Having just officially launched our Premium Ceramic range, we thought you would like to get to know a little more about the people behind The Candle Library so this week’s Meet The Maker is all about us!
The Candle Library was founded in Byron Bay in 2015 by entrepreneurial husband and wife duo Angela Honeywell and Tom Scholley. With a wide and varied background, it was when the couple left Sydney for warmer climes that things began to escalate pretty quickly as they added successful restaurateurs and retailers to their list of talents.
“Originally I come from a magazine publishing background; but after moving to Byron Bay over 4 years ago, I have been busy running our restaurant - St. Elmo (that we purchased in 2011); and running our retail store - Liberty Trading Co. (that we founded in 2014).”
While running the Liberty Trading Co., Angela was surprised at how quickly scented candles flew off the shelves. This realisation triggered the innate, entrepreneurial sixth sense that Angela possesses for a profitable business opportunity, this time with scented candles at the forefront.
“I was surprised at how many candles we were selling. This led us to explore and stock many different candle brands, and eventually, 12 months ago, we started playing around making our own candles. We decided to just go for it and see if we could do it ourselves! I have always been obsessive about scents; be it candles, perfumes, even things such as the smell of foods, so it seemed like a natural thing to delve in to the world of scented candles. “
With two successful businesses already under their belts, why not throw in a third, and all before the age of 30!
Initially, the business plan for The Candle Library was simple. It involved the wholesale and distribution of American candle brand P.F. Candle Co. in addition to an online market place for a variety of candle brands. There wasn’t a sniff of producing our own brand of candles, but in true visionary style, Ange and Tom thought “what the hell, we may as well!”
With starting your own business in something you love from scratch comes many challenges, particularly when there are two other businesses in the equation.
“The hardest thing is maintaining the faith that all the hard work you are putting in is going to be worth it. Launching a company as multi-faceted as The Candle Library, there is so much outlay in the beginning before you start to see results! It's a scary thing to invest everything you have in to a new business! Also, juggling The Candle Library when we're still running two other business has definitely been challenging!”
When asked what Angela loves most about working at The Candle Library every day, the answer was simple.
“Knowing that Niall will always start our day with Justin Bieber's catchy tunes.“
There’s nothing better than a long black, a croissant and Biebs to kick off your morning!
Location can play a big part in the rise and fall of ‘start-ups’ and in recent years Byron Bay has become a hub for exactly these kinds of businesses, many of which have gone on to become international brands. But what is it about this place that has created such a unique market for opportunity?
“The community, for sure. Everyone in Byron is really creative, and really passionate about what they do which makes it a really inspiring place to work. You can't help but want to be a part of it! Not only that, but everyone is really supportive of each other - some of my very best friends are my "competitors'; but it never feels that way!”
The Candle Library operates out of a warehouse in the Byron Bay industrial estate where we hand pour our candles in small batches into ceramic vessels that are handmade in Melbourne, using 100% eco soy. Even the boxes are designed and printed on recycled stock in Australia. In this day and age of consumerism, it is vital to consider the authenticity, ethics and origins of the products we buy. What is refreshing and wholesome about the Premium Ceramics range from The Candle Library is that such emphasis is put on ensuring the candle is entirely Australian made, supporting our businesses on home soil, but also on reusable design so that the life of the product goes on long after the candle burns out through the re-use of the ceramic vessel.
“I wanted to create a product that was entirely reusable and Australian made. The idea of still being able to use the candle vessel after you had finished burning it really appealed to me; the less waste the better! I wanted to create a product that was not only reusable, but also beautiful, so you would have no reason to throw it away after you were done.”
Not only is the Premium Ceramics range aesthetically charming and beautiful, but the scents that are designed in-house using Australian fragrance oils, are uniquely stunning. It is one of life’s pleasures that different scents trigger nostalgia and fond memories of times past. However, the inspiration behind The Candle Library’s scents is the notion that nostalgia can be almost inverted, transporting you forward to places and situations you may have never been.
“I don't even know how to explain this one! For me, different scents always trigger different emotions and memories. Sometimes I even feel like a scent can take you to a place you've never been before, if that even makes sense? So, in my head, I created these little stories and what those scenarios would smell like to me that would translate with other people as well. From there, we set about creating the perfect, custom scent that I thought embodied those stories!”
Each scent is essentially inviting you into different fantastical scenarios. Whether you want to be whisked away to a tropical Hawaiian sunset (Summer Sunset), a smoky jazz cellar (Dixieland Jazz) or a bouquet of roses (Hearts On Fire), there is something there for everyone.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but summer is officially over and with winter steadily on its way, we know you want to know what scent by The Candle Library is best to burn on those chilly winter nights?
“Whisky O'Clock, for sure! The perfect candle to burn as you sit in your arm chair, looking out at the rain, with your evening tipple in your hand.”
So there it is, now you know a little more about who is behind The Candle Library and the ethos behind the brand. Arguably, The Candle Library’s Premium Ceramics range is one of the most authentic ranges on the market, and not only that but they smell beautiful too.