10 questions with candle maker Simone Banks of a Sacred Space Co.
Candles have been used as a source of light for thousands of years, though these days they are better known for their aesthetic value and meditative scents. Offering more than just a nice smell, the candles crafted by a Sacred Space Co. owner Simóne Banks create an experience—an escape from the stresses of the world outside. With two collections and limited edition pop-up candles, Banks has created a varied line of scents to help everyone create their own retreat and sacred ritual.
We spoke to Banks to discover the peace and light behind a Sacred Space Co.:
1. What inspired you to start A Sacred Space Co.?
As a grad student and teacher, I needed to slow down and give myself permission to relax and practice self-care, and I didn’t know where to start. I knew what it could look like, but not specifically for me. Candles have always been something I’d splurge on, so when a favorite candle burned out, I shipped some candle-making kits home for my sister and me to make during the Christmas holiday. I enjoyed it so much that I continued to blend fragrances and play with different types of waxes and jars. When I got back to Baton Rouge, I decided to make more as gifts to send to family and friends. Everyone loved them and I realized not only that the was process relaxing, but that I greatly enjoyed the result of a clean-burning and beautifully scented candle, and I truly wanted to share that gift with people. I settled on three scents and started selling at the now-closed White Star Market during their Sunday farmers markets, and I sold out my first time. That’s when I knew I had something special!
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2. What is your professional background? How did you get your start?
When I started my company, I did not have a formal background in candle making or fragrance blending. It’s been all a self-taught learning process through research and trial and error. But I do have professional experience in marketing, so understanding how important narrative building is for my business helped me with my foundation. But there was and still is a lot to learn about owning a business, more specifically a product-based business.
3. Where do you seek inspiration for your candles?
The two collections I currently have—the Botanical Collection and the Be: Collection—were inspired by my love of flowers and aromatherapy and my everyday use of candles. For the Botanical Collection, I envisioned that users would light those candles in times of great emotional or mental need. For example, the problem I solved for myself with this business was to relax, and from that need I created SURRENDER, a lavender and bergamot scented candle that instantly helps me settle into a good book or movie. It just sets the mood for letting go.
With the Be: Collection, I wanted to create an “everyday” candle that would be affirming and inspirational. Each candle in this collection has an affirmation on the label, so when users look at their candle, they are also repeating words that plant a seed for a more aligned and attuned life. It feels good to plant good seeds, as I have been greatly supported these past three years by my customers and community.
4. Do you have a favorite candle or scent?
I am always asked this question, and it’s hard to answer because the short answer is that they are all my favorites! And the long answer would be that I use and think of each candle differently. So, I’ll say that presently I am enjoying the freshness of my new limited edition spring pop-up candle FRESHWATER and the sweetness of WANDER, and for the evening, UNWIND, because I love amber and jasmine. Those feel very good to me when I light them in my home these days.
5. How does a Sacred Space Co. stand out?
I am always thinking about this, and I believe my candles stand out for a few reasons: my intention to create this offering not only for myself, but for the users; the label design, which has been a lovely collaboration from my mind to the creative hands of local graphic designer Renee Cook; and the way they each bring beauty and create a peaceful environment for any space.
6. What are some of your best-selling products right now?
Right now, the favorites have included FRESHWATER, because my limited pop-ups have been greatly supported and I only make a set number of them—they move fast! SURRENDER, BREATHE, CREATE, GROUND and WANDER are also top sellers. I believe it’s because the ingredients used in these scents complement spring and bring a fresh and/or fruity air to any space.
7. Where can people find your candles?
You can find my candles on my website, aSacredSpace.co.
8. What is one thing you would like people to know about a Sacred Space Co. that they might not be aware of?
I hand-pour each candle in my kitchen, and because of this, the process is slow and takes time. This fact is helpful to know during seasons of heavy ordering, because I also label, pack and ship my candles myself.
9. What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day of making candles includes measuring the wax, melting the wax in separate pouring pots based on scent, and while that’s happening, I wick the candle jars or tins. When the melted wax is ready, I blend the fragrance into the melted wax, then pour the candles into the jars or tins. Then, I wait for the candles to settle and cool, add crystals for the 16-ounce jars, and usually have a Netflix series or movie playing to pass the time. This can easily be a 4-hour process depending on how many different candles I’m making.
10. What can we expect to see in the future for a Sacred Space Co.?
You can expect to see a few more limited-edition candle pop-ups and more community building through the newsletter and blog.
Learn more about a Sacred Space Co. on the company’s website.