I can't pinpoint the exact reason I started making candles. But what I do know is that once I have an idea in my head I have to see it through. I have always loved filling my home with them and they were always my go to gift choice (who doesn't like a candle, eh?) A few years ago I had staretd to buy more natural scented ones, candles that could not only make your house smell amazing but that also had some wellbeing benefits.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a fully fledged eat clean, knit your own mung beans kind of gal, but I do like to buy organic where I can, especially where face & body products are concerned and this had spread into what I used in my home. I definitely think that having children made me more aware of the kinds of cleaning products and washing liquids I was using so had already switched to more non toxic, kinder to the envrionment brands and slowly became conscious that those cloying, overly scented, black smoking kind of candles were maybe not the sort of thing I should be burning in our home.
However, the search for 'clean' candles was not always an easy one. So having quit my old job to have more time with our first little one when he started pre-school, I had a bit more space to get my creative hat on, and that is how PUR was born.
I honestly never set out to create a business. I set myself the challenge of making an entirely natural essential oil candle for my friend's birthday. We were always buying each other soy candles, but most with their synthetic fragrances or no smell at all, really didn't cut it and we were so often left a bit disappointed.
So my research began (ooh I love a project!) and I bought the basics online...soy wax, a thermometer, some essential oils I knew I liked...and there it began. Me, my pans on the stove, measuring jugs and a bit of fire in my belly. I would be lying in bed at 1am trawling the internet for candle making forums and websites (I still do this!), trying to discover the best eco waxes, wicks, secrets for the best melt pool and scent throw...boring to some I know, but the perfectionist in me wouldn't let this go. I have since discovered that nothing but hard work and determination makes a good product.
Soon I had tested my own essential oil blends that I found worked (thanks to a very random book on aromatherapy that my Dad had and that I still use today) and I finally had a few products I was happy to sell. I got myself a stall at a couple of local Farmers Markets and began my small business journey.
Meeting people who returned to buy my products and hearing their lovely feedback is definitely the main reason I carried on. There have been so many times I've wanted to give up when test candles weren't burning the way I wanted and the frustration was too much, but then I'd receive an email from a customer telling me how much they loved their candle and I'd carry on.
Seeing my products on retailers shelves is a dream come true for me. Over time the branding and packaging has been updated and I've taken over a little room just off our kitchen to use as my workshop, where I can be out of the way and create to my heart's content.
I still love everything about making candles and think I always will. If i'm having a bad day, blending the wax and oils in a pan is a kind of therapy for me, and I hope burning them is a bit of therapy for my customers.