Bristol woman starts Southern scented candle making business
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Jessie Duckett wants people to take a whiff of the South the way she smells it.
So the 29-year-old Bristol, Tennessee, entrepreneur started her own candle business, with scents she hopes will remind people of home and the Mountain Empire.
“Creating candles seemed like a creative outlet for me,” Duckett said. “I’ve always enjoyed art and creating things and thought that I could make some candles for people to enjoy too.”
Last month, Duckett found a local supplier who worked with her to get basic supplies and from there — Southern Charm Candle Co. was formed. Sales have been going strong, she said Wednesday.
“I launched the business Facebook page on Oct. 18,” Duckett said. “So far, I’ve sold all of the original candles that I had made up already, and the orders are continuing to come in as well.”
Duckett said she wants to make quality products that are affordable.
“A candle can be considered a luxury item to some people,” Duckett said. “These candles are not made in a factory and shipped to you — they’re hand poured right here in my house.”
So far, Duckett has created a core collection, which includes five candles: Pretty as a Peach, which combines the aroma of sweet Georgia peaches with brown sugar and other spices; Granny’s Apple Pie, reminiscent of a hot baked apple pie; a floral scent known as Southern Belle; Front Porch Sippin’, which Duckett said takes you back to the days of sitting on the front porch drinking cold lemonade; and her best-seller, Memaw’s Kitchen, which was inspired by the fresh baked goods and ground coffee her grandmother used to make.
“There almost seems to be this grassroots movement where people are pouring candles that remind them of where they grew up or home,” Duckett said. “I want people to be reminded of that when they purchase these candles and for them to be taken back to their childhood, too.”
Duckett said a lot of time and energy goes into pouring and creating the perfect candle. She uses 464 soy wax, which she said is a better grade of wax.
“From there, you just melt down the wax and add your coloring and flavor. The absolute hardest parts are trying to get the colors to come out right and making sure that the wicks are centered so they burn evenly. ”
Duckett is also working on several holiday candles, which will include scents like Smoky Mountain Christmas, Mama’s Cranberry Salad, Pumpkin Pie and Aunt Nikki’s Chocolate Pie.
“The chocolate pie candle smells just like my Aunt Nikki’s chocolate pie,” Duckett said. “I really hope that people will enjoy the upcoming holiday scents, especially closer to Christmas.”
Duckett said she really wants to expand her business and eventually sell bath bombs and sugar scrubs and work to create a men’s collection.
“I would love to get my candles into some stores in the Bristol area to sell,” Duckett said. “I have even thought about coming up with some special scents like bluegrass and seeing if the Birthplace of Country Music Museum would be interested in partnering up with me as well.”
Duckett also hopes to eventually open a storefront, but she admits that she must start small and continue to grow.
“This is my baby, and I want to eventually be able to do this full time,” Duckett said. “The other night I stayed up all night working on pouring candles to get some holiday scents out.”
Candles can be purchased through her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/southerncharmcandlecompany. Duckett also plans to get into creating custom-made gift baskets that include candles.
“Being that I’m local and live in Bristol, people don’t want to worry about shipping costs or anything like that,” she said. “I can meet folks who love candles and want to smell some delicious scents.”
Information from: Bristol Herald Courier, http://www.bristolnews.com