I am so passionate about pure soy candles and my story about how I started LANXEL Candles is a true illustration how a passion can became a business. Its a part thriller, a good dose of "I have no idea how to do that but I love doing it, so I’ll work it out", a dash of tension and plenty of delightful thrill and passion thrown in.
So if you want hear it, light an Eco-friendly candle, grab yourself a cup of something nice and snug up somewhere cosy, and I’ll tell you.
Long before making candles, I trained as a reflexologist. As it happens my tutor knew how to make candles, using oils. I was mesmerized. Really!!! Is that possible???
"Pleeeease teach me", I asked her!!! And she did.
Candle making became rainy Sunday afternoon occupations. At that time I lived in Brussels (Belgium) and there were plenty of rainy Sundays. I loved the candle making hobby but my work life as a cosmetologist, masseuse and reflexologist got more and more demanding. I had opened a spa shortly after qualifying as a reflexologist and my team and I were kept busy with a large selection of treatments. Eventually, making candles was put on the back burner.
I liked my job but the passion was missing.
Sadly my husband had passed away shortly after the birth of our daughter, so being a single parent my 1st priority was, and had to be, earning a living.
In order to generate the right atmosphere and create special moments for the customers in the spa, we burnt tons of candles. But due to lack of free time, making the candles myself was unthinkable. At the time it did not occur to me that candles could pay the bills - duhhhh...
In between all that work, a fun-loving guy came along and stole my heart and my daughter stole his. This is when the story could have ended. After dating the fun-loving action man for over two years we moved all our furniture together and we could have lived happily forever after in Belgium. But no. We don't things that simple.
My gorgeous man came home one day, and said he thought it would be a good idea to move to Geneva (Switzerland). Well, I thought, a spa in Brussels or Geneva.... what difference can there be?
I was very wrong about that!!! There was a world of difference. Not because of Geneva but because I had fallen out of love with my role as a beauty therapist. Looking back I guess I had suffered a burn out!!! At the time I just felt as if I was well and truly done.
Things quickly got a little too slow for me in Geneva though. Our house was the tidiest in the neighbourhood, and there were no piles of ironing anywhere to be seen.
Luckily my daughter also got the candle bug, just like me. One day she wanted to go to a large Swedish warehouse company for some berry scented candles for her room. "Nooo way” I told her, “I’ll make them for you”.
This is when the fun started. First batch of Dark Red Berry scented candles was done. Next a request for sweet Strawberries and Champagne and one for Green Apples. My daughter and her friends loved them. I also started using my candles as gifts for friends and family.
And then came Susan!!! Having been lucky enough to join a group of amazing women entrepreneurs, Susan was one of the very active members. She invited me to be part of an artisan market she was organising. My daughter strongly encouraged me to take part and suddenly our kitchen was turned into a candles making workshop with the counters covered in recycled brow paper.
I had 6 weeks to find wax, wicks and containers, to make beautiful candle fragrances, working out sale prices and coming up with a label design. I started off with a 1.5 litre bain-marie, a double boiler, in which I could make around three or four candles at the time. Many batches of almost finished candles had to be re-melted and binned. I created some obscene smelling stuff like toilet rinse or similar. The sink was blocked twice and the house was a mess. But I got there. The day arrived. I packed the car. Drove to the artisan market, opened my stall and on the last Saturday of April 2015 the idea for LANXEL Candles was born, when I called home, after having sold my first candles.
To this day each candle is hand poured with great love and attention to all details. I'm still the one who checks every single candle before they leave the workshop, ensuring they have pass my quality control. The bain-marie has been replaced by a large melting tank and we work daily on our production process to keep up with the demand.