Interview with Wooly Wax Candles

We thought we’d start shining a little light on our partners through Grand’s Blog. This month, Marin interviews Rachel Woolcott and the Wooly Wax Candle line about the story and process of her business.

At Grand, we’re always looking for opportunities to talk about our local business partnerships. We believe that shopping locally strengthens the connections within our community, boosts our regional economy and supports true artisanship!  And we have the pleasure of working with some amazing artisans – from our small batch hair & skin product lines to many of the joys you’ll find in our Boutique, there are incredibly creative, skilled and dedicated small business people behind the scenes that deserve some recognition.

Where did you get the Wooly Wax name?

My last name is Woolcott. Wooly is a nickname that has floated around our family for a long time.

When did you start making candles?

I launched Wooly Wax Candles officially on October 1, 2015. Unofficially, it was the summer of 2015 that I really started exploring how to create scent profiles through candle making.

Have you always wanted to do this?

I love this question because I can safely say I didn’t choose starting my own candle business, it chose me. Being a chef most of my adult life, I’ve had the unique experience in developing my senses of taste and scent on a daily basis. That kind of training over many, many years becomes like a sixth sense. A few years back, I was cooking for a party and had the most remarkable experience of using certain aromatic herbs and spices in a dish which immediately provoked memories of cooking in my previous restaurant. I became obsessively intrigued with the sense of smell and its correlation to memory and emotions. I wondered how I could capture those aromatics in a way other than cooking. And thus, the candle experience was launched.

How do you come up with the scents? And the names?

Some of the scent profiles and names of my candles come from experiences I’ve had. For an example, San Francisco Fog was inspired by a road trip I took down the California coastline, through the Redwood Forest, over the Golden Gate bridge smack into the coastal fog of San Francisco. All of those areas have unique and distinctive smells, so I created a candle that reminded me of those scents. Otherwise, most of the scent names are from a few of the ingredients that are in the formula.

Do you have plans to expand?

I do have plans of expanding and growing my business. I’ve been fortunate that Wooly Wax Candles has been well received and my next move is to expand the product line. Right now I have a few new products such as the popular Stinker Mist, Lip Salve, Room Spray and Gentleman’s Beard Oil.

Is it just you or do you have partners in the business?

For now it’s just me as the principal member of Wooly Wax Candles. I have a few employees which I consider part of the team. Perhaps with the expansion I’m looking to do, eventually I might take on partners.

Was it hard starting your own business?

I’ve successfully started two of my own businesses and have been hired to help open multiple other businesses. At this point I wouldn’t say it was hard. Just keep your head down, be passionate about what you’re doing and stay focused!!!

What’s your favorite Wooly Wax scent?

I have created hundreds and hundreds of different scent profiles so picking one is unimaginable. I can share a recent self-discovery though. In the last 8 months I have gravitated more and more toward different wood based scents and have to consciously NOT use them in every scent I create. Other than that, scent is a wonderful thing and can evoke the most amazing memories. Who wouldn’t love that?

Why do you put the weather on the candles?

The date, time and weather stamp started when I was first learning to create scent profiles through candle wax. Coming from a chef background, we label and date everything. At first I was concerned the weather might effect the final product so I always wrote the date, time and weather in my formula book. I produced a few candles and added the date stamp on the label and people really liked it. Right now, since I produce small batch it keeps me connected to my product.

What are the perfect conditions for you to make your candles?

The only perfect conditions I really need for candle making is some good music and to be in a good mood. Although, there is something really satisfying about pouring when it’s snowing!