How and why did you begin to be creative?
I started in aromatherapy. I made soap,
candles and oils for different causes, ex.
for headaches & stress, massages, appetite...
I would create baskets for different occasions.
Most of my customers would just give me
the scene that's in their head and I would
go from there. I wanted the customer to be
excited & amazed when they saw the finished
product. I'd always put a little something extra
to make them feel special too.
However, the one thing that everyone wanted
were the candles. I would make
custom seascapes with scents that the
customer picked and every time they loved
the candle. Gel wax seemed to be
the new in thing back in 2000.
Later I learned to make the customers
idea come to life and it was so cool
seeing a scene come to life. If someone
wanted a lighthouse I would do a light house
overlooking the sea with different color sand
and tiny shells up on the beach with the
tiny dolphins jumping in the sea. Then it
would have a custom scent.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling
into formula? How do you stay fresh?
Some candles are the same but some are different
depending on the customer. Some like the
seascapes, some like candles that are teacher
related or something else. A lot like the drinks
and food. They look so real and when you
add a beer scent to a beer candle or
strawberry shortcake scent to a strawberry
short cake candle you have a conversation piece.
The only downfall is the customer doesn't want
to burn the candle, even though I do refills too.
I also make soy & palm wax candles but I
enjoy creating with gel wax the best because
you can create scenes you can make a center
piece or burn.
The palm wax is popular because it is soot-free
like the soy wax but it is a harder wax and once it
sets the wax has a crystal design in it. I have done
many candles for weddings as well as other
occasions. It is always nice when the customer
wants to have a certain shade to complete their
look, then the scent they choose pulls it all
together and I had a part in doing that.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely
place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Not exactly. I have two smaller kids and I do
not like to pour wax when they are around.
Too many accidents can happen even though
you are watching at all times and hot wax is
not a nice feeling. I know from experience.
Also when you have candles setting, the
last thing you want it hard vibrations from
kids playing near your working area.
But I will sit at night and visualize what
the customer wants and how to make it
happen. I also think about what I could
do to make it even more special for the
customer to really surprise them. It usually
comes to me. If not I will contact the
customer a number of times and keep
them in the creating process to make
sure we are on the same path. I will
send samples to the customer to make
sure the color and scent is exactly what
they vision. Pictures can sometimes be
hard to tell the true color.
Sometimes I may have trouble with the
candle setting properly so
I have done a set of pillars 4 times
before to get them just right. The
customer wasn't as picky but I know
what I would like if I were buying something.
I want it as close to perfect as I can get it.
I am hard on myself because the customer
is putting their vision in my hands and I
want it to come through
as close as I can for them.
When you accept a job, how much
value do you place on each of the
following? Money, creative
liberty, visibility, and to work with
I would like to say that out of each
order I make a little something But
that's not true. However I know
that I am doing my best for my
customer. Sometimes if I have to
re do the candle (sometimes as many
as 4 times) it takes a lot of extra
hours or even days to complete
the candle. I would like to make
money and have my candles become
more than a hobby but I love to make
customers vision come true. I like the
challenge of getting it as close as I
can to what the customer in visioned.
Then to hear about what the customer
thought of my work really makes
those extra hours or days worth it.
Since I focus more on the perfect
candle for my customer, I do have
many repeat customers and
new ones from the happy customer.
It makes it worth it to see some
one value your work and
is appreciative of it too.
You are as good as your last idea.
Wouldn't you like to have a more
secure type of work?
The only reason I would like a more
secure type of work is to have a
steady income. But I am lucky
enough to have a husband that works
hard so I can be a stay at home mom
for my two younger ones. I may not
have the money but I have the
time to be a good mom and have a
outlet of making my candles for
custom orders, my etsy shop and
My shop can be found here-