By Shelby Hall
Although candles are beautiful and nice to burn all year round, this time of the year is especially nice to collect and burn candles around your house. I collected and was gifted a bunch of brands of candles, room sprays and incense over the past few months and have been able to try them all out at various times. Candles have really improved my study scene, room sprays have made living in a dorm less gross and incense has made me feel happier and less stressed.
Here are some of the brands I’ve had the honor of working with these past few months:
Queer Candle Co. -
shop here: https://queercandleco.com/
Queer Candle Co. is the perfect mixture of a larger than life candle and an incredibly curated scent that makes for a sweet study buddy.
Our company, and from that our brand, is all based around doing what we love with each other. In December 2017 Ab got Al candle-making supplies for Christmas. We started cooking them together as a hobby and after filling our apartments with candles, decided to turn it into a business! We both love candles and more importantly we love spending time together, so starting a business that could combine both this things just made sense.
Ab and Al:
We love creating scents that are authentic, and really smell like their names. That’s where our idea to design the top of the candles with actual representation of the scents came from. We have always been plant lovers, and we are so lucky to have been able to incorporate that into our business as well by growing the herbs and flowers that we top our candles with.
Al‘s all time favorite scents are Rosemary & Mint, and Morning Dew. Both scents are fresh, clean, and very unique.
Ab is in love with Basil & Amber - an earthy musky scent that’s perfect for the bedroom.
Donating part of our profits was always our intention as we formed the brand and our business plan. We think it's very important to acknowledge that as educated and employed white folks we are among the most privileged members of the LGBTQ+ community and we wanted to make sure that our profits were supporting other members of our community. We are passionate about legal justice, with particular regard for the trans* & gender non conforming members of our community, and felt that Sylvia Rivera Law Project was a great match for the voices we wanted to help uplift with our profits.
Seeing a community form around QCC has helped us gain confidence in ourselves as business owners and as candle-makers. We are proud of our growth over the past year - way more than we could have expected at the beginning - and that in itself is empowering. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us and allowed us the space and given us the confidence to grow our business.
We are inspired and motivated by the queer community who came before us. We have a long way to go, but we have made so much progress thanks especially to the trans women of color who fought at Stonewall and all of those who continue to fight for the LGBTQ+ community today.
Cave Glow -
shop here: https://www.caveglowstudio.com/shop
The cave glow candles are the perfect size and each smell very different in the best way. I loved burning these and even developed a favourite, harvest moon, but they’re all fantastic.
What inspires you?
Listening to and playing music, watching the cadence of the four seasons unfold, walking through the woods, change, growth, poetry, laughter, our pets!
What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?
I (Emma) am a Pisces sun, Gemini rising and a Libra moon. This mixture makes me part hermit, part opportunist. I love to talk about ideas and philosophies, but I also require a lot of reflective alone time to process my thoughts and the world. My Libra moon helps me see things from all sides, which is helpful while running a business.
Jake is a Virgo sun, Taurus rising and a Pisces moon. He's definitely more of a task-oriented, perfectionist type person, which is great because he's basically the engine that keeps Cave Glow Studio going! His Pisces moon gives his life a healthy dose of dreamy poetry.
What is the main purpose of your account/brand?
In our brand, we work hard to provide a sense of peace and balance, along with promoting the use of non-toxic goods for people's homes. Our home is our favorite place to be, so we like to encourage people to light a candle, reflect, tap into their highest selves and guide their life with meaning.
What is something you love deeply about yourself?
I love how devoted I am to seeing my vision come to life, even though I am still finding my footing when it comes to maintaining a healthy social life balanced with that. I am proud to be resourceful, hardworking and creative.
What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?
I don't love the language of, "fake it 'til you make it" but I believe in trusting yourself deeply even if you're out of your comfort zone. You are your own best advocate and support system, and when you talk kindly to yourself there is a glowing confidence that comes through. You belong, you're great, you have something to offer - own it!
What makes you feel confident?
Humor, having a good haircut & a dash of lip color, wearing clothes that feel like "me".
What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?
I had a turbulent adolescence, with a lot of uncertainty and a lot of generational trauma. It's at the core of everything I do -- and I've had to learn how to talk to myself and nurture myself in a loving way, to trust the world has good in it. It's easy to be a self-sabotaging wrecking ball when your self-worth is low. It's taken a lot of work to get to a place where my self-worth is high, but I'm glad I'm working on it.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
A gorgeous crockpot of artists, writers, entrepreneurs, comedians, innovators, and musicians.
What’s your beauty/fashion go to?
Overalls and dusty colors! and my new favorite face oil from Apis Apotheca Farm, made in the Catskills near us. Jake can confirm that it's brought new life to his beard too.
What would you say is the best thing about you?
What does equality mean to you?
A world filled with unbiased interactions.
A little description of your brand, morals, why your name is what it is and your mission statement:
Our company is called Cave Glow Studio, and we are focused on promoting mindfulness and healing while providing non-toxic home goods to people who care about their environment.
Gold & Ivy -
shop here: https://goldandivy.com/
These candles are PERFECT for the holiday season. They each smell like an aspect of the holidays that I love and I loved sharing them with my boyfriend who really enjoys them also.
Park & Madison -
shop here: https://www.parkandmadisoncandles.com/
This room spray and candle smell great and make me very cheery.
Loxley & Leaf -
shop here: https://www.loxleyandleaf.com/
These reed diffusers and candles smell incredible. They're naturally produced and super one-of-a-kind.
Hannah Candle -
shop here: www.hannahcandle.com
Not only is Hannah Candle beautiful and a great decor piece, but it’s also stunningly scented and a piece I’d love to hang onto long term. The only issue is, I don’t want to burn it it’s so pretty.