We sat down with two of our candle makers to see what their candle making process is all about. If you've been in our shop, you've probably smelled one of Lit Soy Candle Co or North Ave's candles. Each maker takes the time to craft not only unique scents but healthy waxes and blends for us to enjoy.
Carly is the owner of Lit Soy Candle Co and started her brand in 2018. Carly is passionate about making 100% vegan (yay, animals!) soy candles. She enjoys using a soy base because it offers a cleaner and longer burn. Lit is known to have a ton of fun candle scents. Our personal favorite is Tired AF because it smells like a fresh cup of coffee.
Amanda owns North Ave Candles and has been crafting candles since 2013. Amanda focuses her candle making around eco-friendly practices by using high quality fragrances and oils, as well as natural waxes and wicks. North Ave Candles features candles that speak to literary lovers. Each candle is a clever representation of a different book. Our customers raver over the Banned Book Collection.
Can you describe your personal candle making process?
Carly: This is a loaded question lol! Basically, my day to day process is - I have my coffee nearby (always.. because TIRED AF) & I start to plan out which scents I need to pour for inventory & orders. Throughout the week (with the help of my awesome sister), we will already have the jars wicked & ready to go - so when I need to pour a certain scent, I melt the wax, add my oil combinations, pour & set them aside to set for 24 hours! Within the next day or two, I will label them & they are ready to go.
Amanda: The first part of the process is coming up with the ideas, testing the blends, creating the label designs. The physical process of making the candles is pretty much just wick the jars, fill the jars, label the jars, repeat repeat repeat. Making the candles is the part of the process I like most. The days when I have to do clerical work, invoicing, supply orders, etc are my least favorite days. I have one production assistant who packs and ships orders, and helps with labelling finished candles.
What ingredients do you use when making your candle?
Carly: 100% Soy Wax & Fragrance Oils.
Amanda: I’ve always been mindful in choosing the best ingredients. I use natural plant-based waxes. I only use cosmetic-grade, paraben-free, phthalate-free oils. All glass is from suppliers who buy from factories that meet stringent guidelines for factory conditions and employee treatment. My labels are printed locally by a small, independent print shop.
What goes in to creating a specific scent? And what is your favorite scent you’ve made?
Carly: For me personally.. I think, "oh I want to name a candle THIS & it should smell like THIS"! Once I decide on that, I will start to mix up oil combos & choose my favorite. My favorite scent is actually the newest one I have created which has not been announced yet.. so I will go with my lemon & vanilla for now :)
Amanda: Most of my candles are literary-inspired. So to create a specific scent, I’ll reread or skim through the book I want to “candleize”. I’ll look for thematic elements or scenes that invoke or mention any sort of scent. Then I’ll use those scent ideas and try to come up with a unique mix of scents. I particularly like blending scents that you wouldn’t typically expect to see together.
It’s hard to pick a favorite! And it changes all the time (especially with seasons). Gin, Juniper + Daisy for The Great Gatsby will always be sentimental since that the first one I came up with and the candle that launched the whole idea of making candles themed around books. Currently my favorite is Pickled Limes inspired by Little Women. It’s a good summer scent that smells like a margarita.
What’s your favorite thing about making candle?
Carly: I love watching the warm wax being poured into the jars. It is very calming.
Amanda: I love that I am able to earn a living doing something that I love. I have a creative outlet, I get to make my own schedule, I get to work with and around amazing people in the local small business community, I get to work with the incredible bookstores and boutiques all over the country who carry my candles. It rarely feels like “work”.
How do you get creative with your candle making?
Carly: Well, my scent names are pretty fun & creative! I just try to have a nice variety of scents and I like to keep things sassy. It is a whole creative process.
Amanda: I always have new ideas on the horizon. New books to add to the line, or new lines all together. I have a line coming out soon inspired by favorite literary detectives (think Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, etc). I also have been collaborating with other local brands lately, which has been a lot of fun. Like the line of Pittsburgh inspired candles I make for Love Pittsburgh!
You can shop both Carly and Amanda's candles in our shop or online!
Click here to shop Lit Soy Candle Co
Click here to shop North Ave Candles
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