Scent can have such an immediate impact on our wellbeing. I knew I wanted to add a 100% natural scented candle to the Phoenix & Providence range. After experimenting with pouring my own candles, I realised candle making is a completely different skill to skincare formulating! Having burnt a few La Luna candles, I knew what high quality they were. I also loved the ethical practices behind La Luna candles, such using wax harvested from the renewable crop of the soya-bean plant. It is completely natural, free from GM materials, and biodegradable. I reached out to Sinead Harvey, the business woman and candle maker behind La Luna, to see if she could create a candle for Phoenix & Providence that captured the sense of calm and rejuvenation found in the unique island landscape. With this brief in mind, Sinead created our Isles of Scilly candle which I absolutely adore.
Having had an insight into the candle making process, I have been keen to chat to Sinead to find out more about her La Luna business journey. Sinead launched La Luna in 2019 after years of researching, testing and making creations for friends and family. Everything is made from scratch by hand in her little Cornish studio.
1) What inspired you to start making candles?
I have always been interested in the correlation between olfactory sensations and emotion - particularly in the ability for scent to elevate stress and tension. I have grown up around essential oils both with my mother using them and my grandmother who ran her own business making skincare products - there was nothing her comfrey cream couldn’t fix! I started creating and using my own blends which eventually led me to making candles.
2) How long did it take for La Luna to become your full-time business?
It took a few years and a huge amount of hard work and determination. There have definitely been times when I have wanted to give up, but at those times you remind yourself of why you started. I feel very lucky for LA LUNA to be where it is today and hugely thankful for all the incredible people who have cheered me on from the side-lines.
3) I know from working together on the Isles of Scilly Candle, that finding the right scent is only the beginning of the candle making journey! What processes and testing are involved before you launch a new candle?
Candle making is perhaps one of the most technical, complicated, frustrating, rewarding things I have ever learnt to do! It really is a skill; I still learn things even after all these years of doing it. When you produce a finished candle – think of it as a recipe, each one has a different method and different ingredients. It takes months (literally) to finalise a new candle and involves testing the wax, numerous different wicks, the blend, and the fragrance load. Even the temperature of the room can affect a batch. Record keeping is a must! But once you get a product finished it’s a bit of a eureka moment!
4) What is your favourite La Luna candle?
Probably Fern, I love the concoction of essential oils in this blend, citrusy yet earthy. It reminds me of walking in the forests in Wales with my Grandad as a little girl. I’m particularly fond of when a scent does this – evokes a special memory.
5) Do you have any advice to anyone who wants to start or grow their own creative business?
Yes, just go for it! Don’t worry about getting everything perfect when you first start, just start! You won’t regret it, the things you will learn, the people you will befriend. I have met so many wonderful people doing what I do and it’s amazing to feel real passion. I would also say don’t worry about getting ‘no’s’ you may get a lot of them before you get a ‘yes’ and that’s okay! Just keeping going and believe in yourself.
6) When you aren’t in your candle studio, what is your favourite way to spend your time?
In the sea of course! I love sea swimming; it makes me feel so joyful and washes a sense of calm over me. I also love to walk my Spaniel (Fern) – she gets me up in the mornings and we usually venture to the forests that surround where we live. Bliss.Thank you so much for your time, Sinead. You can find the Isles of Scilly candle here, and the full range of Sinead’s candles over on the La Luna website.