I have a confession to make .. … I am a recovering candle hoarder.
My love of candles is well known to my friends and family and the fact it is now my business is no accident! It just wasn’t a birthday without candles for presents. That in itself wouldn’t be such an issue but I would keep my stash gathering dust for a full 12 months before burning them! You name it I had it.. coloured candles, smelly candles, big candles, small candles, expensive candles and the dollar store candles. They were all loved.
These days, as a candlemaker I have access to more candles than I could have imagined back then and I still adore them! I love creating new scents, trying new styles and most of all, the ambiance and the relaxation they bring to my home.
After discovering the evils of petrochemicals in paraffin candles I did a lot of research. I was horrified. I had no idea that my obsession was releasing chemicals on to the walls of my home and that we were all breathing in those chemicals along with the heady fragrances.
Enter soy wax candles into my life as a gift from a friend. It was like one of those ray of sunshine moments with a chorus of angels singing in the background when I first burnt it! The scent was incredible and the candles lasted longer than any of the others plus they ticked all the boxes environmentally. Still I could not get enough of them so I turned my hand to learning how to make them. And so my obsession with candles continued.
So why does soy wax make my heart sing? It’s grown sustainably unlike palm wax which a lot of large scale candle makers use. I find it easy to work with and it reliably produces beautiful creamy candles with a little experience. Paraffin obviously has issues with containing petrochemicals. Coconut wax is beautiful but not stable unless blended in our hot climate. While beeswax smells divine, a friend who is a bee-keeper tells me that the bees can recycle some of the wax in their hives after harvesting the honey if it isn't taken. Literally a whole bees life can be directed to producing wax. I can’t ethically use a wax for candles that literally goes up in smoke when taking the wax from the bee causes bees to get less work done. Bees are our friends and they are struggling at the moment! All Ajana products are vegan friendly. If we can create beautiful effective products that are plant based and cause no detriment to animals why wouldn’t we.
So that brings us back to soy wax and more research. Believe me, not all soy waxes are created equal. The many brands of “pure soy wax” on the market are testimony to the fact it is a complex subject. Many of them are actually blends of waxes or contain synthetic properties to improve their performance. We want 100% natural right? After a great deal of research, I found a truly pure soy wax that not only performs well but is also as close to organic a soy wax as you can find. While the wax we use is one of the most expensive on the market, it is guaranteed sustainably grown, free from pesticides and herbicides and is non-GM. To me the investment in a premium quality material that ensures a healthy end product is worth it.
These days I can say that I am no longer a candle hoarder .. I burn them and enjoy them. If anyone asks why I have so many, I am a candlemaker who does extensive testing. It’s part of the job hahahaha… it’s the perfect cover!