Ask anyone who makes candles and nine times out of ten, they started making their own as they have a slight to mad obsession with them.
We definitely fall into that latter category, over the years we have spent hours talking about who makes the best candles, how long they last, how to burn them properly etc. So after spending a small fortune feeding our obsession, it was suggested that we learn how to make our own.
As part of our initial research, we read blog post after web article where people tell of years crafting their art, the heartache of perfecting their techniques and the often frustrating and painful tales of testing, retesting and testing again, using friends and family as guinea pigs.
Many of these stories stress the need for endless patience and of many lost hours, working out optimum oil/wax/wick combinations. After reading all this information, we were quietly worried about losing our sanity if we embarked on down this road but decided to give it a try. We do subscribe to the ‘go hard or go home’ mantra so, never knowingly doing anything by half measures, we plunged in head first.
Whilst we knew it would be a steep learning curve, we also decided that we needed an expert to train us, to pass on their knowledge and teach us to do things properly. And he certainly put us through our paces, challenged us at every opportunity and pushed us hard at every turn. We definitely had brain ache during the initial processes. Soon after training was completed we had the basis of our first range and a compelling desire to create more blends.
It is getting easier now, and we are still learning something new with every batch of candles that we make. We still have the odd disaster along the way, but you can’t really get too stressed making candles, it’s too much fun (as well as a lot of maths, science, luck and timing – who knew that we would end up relying on our calculators as much as our thermometers).
Right from the offset, we started down one of the harder paths of candle making, by using very expensive essential oils and natural rapeseed wax. The thinking was, if we learnt with a difficult wax and learned to create our own blends, everything else would be a bit easier in the future.
We knew that we wanted our own unique aromas so it was important to us that to create our own essential oil blends rather than buy in pre-mixed options. As part of our training, we’ve learned which oils blend well (and which don’t, after a few nightmares with vanilla essential oil). We also learned how the oil to wax ratios affect burn rates and wick selections and hundreds of other fascinating tips. We have gained so much knowledge from our master chandler guru and his wonderful assistant, knowledge it took years for them to accumulate, that they kindly passed on to us, which has been immensely useful and helpful.
We still review and refine our blends, we are small batch producers so whilst we work to a main formula, each batch can vary slightly depending on the time of year (yes, even the weather affects candles), the variances in the oils, the wicks we are using, size of container and even the time of day. We also make candles to order and create bespoke blends for our customers which is very exciting.
Having a seasonal collection allows us to experiment and offer new options alongside our main ranges. For these collections we take inspiration from a variety of sources, sometimes the idea is inspired by one single smell and imagining how we can enhance it and add it to other blends to create something new and exciting.
We currently sell our candles at exhibitions, specialist and handmade craft fairs, as well as small, bespoke functions and through our online candle store. It is great meeting both candle lovers and other candle makers, it is great to share information, swap favourite blends and tricks of the trade.
We are always looking for feedback and ideas so if you want to get in touch, you can find us on various social media platforms or you can reach us via email through the Contact page on this site.
Finally, we are always being asked about our name, well if you are sisters and your surname is Hopper, it sort of makes sense to put it to good use.