Travel Journal: Voyage Candle Co.
I'm back with another instalment of the Travel Journal, where I feature some of my favourite small businesses that I've come across on my travels.
I was really excited to find Voyage Candle Co. a small handmade shop based in San Diego, USA. They hand make small batch soy and wood wick candles, which let me just say, if you've never tried a wood wick candle, head over to their website immediately! Not only are they better for you and the environment, but the crackling sound they give off makes for such a great atmosphere too. I've got my eye on their Ski Lodge Cider wood wick candle, perfect for memories of our trips to the Rocky Mountains! (Not so subtle hint to any friends and family reading this!)
The best bit about Voyage Candle Co. is that their whole concept relates to recreating memories of special journeys and places using the scents from their candles. That couldn't be a more perfect fit for Ta Muchly! They're basically Ta Muchly in candle form - how could I not love that!
I was lucky enough to be able to interview Kaela Zychlewicz, the owner and designer behind Voyage Candle Co. Keep reading below to find out how she got started, how her candles can help if you suffer with asthma, and how she incorporates travel into her products.
Tell us about your journey with Voyage Candle Co. I’d love to hear a bit about the story behind it, and how you got started?
Originally, Voyage Candle Co. got started as a way to relieve stress from work (as any good hobby does!) and then evolved into a way to “pretend” that we were on vacation when we couldn’t afford to travel or didn’t have the time off from work. My boyfriend and I don’t have the same days off and it’s very hard for us to get time off to do things, so this was our way of an evening “getaway” when we had a couple hours together.
You can only have so many candles in your house before you have to start giving them away to family and friends. And when their houses are full but you want to keep creating, the next logical step is to start a business right? Haha.
What inspires you about travel, either locally or abroad, and how do you incorporate that into your work?
As a child, my family always saved up money and made the time to go on family vacations in the summer and they are some of my fondest memories. My graduation presents from high school and college were both trips abroad (the UK and Bermuda respectively) and I value the exposure to other cultures and ways of life more than any gift I have ever gotten.
I incorporate travel into my candles by naming them after places and experiences that you would have while you’re there. I want to help the person enjoying my candle to envision themselves somewhere new or even somewhere they have been before, just by smelling my candle.
Scent creates the strongest memories and we want to utilize this fact to help people not only remember their favorite memories, but to also be momentarily transported back to it.
What’s your favourite Voyage Candle Co. product and/or best seller?
Kentucky Orchard is a light and sweet scent with notes of apple and maple.
Winter Cabin is a warm and rich scent with sugary notes, like a warm apple spice pastry.
Can you tell us a bit more about the design and making process for your candles?
Before I make any candles, I do a TON of research about the materials I will need. One of the hardest parts of candle making is being patient enough to test candles over and over to get them just right. You need to have the correct wick size and material and make sure that the wax holds the fragrance correctly. It is a long process before you can get to the fun and creative part but that is what makes a good candle that will stand out.
You have a big focus on using sustainable materials in your work, which I love! Can you tell us about your materials and why it’s important to you?
There are two main reasons that I have a large emphasis on sustainable materials: my love for nature and asthma.
My love of nature and animals was only emphasized by travel. Seeing some of the most beautiful places the country, and world, have to offer helps you to realize that everyone should be doing their part to preserve what we have.
Soy wax is a sustainable product that burns so much cleaner than paraffin wax, which is a byproduct of petroleum and is what most candles are made of. They release chemicals and carcinogens into your home when burned, which for someone like me with asthma, can make life more difficult.
We use soy wax, which is sustainable and made in the USA. We also use lead free cotton wicks and wood wicks, which are also healthier alternatives to conventional wicks.
What does a typical work day look like for you?Currently, Voyage Candle Co. is my part time job, which I work on during evenings and weekends after coming home from my day job. Hopefully, one day this will be able to be my full-time job! Most of my time is spent researching materials or methods in order to continually improve my candles and finding small shows where I can showcase my products. I save the creating of the candles for times when I can really slow down and enjoy the best part of my business.
Where’s your special place (or places)? The Country or place with happy memories, that means the most to you.
This is such an unfair and hard question!! Haha!
My most recent trip was a road trip with my family to Glacier National Park. We drove from San Diego in an RV up to Montana and then camped outside of the park for 3 days. We just drove around the park every day and stopped whenever we wanted to get out and enjoy the scenery. I have never been to a more picturesque place. It was so calm and quiet and peaceful. I was not used to being able to really appreciate what was around me while finding a sense of inner calm. It was a much-needed retreat from the constant on-the-go mentality that I usually have.
My other favorite place is a small beach in Bermuda. Their most popular beach, the Pink Sand Beach, is pretty but if you look harder, there is a tiny slice of heaven a few miles away. It took my aunt and I a full day of riding the bus around and asking every local if they knew where this specific beach was but we found it! A kind bus driver went out of his way to drop us off in front of an abandoned hotel complex and told us to find a small trail behind it. This trail led us to a very skinny beach that was covered in sea glass. Because of all the wreckages in Bermuda they have some of the most unique colors of sea glass! In the middle of this beach was a small weathered pier. I sat at the end of the pier for what felt like hours admiring all of the colors of glass and the sunset and really just appreciating the ocean in front of me. Best find of that trip by far!
What would your dream home look like, and where in the World would it be?So, I don’t have a specific place in mind, but it has to be close enough to family that they can visit multiple times a year or that we can go visit.
I would love a farmhouse-y style two story house. My biggest requirement is that is has enough land to have goats! I love goats and want to have some one day! I would also love enough space to have a guest house where family or friends could go for an extended stay.
How would you describe your interiors style?I definitely lean more towards the farmhouse style. I love light greens and blues with tons of grey and white. My current home is more of a coastal farmhouse look. I tell people its inspired by the colors under a boardwalk, the dark and worn wood complimented by the blues and greys from the water around it, if that makes sense.
Where do you like to shop for interior decor items?
Since I am on a budget, I tend to frequent Hobby Lobby and IKEA for my home décor. Its really hard for me to not find something I want when I go there.
One day, I would love to be able to get some pieces from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn though!
What’s next for Voyage Candle Co?
After this holiday season, we are going to launch our signature collection, so be on the lookout!
We are also experimenting with some whipped soap recipes, so we might be expanding into new territory in the New Year.
You can also find all of their latest candles in their shop, let me know which one is your favourite in the comments below.
A massive Ta Muchly to Kaela for agreeing to be featured in today's blog post, and for a great interview!
All images copyright and courtesy of Voyage Candle Co.
Note - This blog post is not sponsored, I'm just doing my bit to support fellow small businesses that I love! Help support them too by sharing this page with others! Ta Muchly!