First I just want to say how much I love candles. I really love candles. Especially in the fall & winter but honestly I burn them year round. So to find a handmade Chicago based candle company that takes a responsible approach to their craft, I am swooning. Enough so that I wanted to share them with all of you!
So for a little background:
I met Julia back in June at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair. Not only was she incredibly sweet but her candles are like nothing I’ve ever experienced! I love how she has a wide variety of masculine scents that still feel a tad feminine. Really I should say the majority of her scents are unisex. I remember picking up her candle called “Glass” and really feeling like I was breathing in ocean air. Remarkable.
Below is a little more about Julia & Feather and Wax in her own words 🙂
Where did you learn how to make candles?
It was a lot of trial and error! I used a lot of online resources, including info on Candlescience.com and threads from the subreddit /r/candlemaking. It took me a solid 2 years, and some very bad candles before I finally felt confident enough to sell them.
Where do you draw your inspiration for new scents from?
Honestly it just depends. Sometimes I name the fragrances first, and then try to come up with a fragrance, otherwise I might have an oil I want to use, and try to find fragrances that complement it. I’ve always been told I have a “weirdly good” nose, so I feel like I’ve found a good industry!
How did you come to call yourself Feather and Wax?
The name “Feather and Wax” comes from the myth of Icarus. Icarus was given a pair of wings by his father, Daedalus. Daedalus had crafted the wings out of feathers and wax. Before allowing Icarus to use the wings, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, as the sun would melt the wax, nor too low as the sea spray would weigh down the feathers. Icarus didn’t listen. He flew too close to the sun, and fell into the sea where he drowned.
My mom told me this story when I was young, and it always stuck with me, so when I was thinking of names, and playing with the word “wax” it came to mind. I thought it would be a neat, and almost cheeky name for the shop because obviously in the myth flying too close to the sun is a metaphor for hubris, and I think you have to have a near-excessive amount of pride, naïveté, and belief in yourself to start a business.
Most people don’t think too much into the name, but every once in awhile I’ll have a customer go, “Oh! Icarus!” and that always makes me smile.
What is your vision for Feather and Wax?
I would love to expand the line into body, including bath bombs, lotions and perfumes. It would be a dream to someday have the line in a national retailer!
Where/how do you source your materials? Are they all natural/sustainable?
I get everything from US companies. Whenever possible I try to buy from other Etsy sellers. Many of my materials are made in the US. My soy wax comes from US grown soy beans.
Of all of your scents which is your favorite and why?
Probably No. 9 Smoke, but it’s hard to choose. I like that one because it’s so different from most other fragrances out there, and I think it surprises a lot of people because it doesn’t seem like something for the home, but it’s really a beautiful home fragrance. There are definitely fragrances in my line that I like more than others because I know my olfactory preferences are just those of one person, so I want to make sure there are fragrances that appeal to all kinds of noses.
For this feature I purchased the Smoke & Pipe candle – after smelling each one at least 10 times. I wanted something that felt woodsy, was comforting and reminded me of fall. Both of these scents nailed it – and my husband is a huge fan too!
Below you can find Julia’s shop on Etsy as well as her site and social links. Also for you Chicagoans out there, Asrai Garden carries a variety of her candles too!
Next on my list are the Seed, Button & Spine candles – spine is supposed to smell like leather and old books…I’m freaking out.
Thank you Julia for taking the time to answer my questions & partner with me on this post!