My husband and I started a company called Two Rivers Butcher Block approximately 6 years ago. We sell handmade end grain butcher block cutting boards that are stunningly beautiful and functional, and our butcher block conditioner.
We have been selling our blocks at several local farmer’s markets for years now. Customers would often pick up the jars of conditioner and start to open it saying that they love candles. I would of course let them know it wasn’t a candle but rather the conditioner for the butcher blocks. It happened numerous times during that first and second year.
We were working at the booth one summer day, later in the season, and once again a customer came up and made the same familiar comment. “I love candles”. I looked at my husband and said “I love candles”. And it was true. I was a die-hard candle fan, having a cabinet full of all of my favorite candle scents. I had my spring lilacs, and clean cotton scents, my summer mango and cucumber scents, fall was pumpkins and cranberries and the various evergreen scents for the holidays. I really do love candles and I have always been a bit of a candle snob. Obviously, the candle had to have a scent that I enjoyed but I also wanted a quality candle. The proceeding fall and winter I began researching candle making. I read everything I could get my hands on, ordered supplies and began. I think I made about 200 candles or so before I felt like I finally got it right.
My goal was to make a “clean” candle that I felt good about burning in my home. It’s not necessarily going to be the cheapest candle but that’s not what I was trying to achieve.
The first thing I discovered was those large brightly colored candles that I had been burning for years were paraffin. Now, I am not a stupid woman, but it never once occurred to me those candles were made from a petroleum product. I knew not to burn candles with lead wicks because you could put toxic levels of lead in your home after a few hours of burning; and with children in the house, that was obviously something I wanted to avoid. I truly never thought about it.
The research on paraffin seems questionable to me. As with many things, the answer you get regarding the safety of burning paraffin candles indoors varies depending who you ask. My feeling is, if there is a safer option out there, I want to go with safer. Therefore, I do not use paraffin in any of my candles. In addition, my candles don’t have phthalates, dyes or UV inhibitors. My wicks are made of cotton with a paper core or untreated wood. The scents I use are a mix of essential oil and fragrance oils. The wax is either 100% soy in the classic candles or a blend of soy, palm, coconut and bees wax in the Signature candles. I don’t use the dyes or UV inhibitors because I believe if I can make a wonderful smelling candle without those additives why put them in. I am going for clean. In addition, another goal I have is to purchase locally and made in the USA whenever possible. Sometimes such decisions result in additional expense but to me it’s worth it.
Thanks so much for visiting our site. If you purchase a candle, my hope is that you love it and it adds something special to your day.
All the best,