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The CandleStart Series – 005

Featuring founder of Smith & Lizzy – @smithandlizzy

Smith & Lizzy’s creations is so DIY. They handcraft each and every vessel. Find out more about their candle making start with a purpose!

In a Nutshell, what does Smith & Lizzy Candle Company do?

SMITH AND LIZZY how big is the “nutshell”? We have so many ideas and way too many brain tabs open. Our main purpose, however, is to create safe burning premium soy wax candles using sustainably sourced materials.

You guys are so DIY. How did you find out you could actually make a product people would come to buy?

Thank you for asking that question and the simple answer is – We didn’t know what the response would be. To be honest we really didn’t give that a second thought. We just knew we wanted to do things a little differently and that’s always a good place to start. Worst case scenario was that we would have candles for our homes, for life, and that’s not such a bad thing.

How do you find time to balance your craft with other areas of your life?

“Love what you do and never work a day in your life” It’s exactly like this . We do not over commit with our clients. We prefer to pour in small batches ensuring quality over quantity. This gives us time to enjoy a bit of everything.

Covid: What a year!! How have you adapted?

Day by day has always been our motto. We would like to think we have become more settled, less flustered and more focused on the things we can control instead of the things we cannot.

What is the biggest mistake that inexperienced crafters can make with jar candles?

We are all about safety first. For us the biggest mistake or oversight is not having a clear and concise knowledge of the supplies you choose. A clear understanding of your wax limitations, wick selection and fragrance loads are paramount, not only to the success of the end product, but also to the safe burn of your candle. We still get into lengthy discussions about little changes here and there. Candle making is not an overnight success story that is for sure.

How can your business compete with the discount jar candles available at chain stores?

We do not try to compete … there is enough business for everyone. Some like the overwhelming strong throw of paraffin wax and some like the more subtle aroma of a sustainable and natural wax. We stay true to our brand and that has what has given us our success to date.

What’s the best part about creating your products and what are your two favorite candle making products/tools?

Our start to finish is a little different to the run of the mill candle business. We hand craft each and every vessel. I think we would say that there is a huge sense of achievement reclaiming, recycling and repurposing glass bottles into SMITHANDLIZZY creations. Our glass cutting and sanding tools have to be high on the list of faves followed closely by fragrance oils.

Is instagram the most effective social media platform for you, and why?

We love a bit of insta .. is it effective? Our chat page certainly is 😬 We spend lots of time chatting with our suppliers, fellow chandlers and small business owners following the sustainable, eco-friendly route. We are happy to grow organically … there is no huge rush. We have some fun, we love our images and we endeavor to support small business whenever we can. We certainly have our “crush” pages, they give us endless amounts of inspiration.

What do you want to learn more about?

Where do we start? …. We have lots of new and exciting things on the horizon which I can 100% categorically assure you will keep us on the learning journey path.

Do you have any other advice or tips for beginner or aspiring candle makers?

Start the journey, it’s amazing! Ask lots of questions. Give yourself a few months of research. Start with quality supplies … we could go on all day. Do it because you love it and if it turns into more … well, that’s an added bonus.

What do you love the most about running your own candle business?

The endless supply of candles in our homes. I mean, who doesn’t love a candle.

Anything new we can do for or offer you?

Continued support for each other. We love a community like that.  

 

Find Lizzy and Smith & Lizzy: Instagram

#glamaccents #candlestart #dubai #dubaicandles #waxmelts


Want to see your small business story featured on our site?

We’re eager to share empowering stories that will inspire other candle makers to grow their ideas into successful businesses.

Shoot a brief email to candlestart team introducing yourself and your candle business. Your story might be the next one we feature on the website!

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The CandleStart Series – 004

Featuring founder of QAMAR WA SHAMS (Moons & Suns) – @qamarwashams

Raya is crazy about coloring & bedazzling candles. Also her candles givesback to NGO’s. Find out what inspired her & how she catapulted her brand QAMAR WA SHAMS using Instagram.

Can you give us some insight into your background; how did you first become interested in candle making?

Qamar Wa Shams products are inspired by my own spiritual experiences. Inner child healing reminded me of an excited 11 year old girl who made candles. I decided to honor my inner child and give candle making a chance!

We love the brand name “Qamar Wa Shams” – How did you come up with this name?

I believe we are all full of divine light that is both feminine & masculine when we are in balance. This inspired me to call my business Qamar Wa Shams to reflect my intention to help people center themselves and embrace both energies and alchemize them into one.

We also love the fact your candles give back to the community, could you tell us a little more about this?

Yes! We made candles to help support our brothers & sisters in Palestine by giving all proceeds to NGOs that align with our intention. I also intend to create candles for mental health awareness in the future.

