New exhibitor for 2019 find out more about the Littlemore Candle Company in our interview with Molly Stevenson.
Littlemore Candle Company is committed to environmentally friendly principles, producing high quality fragranced soy wax candles decorated with locally foraged botanicals, healing crystals and bio-degradable glitter.
How did it all start?
When my late Grandma passed away she left various pieces of china, including tea cups and saucers, into which I decided to pour (unknown to me at the time) petroleum based paraffin wax. What started as a hobby in 2015, and desire to produce handmade gifts for friends and family, soon evolved into a small business together with a true passion. After research I found that there were alternatives to the toxic paraffin wax and then found plant based soy wax cleaner, sustainable and eco-friendly. Experimenting with various candle making techniques and learning about how to embed crystals, shells and botanicals, my hobby became a passion; my passion became my business.
The story behind the name…
We began production in the Oxfordshire village of Littlemore, where we are based, whose name aptly reflects our candles as we offer more than a simple fragranced candle – thus a Littlemore than a candle.
What inspires you?
The English countryside, its flowers, fruits and botanicals inspire my candle creations as does my love and respect for the spiritual properties of natural healing crystals. I like to match fragrances and colours with crystals with a view to releasing the healing properties of these crystals as the candle burns.
What is your creation process?
All our candles are hand-poured in small batches by myself and family members. We are constantly foraging for natural greenery in Oxfordshire to bring back to our workshop. We enjoy spotting things in the outdoors that we can take to the workshop, preserve and use for future ranges or special edition candles, foraging and drying berries, for example, or gathering pieces of wood we can
use to display the candles. Like the healing stones we use, I have an appreciation for natural beauties and making them stand out on various platforms whether on a stall table or embedded in the top of the candle wax. I’ve enjoyed learning various methods of drying and pressing beautiful flowers or posies, coming back to them months later and using these preservations when developing new products.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
We have not seen anything quite like our candles as we travel to fairs and events around the UK. The bringing together of candle fragrances, crystals and botanicals creates a unique product none of which are exactly the same. Time and love go into each one of our candles.
What is your next project?
Our next project in to develop our Christmas range further for 2019, building on the popular Cinnamon candle of 2018 – and creating one or two more…yet to be revealed!
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
We want to further develop our ranges and packaging which will evolve from listening to our customers and bring aware of current trends which we can tap into. We want to continue to meet customers at fairs and events while developing and improving our website.
What is your biggest achievement?
We have worked hard to build relationships in both business development aspects as well as direct customer interactions. This has meant that our overall presence is developing in that we are becoming more recognisable as an independent brand and increasing our outreach. We are proud to have brought together our business plan, website, products, branding and marketing so that our launch in October 2018 was a success.
What is your best-selling product/line?
This is a difficult one for us to answer as when it comes to fragrances everybody is different. It is therefore important to remember not to only select scents that are our personal favourites. Our Orange candle embedded with a citrine crystal has proven particularly popular to encourage confidence, as well as our new Sea Salt and Juniper candle which resembles a beautiful rock pool when burning.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
1) Money management is important but keep creating.
2) Always think about new products/ranges.
3) Don’t try to make hand crafted items look factory made. I am known to be a perfectionist, but sometimes perfect is either unfeasible or unattractive. The products we make are all one of a kind and handmade and being able to see this is often a big part of the appeal for customers.
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
Be dogged. Don’t let disappointments destroy your confidence. Believe in yourself and your product and listen to advice from other entrepreneurs.