Stillwater News Press

Business

November 4, 2012

Stillwater family smells success in candle, tart sales

STILLWATER, Okla. —

A.V. Simpson realized three children, three dogs and two cats created aromas in his house that few would treasure. So, he turned to candles to create a more pleasing fragrance.

“I’d much rather have some kind of flavor than that smell,” Simpson said.

Most candles and tarts sold at big retailers didn’t create a lasting aroma, and boutique-style candles and tarts sold through house parties were too expensive.

The idea of candles and candle making drifted around Simpson’s mind for quite awhile. A church sermon turned thoughts into acts, he said.

“We were sitting in church and the pastor said, ‘Every man is allowed one feminine thing.’ So I took it and ran with it. We decided to try it. So far, it’s working out,” Simpson said.

The Simpson established Our Little Candle Co. a few months ago. They sell their candles at Cowboy Couture in Stillwater and Tiger Paw Boutique in Cushing. They also have a Facebook page and sell their items at various arts and crafts shows. E-mail orders also are accepted at ourlittlecandles@gmail.com or customers can call directly at 405-747-5468.

Simpson and his wife, Stephanie, have kept their full-time jobs. Simpson works for Aladen Carpet Cleaners, while his wife works for Nature’s Supply Grocery and Health Food Store.

Their off time is spent turning 50 pound boxes of soy wax chips and natural fragrances into jar candles and tarts — the wax squares placed in warmers to produce scent as they melt — in their home’s kitchen.

Simpson said he can melt a maximum of four pounds of wax in a double-boiler at home. He can make four candles or 14 tarts an hour.

“We put it through a double-boiler to melt down the wax,” he said.

“Add your color and fragrance and pour it into the containers,” she said.

“And then let them cool,” he said.

They offer regular wicks and wood wicks that crackle like firewood as they burn, but tarts are their best sellers, he said.

The couple’s candles and tarts are infused with a wide variety of fragrances — mainly food, flower or spice scents. Leather-scented candles and tarts have been a minor hit, he said. Approximately 45 fragrances are available, but the couple may reduce that number to a more manageable size.

The pair can even layer scents. The candle will produce one scent at first, but switches to a second scent as it burns, he said.

The Simpsons aren’t sure if candle making will progress past part-time job status.

“We would like to see it be able to grow and offer what we have to other people,” she said.

“We don’t know where it’s going to go, yet,” he said. “We are going with it. You know there can’t be a let down if you don’t have your thinking to high.”

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