In your candle collection, do you have a signature scent?

Champaka has been a best seller for over a year. People just love the scent of musk and powder that holds the scent together. This scent -like all of our scents- is multidimensional and has hints of champaka, jasmine & ozone to name a few.

How has the pandemic affected the way you operate?

When covid first hit we lost the ability to receive raw materials as well as cater to our clients. This however was temporary and thankfully things are slowly getting back to normal. When I couldn’t make candles because of wax & fragrant oil shortages I was reminded of my passion for candle making.

What’s the best part about creating your products and what are your two favorite candle making products/tools?

I love the first steps of concept curation, branding products & creating prototypes, it makes my inner child excited! I always push myself to create products that do not exist in the MENA region. Candle dye and glitter are my favorite tools which makes sense since little Raya is crazy about coloring & bedazzling candles.

Is Instagram the most effective social media platform for you, and why?

Yes, I can create cohesive grids, stories, reels & IGTV, also clients can easily feel our vibe online

What do you want to learn more about?

I am currently in a business accelerator program that is helping me learn business principles which otherwise I would find challenging to learn.

Do you have any other advice or tips for beginner or aspiring candle makers?

Yes! Be creative, do your research and be authentic in your work! No one can do what you do.

What do you love the most about running your own candle business?

I am a very strict boss but can be a lazy employee haha it gives me the flexibility to honor my mental wellbeing. I like to embrace both yin & yang energies depending on the day, some days I want to produce and make candles and other days I go inward and just be.

 

Find Raya Khatib and QAMAR WA SHAMS: Instagram

#glamaccents #candlestart #dubai #dubaicandles #waxmelts


Want to see your small business story featured on our site?

We’re eager to share empowering stories that will inspire other candle makers to grow their ideas into successful businesses.

Shoot a brief email to candlestart team introducing yourself and your candle business. Your story might be the next one we feature on the website!

Read More

How to: Avoid Cracks in Candles

It is perhaps the most frequently asked question we see online from candle makers: why do my candles crack?

7 “Why” are your homemade candles cracking

One of the most common questions asked by many candle makers online is “why does my candle crack?”? Here are the conclusions I came to after doing some research.

Candlemaking is perfect for those who always wanted to learn but didn’t have the time or energy to do so. It offers in-depth instructions on how to make a basic fireproof container, how to prepare different types of waxes and wicks, how to find the melting points of various materials, and much more!

The process of making candles can be a lot of fun, but it comes with challenges as well. When you pour at the wrong temperature, for example, you can wreak havoc. Depending on your mistakes, you may end up with sunk candles, tunnels or lack of combustion.

The most common trouble a novice candle maker encounters is cracks in their candles. Currently, this happens for a variety of reasons, so let’s talk about how to prevent or solve it.

Why are my homemade candles cracking?

In most cases, your candles crack for a variety of reasons, and that’s something that you can easily fix. Here we will examine the most common causes of your candles cracking on the surface.

The candle cooled too quickly:

The process of cooling your candles too fast is the prime cause for your candles to crack on the surface. We understand that sometimes you want to accelerate the process to make your candles faster.

Here is how to solve the problem:

You could just let it cool down a little bit more slowly :). It is important to keep your candles at room temperature; this means maintaining a constant temperature in the room. In other words, if it’s too cold (or humid) outside, it might affect the outcome. You can also keep it on top of a cooling rack or a towel.

If you freeze them:

It has been suggested that you put your candles in the freezer, but again this will cause cracks.

Here is how to solve the problem:

Keep your candles away from the freezer at all times. By putting them in the freezer, they will become a brittle and likely break.

A temperature of too high or too low:

In this situation, using a thermometer is crucial to ensuring the right temperature is maintained. You might end up with cracks on the surface if the pour is a bit too hot or cold.

Here is how to solve the problem:

The room temperature you are working in may require some testing, so you may have to adjust the heat by +/- 5° to find the perfect setting. You can usually achieve the best results by pouring at a slightly higher temperature.

Once the wax in the mold became too hard to handle, you filled the well with new wax:

If one fails, so will the other, and temperature and timing go hand in hand. Having cracked candles is the result of filling the well in the candle before the wax has completely cooled or when it has completely hardened.

Here is how to solve the problem:

One simple solution would be to pour a second time after the candle has warmed up a little.

An excessive amount of stirring or vigorous stirring:

By stirring too much or over stirring, you can create small air bubbles, which get trapped during the cooling process. The holes become smaller and smaller, leading to your candles bursting.

Here is how to solve the problem:

Stir as smoothly as you can while stirring. Stirring too fast has no benefit, so please do not do that. In the end, all you’ll get is a mess. It should be possible to completely avoid air bubbles at the right temperature and when stirring slowly.

