· are handmade from non-toxic soy wax which burns cleaner than paraffin, with no petrol carbon soot which can blacken your furniture, walls and ceilings as well as add toxic carcinogens into the air and your lungs.
· are derived from soybeans (vegetables grown by America's farmers), a renewable resource that is naturally biodegradable.
· are made using only 100% pure non-blended natural (and kosher) soy wax, without even a trace of petroleum, found in paraffin candles.
· are topped with a single soybean - a reminder of the candle's humble origins!
· use 100% cotton wicks that are lead-free.
· contain high quality fragrance oils with no heavy metals and a base of vegetable oil, not liquid paraffin oil like most other candles. Each fragrance oil has its own natural coloring which will slightly affect the hue of the finished candle, from light ivory to a darker cream color.
· burn up to 50% more slowly than paraffin wax, creating a longer lasting candle.
· are easy to clean from furniture or textiles - if you have a spill - since soy wax is biodegradable; just use warm, soapy water to wipe clean.
· are carefully and individually hand poured, not mass produced in a factory, so you may notice slight changes in color and texture, which only add to their uniqueness and do not affect their quality.
· are simply better for the environment...and you!
Our meticulous candle-making process is the first thing that sets us apart from other candle companies. In our home workshop in Greenville, South Carolina, we make only a few small batches at a time, usually eight to twelve candles per fragrance. The process takes anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the number of batches we pour. Jars are polished, wicks are inserted, soy wax is melted, fragrances oils are stirred, temperatures are watched, candles are poured and left to cool -- and it's all done by human hands. Mass-production is a term that's definitely not in our vocabulary!
So we're not a factory, but we are a family affair. My husband heads up "production" then I take over with packaging, marketing and sales. Our two sons help out with everything from quality control (consisting of a "thumbs-up/yuck" system) to "soybean distribution" (popping a soybean on top of each candle as it cools) to making neighborhood candle deliveries by bike, scooter or skateboard!
Add to this distinction the simple but fine ingredients that we use - pure soy wax without additives, high-end fragrance oils, lead-free cotton wicks - and we further stand out from the candle crowd. You'd be hard-pressed to find a prettier, cleaner, healthier soy candle elsewhere.
All of this would be more than enough to create a quality product, but our artisanal candles go a step further, by paying homage to our beloved Palmetto State. Each candle has a special name and a story about what makes that fragrance unique to South Carolina or just plain Southern by nature. That's of course what makes us "Carolina." Loving what we do - making naturally beautiful, eco-friendly soy candles that our whole family can be proud of - well, that's what makes us "Chic."
We're often asked about the Carolina Chic logo which incorporates the following images: the palmetto tree and crescent moon of the South Carolina State Flag, two interlocking Cs, and a crown.
The South Carolina flag dates back to 1765 when opponents of the Stamp Act marched in protest behind a blue flag bearing three white crescents. In 1775 Colonel William Moultrie was asked by the Revolutionary Council of Safety to design a flag for the South Carolina troops to use during the American Revolutionary War. Moultrie's design had the blue of the militia's uniforms and the crescent from the emblem on their caps. The Palmetto tree was added in 1861 to honor Moultrie's heroic defense of the palmetto log fort on Sullivan's Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.
The interlocking Cs are not only representative of the Carolina Chic monogram, but they're also a tribute to the famous French design house built by one of my favorite fashion icons, Coco Chanel. When I see something stylish, simple yet elegant, especially in black and white, I think of Chanel.
Finally, the queen's crown adds a royal touch of whimsy and for those who know me well is also a lighthearted reference to my year as Miss South Carolina way back in the 1990s.
Life is a balancing act and most of us try to keep multiple plates spinning in the air at once. Even so, I try to live by my personal mantra, "Create beauty in everything you do." In other words, if you're going to make it, make it pretty. For more information about the other projects that I juggle, please visit my website here.