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Fanning the flames of enthusiasm for making candles

WITH fragrances that range from mango to Japanese cherry blossom, marshmallow bomb to smoky bacon or beach bum, Make Your Own Candles is something that has to be smelt to be believed.

Never before has it been this quick, simple and fun to make a wonderful gift or candle for your own home.

For stallholder Julie Dykes, making candles was something she began about five years ago while living in the small NSW country town of Glen Innes.

Make Your Own Candles.
Make Your Own Candles. CONTRIBUTED

“Glen Innes was often freezing cold so I needed to find something to do indoors as we spent months each year indoors due to the weather,” Julie said.

“When we moved back to Queensland two years ago, I was experimenting with my soy candles that I had always been making, trying to figure out a way I could get more than one fragrance into each candle.

“Sadly, what I was trying to achieve with my soy candles didn’t work out, but this great new product came out of all that testing.”

With her soy candles now having to take a back seat, Julie has fully embraced this fun new product, although it was something she mulled over for six months.

It was friends and family who embraced the concept wholeheartedly and encouraged her to share it.

From there, Julie attended her first market stall in Brisbane and sold out on the first night.

“From that night, we were given lots of leads and invites to other events and that’s how we ended up at Caloundra,” she said.

“Due to the demand, my husband Tony and I set up a second stall and our son Ashley and his wife Prue now manage and look after the Caloundra Street Fair stall themselves – something we are extremely proud of.”

Make Your Own Candles.
Make Your Own Candles. CONTRIBUTED

The Make Your Own Candles idea truly lets the customer take charge and enjoy the experience and satisfaction that candle-makers typically feel.

It also allows them to select as many layers as they like, choosing from more than 40 different fragrances.

They can add as little or as much of each fragrance as they like, to truly personalise their candle.

Julie uses a blend of different natural waxes and, with one of them in particular, she spent hours grating the wax by hand to get the right consistency.

All of the wax is coloured using vegetable-based dye and she adds natural oils and butters, while the fragrance comes from either essential oils or fragrance oils.

Considering the Make Your Own Candles first went to market eight months ago with 10 small buckets and plenty of hope, it is amazing to see the business now is in three locations in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and covering Rockhampton as well.

Julie finds that many of the Sunshine Coast market visitors want to take a little something special home with them.

So far, she has been told Make Your Own Candles products have travelled to England, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore and the US.

“I love the market/fair environment because it is wonderful to see people’s reactions and their feedback when you explain how easy it is to make a candle,” Julie said.

“It is simply a case of select what jar size you would like, fill it with as many layers as you like and then take it home, light it and enjoy it.

“To meet so many new people and see how much they enjoy our product, that’s really exciting for us.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we expect this to take off like it has.”

See www.facebook.com/makeyourcandle for more.

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Fanning the flames of enthusiasm for making candles