Report from Members
17 Mar 2008
Country Light Candle Company, www.countrylightcandle.com
Pouring candles is a lot like pouring concrete; at least that's how my husband explains why we ventured into the candlemaking business over 10 years ago. He would pour house foundations in the summer and wax pillars in the winter. We started out using palm wax because we liked the natural properties of the wax plus the crystalline finish that creates such a beautiful display while burning. That's how we came up with our company name - Country Light Candle Company - because the glow from a palm pillar looks just like a harvest moon on a clear Autumn evening. It took us over 5 years to create the perfect palm wax pillar. All palm waxes are not alike! We always say that palm wax candles are for the true candle lover as a perfect burn requires regular attention to the wick and flame. We have found that minimal fragrance and color ensures the best overall experience.
After a while, I took over the candle making in the spring, summer and fall months and added soy wax to our line. Besides the pillars, we now offer wax melts, votives, jar candles and tea lights. My daughter, son-in-law, niece and even my little granddaughter help on a regular basis as does my husband during the winters and in the evenings throughout the rest of the year. In fact, every spring, I have to go back to our candle workshop and hunt for every utensil, color chip or mold that gets moved, reorganized or replaced.
During the early years, we did mostly craft shows at neighborhood schools and festivals around Central New York, however, business has grown so much now that we don't do any of those any more. We offer our candles strictly through our website which is practically a full time job just to keep it gifts to compliment our line of candles.
Our fragrance offering grows every year due to requests from customers for this scent or that scent. We've even expanded into aromatherapy candles using pure essential oils because of customer requests. Even with the requests coming in all of the time, our tried and true scents are always the biggest sellers. Cinnamon Sticks, Pumpkin Pie, Ginger Peach, Sugared Shortbread, French Vanilla Pear and our signature scent MAGI always top the list every year. Before the spring bulbs appear, we receive orders for Calla Lily, Lilac, Lavender Mist and Purple Hyacinth. The most popular summertime scent is by far our Caribbean Coconut! Pineapple is a close second.
Our busiest time of the year is September through March as we concentrate on the Fall and Winter holidays and then weddings. Our Premium Soy Votives and Tea Lights are our most successful products all year round. We have many commercial customers who use them not only because of their natural qualities, but because of the extra long burn time.
We are very much involved in the wedding industry as we do custom colored tea lights for the brides who want their candles to match their wedding theme. The customization is very popular but also very time consuming as soy wax does not take to color very well. Because the natural color of liquid soy wax is a champagne color, the liquid color of a tea light is usually different than the hardened color. For example, a pink tea light will look salmon or peach when burning. Add fragrance to that and a totally different color may show up! So I very often get asked to match the liquid color to a dress or flower which is always a challenge.
Doing business with restaurants, caterers and event planners, I know that it is never a good idea to have scented candles at a wedding. However, no matter how much I try to talk brides out of it, a majority almost always prefer their tea lights scented. Wedding Day, Jasmine and Lily of the Valley are the usual requests but I always push unscented or at a minimum, our Frosted Snow Drops because it is such a light and pretty floral with a vanilla musk undertone. I have yet to have someone say they dislike that scent.
So this small hobby of my husband's has turned into a full time job for us and something that we hope to enjoy all through our retirement. We look forward to every day and are always amazed at what we have accomplished over the years. Throughout my career before this, I have always worked with the maintenance of computers and software. I have to say that being a candlemaker is so much more rewarding. My customers are always sniffing, smiling and saying mmmmmm or ahhhhh. What a joy!
D. R. Boyce