There was an uneven cooling of your candles:

Candles that are kept more or less close together will cool down unevenly when they are cooled. The problem arises when Glass containers are placed too closely to each other, causing heat to be trapped on adjacent sides. It results in the sides of the jar cooling more slowly than the rest.

Here is how to solve the problem:

Keeping the distance between jars between 2″ – 3″ is recommended for safety’s sake. While your candles cool off, elevate them with a wire rack or a towel below it and cool them from the bottom up. Try to make the airflow under the candles more even to ensure even cooling.

Too much liquid is poured into containers too fast:

Too quickly pouring the wax causes air bubbles to get trapped inside and makes it harder for it to cool evenly.

Here is how to solve the problem:

Wax must be poured slowly, of course, and a pouring pot is the only way to achieve this. The price is not too high, and you can find them almost anywhere.

How should you handle cracked candles?

Imagine that you have made a large batch of candles and unfortunately the majority of them have large cracks. There is still time for you to save the world. Still, there is a way to save them.

Make use of a heat gun:

The melted surface will fill in cracks (or holes) left by the candle’s surface being melted. If there are air bubbles in the mixture, make sure to tap them out first.

Putting a finger on the container:

Earlier, I mentioned that if there are any air bubbles inside the container, you can tap it to remove them. Be careful not to tap too hard, you are working with glassware, so make sure you are not breaking it!

Melt some extra wax and save some for later:

Don’t forget to leave some candles for later when you pour your candles. The cracks will be filled out if needed and any other issues such as sink holes or uneven surfaces will be mitigated. The cracks can also be filled in with wax leftover from melting, poured on top of the surface, and filled in.

The process of coating containers or molds is as follows:

Coating the container or mold with coconut oil or another natural oil helps prevent the beeswax from sticking on the sides, which could lead to cracks.

Summary

The use of a thermometer when making homemade candles is indispensable, I understand. Rushing it can lead to cracks or other issues. It takes patience to make homemade candles. You should know that pouring wax at the appropriate temperature should be done slowly and steadily. Having cracks in your driveway is not a big deal if you fix them, but preventing them is definitely a better idea.

 

 

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The CandleStart Series – 003

Featuring founder of GLAM ACCENTS – @glam.accents.bysaira

Saira has left a corporate job to raise her kids and to do something that she discovered a love for.

Tell us more about you…

I am based in Dubai and have lived in the Middle East all my life. I left a corporate job to raise my kids. As a kid I was always attracted to art and aesthetics. Candles were always a favorite! I still hold various old candles that remind me of special memories of my past, shared with family and friends. For me, they mean much more than just a source of light and that’s what I wish to share with the world.

What sparked the idea to start a candle business?

I loved candles since I was a kid. I had the love for it since as long as I can remember and I was always intrigued about the scents, oils, the wax the melting process; all of it. After the sudden loss of my mother, making candles became therapeutic for me. It became my happy escape.

What makes your brand standout from the rest?

My love, my passion, my individual attention to every detail and most of all, the aspect of sustainability. Keeping all that in mind I want to give something which is more than just a candle that you burn for fragrance or light. I want it to be a statement piece. a piece of glam that when people see it , they go like “oh is this a candle?!”

“Glam Accents” is an interesting name. How’d you settle on that for your business?

I wanted to add the word “glam” in it for sure! This all started keeping my MOM in mind. She was radiant, glamorous and warm ; just what my candles represent. And since this is a piece, a candle an accessory hence the “accent” word tagged along 🙂

What have you learned about toxicity and candles over the years?

Oh I learn everyday. My mistakes, my experiments make me learn something each day. I do my research and also love to explore brands that are in the market. I think its a very personal choice when it comes to candles, so I can only speak for myself 🙂

What are your two favorite candle making products/tools?

Essential / Fragrance Oils – eco friendly WAX.

How long did it take for you to master your candle making process?

I am still learning 🙂 Homemade handpoured candles can never be the same or perfect and that’s the beauty of it all.

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?

I just wish I had started it much earlier.

Do you have any other advice or tips for beginner or aspiring candle makers?

Please take that leap of faith. It doesn’t matter how big or small. Start somewhere, do it for yourself, your friends, your family and the rest shall all follow.

What do you love the most about running your own candle business?

That I can pour my heart and love into each piece I create for YOU.

 

Find SAIRA and GLAM ACCENTS: Instagram

#glamaccents #candlestart #dubai #dubaicandles #waxmelts


Want to see your small business story featured on our site?

We’re eager to share empowering stories that will inspire other candle makers to grow their ideas into successful businesses.

Shoot a brief email to candlestart team introducing yourself and your candle business. Your story might be the next one we feature on the website!

Read More

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