Bee, it's lemony and made with sparkling wine and vodka.
I also love visiting Coney Island. There’s nothing like riding the Cyclone. Obviously you need to get a Nathan’s hot dog too!
If you could spend an entire weekend by yourself – what would you do and where would your escape be?
Honestly I would love a quick trip to Miami. Warm weather, dinner with good friends, a night out, and maybe enjoying a concert.
I also enjoy a country weekend every once in a while at our Jeffersonville house in Upstate New York. I love the barns on the property and the river. It’s peaceful and a great place to recharge.
What rituals are most important to you?
Going to the Farmer’s Market on Sunday’s in Cobble Hill. Whatever is in season feels like a treat to me. Sometimes we go to Maman on Court Street afterwards, I always get an oatmeal raisin cookie. My morning Peloton rides are really important to me, it clears my mind and it’s something just for me. I try to do a 20 minute ride each day.
Of course, I keep all 9 scents of Apotheke liquid soaps and lotions in my bathroom all lined up on a shelf and I use them daily. I also drink a ton of water, you won’t catch me anywhere without my Lund London Skittle Water Bottle.
If you could have a day alone in your city, how would you spend it?
At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It’s an oasis of flowers and it's different every season. I would probably stop at Patti Ann’s on the way home for a Crispy Chicken Sandwich. They are a must-stop on Vanderbilt Ave.
To keep up with Chrissy and all things Apotheke, visit their website and shop their beautiful collection of luxury candles and home fragrances.