The idea for The Femme Stories was born last year, but with any small business, some ideas just have to wait. When everything started happening surrounding the pandemic I was PROUD of my friends and colleagues for how they were tackling these unprecedented times and I wanted to document that, these are their stories.

Anna | The Wax Studio

I met Anna from The Wax Studio a year ago when we were doing a Freewheeling Craft Market, our booths were across from each other. I was intrigued with her brand, she was clearly passionate about the environment and being eco-conscious and her candles had this gorgeous old world look to them. As I started exploring her brand and getting to know Anna, I came to discovery she was only 14 and already a maker, small business owner, eco-warrior and extremely talented.
anna the maker of The Wax Studio candles
How did you get started as a maker and a business owner?

 I have always loved candle making ever since I was younger and when I started it was just a hobby, but a couple years ago I decided to turn it into a business. I got involved with some local craft markets and they went really well and from there I launched my Etsy Shop. I also got help from some local entrepreneurs, who gave me lots of advice on launching my own business

 How has COVID affected your business? 

When the quarantine started, I decided to pivot my Etsy shop and I started to offer local pick up, it was contactless and free, so my online sales really grew. I also started focusing on wholesale for stores that carry my candles. I adjusted quickly and even as things go back to normal I am still offering these options.

 Are you still able to create new products right now?

I work right out of my kitchen, everything is eco-friendly so there are no fumes and I buy my beeswax locally so I have been able to keep up production. I make the candles one by one so it is a slower process, it is nice to be able to do that during this time. My dream is to one day have my own studio.

 What originally got you interested in beeswax in particular and where do you get yours from?

My parents are very eco-conscious, so beeswax candles are all we used, there are no additives, so they are eco-friendly. I get mine from local beekeepers, I buy it directly from them. It stores really well and doesn’t go bad, so I can invest in bigger quantities, sometimes 400lbs at a time. 

What is the process of making your molds for your candle designs and I know you are eco-conscious; how do you create you gorgeous coloured candles? 

I use silicone and a model, sometimes the model is an actual candle or item I am replicating or a 3D printed version. For those I get help from University of Ottawa, they helped me get my design for the cone candle, which is one of my best sellers. Once you have your model, you put it upside in a cylinder on plastic or wood and then you pour silicone around it. When you remove the cylinder and the model, you are left with your mold which you can fill with your wax and the wick to create you candle.

For the black and coloured candles, I use an eco-friendly vegetable-based dye that is safe for burning.

 From a business perspective, are you taking this time to test out new designs?

Because of my online classes, I haven’t had as much time as I originally wanted. I am keeping up with orders right now and I am trying to look for new molds. I have some new amber glass jars I am looking to create molds of.

 The thing I noticed most about your Instagram, from the captions, to pictures is your incredible eye for detail, do you have any thoughts on expanding your company passed candles one day?

 I really like making candles, but for the future I have been thinking about expanding into beeswax beauty products. I have sold beeswax lip balms in the past, I stopped because I wanted to use compostable tubes instead of plastic.  I will have to do more research into this to make sure it would be eco-friendly if I moved forward.

 When you think about your future, do you want to go secondary school and if so what do you want to study?

I really like having my business, it is a great form of education, I have learned so much through it. For school I definitely would like to go to university when I am older, I have a lot of interests but I really love math, science and engineering so I want to find something in those areas.

Do you have any new products or virtual events you are working on?

I have new cone candles in all kinds of colours for the holidays, like cream, blush pink and light blue and I'm super excited to be part of The Cheerfully Made OH WHAT FUN virtual show, November 5-8. I've loved being part of her Almonte Town Hall shows, and this one will be so much fun. I've just expanded to having stockists from coast to coast (B.C. all the way to Newfoundland) so I'm getting as many candles made and shipped as I can over the next few weeks for everyone’s holiday shopping. 

Anna is a really talented maker, her candles are intricate, classic and honestly so stunning you don’t want to burn them. I got some last Christmas and it took me forever to decide to light the wick, but when I finally did they got even more beautiful while they burned. She is the epitome of what we need to be as makers, she supports other local business through her own, she considers the environment when making business decisions and she makes incredible products. I love being beside her at markets and I can’t wait till in person shows happen again so we can catch up in person! This is the perfect season for candles, whether it’s to give your own home a lovely glow or give as the perfect holiday gift I recommend checking out The Wax Studio this season when doing your shopping.

Written by Carissa McCaig

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