Candelaria’s Natural Soy Wax Candles

Experience the true beauty and essence of 100% natural soy wax candles made in-house at Candelaria. We sat down with owner Kristina Thayer to find out what’s new in the candlemaking business.

Photo courtesy of Candelaria.

Candelaria is a unique candle and lifestyle boutique in the Highland neighborhood that contains a curated selection of woman-owned and American-made artisanal goods. They also make their candles right there in the store, so you get the opportunity to smell the fragrances as they are being poured.  But, more than anything, owner Kristina Thayer wants customers to come in with an open mind and point things out that inspire them in their own lives or remind me of the important people in their lives.

This year keep on the lookout for a larger double wick candle in a completely new container, offering two varieties of luxurious fragrances and an amazing bonus gift included on the outside of each candle.

How would you describe your boutique?
“I like to define Candelaria as a candle and lifestyle boutique. It’s not truly as simple as that, but that is the essence. The store contains a curated selection of woman-owned and American-made artisanal goods. The store is inspirational and tangible; it’s supposed to smell good, look good, and feel good, all with the purpose of taking a small piece of that home with you. I truly believe in slow living and I want our customers to surround themselves with things in their home and life that make them happy or things that they can gift because they’ll make their loved ones happy—and not just aesthetically happy, but happy about the conscious choice they make to shop small, and support female, American artisans. And that’s part of why we make our candles right in store; so you get the opportunity to smell the fragrances as they are being poured.”

What is unique about your store?
“We provide transparency about how the product is made and you can see it with your own eyes. You can put a face with the make and know that when you purchase from our store, there is a tangible reward for everyone involved. My love language is gift giving; it’s how I show someone that they’re important to me. When I’m sourcing for the store and thinking about what products to create or bring in, I’m often thinking about how it could be gifted. I want customers to come in with an open mind and point things out that inspire them in their own lives or remind me of the important people in their lives.”

GIFTS GALORE This year keep on the lookout for a larger double wick candle in a completely new container, offering two varieties of luxurious fragrances and an amazing bonus gift included on the outside of each candle. Photo courtesy of Candelaria.

What do you specialize in?
“We specialize in making 100% soy wax candles without our trademark being the coaster lid. We partner with a local lasercutting studio to create these beautiful wood lids that serve as a beautiful statement piece while sitting on the candle unlit, but then functions as a utilitarian piece just by placing underneath the candle to protect your furniture. Of course, long as the candles is gone, the coaster still remains; a beautifully made piece of wood that can be used as a coaster for future candles, beverages or plants.”

How do you create your candles?
“We change out our fragrances twice a year to match with the seasonal demand; bringing back our fall and winter fragrances on September 1st. Typically, we make a limited edition snowflake candle featuring a beautifully cut snowflake on each coaster lid and try to change out the fragrance blends each year. This year, I’m doing something very different from the years previous, featuring a larger double wick candle in a completely new container, offering two varieties of luxurious fragrances and an amazing bonus gift included on the outside of each candle. We launched those at the end of November.”

Do you still offer candlemaking workshops at your location?
“Sadly, we have not taught a candlemaking workshop since our last day open, pre-COVID in March 2020. We’ve faced some massive pivots in the last 18 months, including a total location change. While we feel right at home in our beautiful new space in Highlands, this space is significantly smaller than our old space on Santa Fe and we have been unable to accommodate classes and workshops as such. That, matched with massive supply chain issues, has prevented us from acquiring the supplies and materials needed to begin offering classes again. We are hoping for and are actively looking for an additional space that we can move candle production to and begin offering classes again. Offering workshops allows us to connect further with our customers and we miss it.”

Why do you love being in this business?
“We have a love of the artisanal; a love for the handmade that shows through in our curation of the store as well as in our candles. We work with American manufacturers at every turn and truly believe in keeping it small and local. There are so many wonderful and talented artisans in our local communities and I want to be able to share them with our customers. And those artisans offer something when we don’t! While we make our own 100% natural soy wax candles on the premises, we use a separate company for label design, and a separate company for label printing, and a separate company for our lasercut coaster lids. We want to bring goods that were made by hands and put them in the hands of our customers. Candelaria is certainly for the love of handmade.”