A Creative Spark

Whether it was baking bread from scratch or tackling a closet that desperately needed organizing, last year offered many the opportunity to take on projects. Glendale resident Ellen Mazur chose to use her spare time during lockdown to make her own candles. A big fan of home fragrances and a proponent of using clean ingredients, she refused to use standard chemical- and toxin-laden fragrances. Now, her crafting endeavor has turned into Everyday Fancy Candle Co.

Why do you think it’s important for people to know what’s in candles?
A couple of years ago, I guess you could say I fell down a clean living hole. I learned that one of the biggest offenders is fragrances. They’re considered proprietary, so there is no regulation. Most of them are just a load of chemicals, and some of them include things like carcinogens, endocrine disrupting hormones and other toxins that can cause respiratory issues and headaches. When you light a candle, you’re essentially burning that stuff off into the air. It’s great that companies are committing to using ingredients like soy and beeswax and cotton wicks, but most still aren’t addressing the fragrance issue.

How did you start making your own candles?
I’ve always loved candles, and last year, I was looking for a COVID craft. I stumbled across a company that creates clean fragrances, and I had so much fun experimenting with them and creating new scents. My friends and family were excited about the project, so I decided to turn it into a business.

Where does your inspiration for scent blends come from?
Coming up with new blends is my favorite part of the process. I probably have around 100 or 150 individual fragrances that I play around with. I usually start with one scent and pick a couple of others that I think will go well with it. Sometimes, it takes a lot of tweaking before I have something really nice. Then I come up with a name, which I find really fun. It helps make the candle a complete experience. After you find the right name, it gives it a whole new spin.

How was it launching a business during the pandemic?
Honestly, I think it all came together pretty naturally. If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever be an entrepreneur, the answer would have been no. I have three young kids, so I didn’t think I could take on another big responsibility. With Everyday Fancy Candle Co., everything fell into place. I have a couple of friends with shops, and they started carrying my candles, and I got such positive feedback. It was the jumping off point I needed. That’s not to say it wasn’t a lot of work, but it all fit together.

What’s next for Everyday Fancy Candle Co.?
I just launched a candle of the month club, and I’m looking forward to growing that. I’m still deciding if I would like to grow the wholesale side of my business or continue to focus on the online aspect. Along with expanding my scents, I’m also experimenting with the vessels. There are so many opportunities to be creative and different materials you can use. I want to stay up to date and provide people with different options. Reed diffusers are something I’m toying with for some of our existing scents and new ones. I really just want to expand on the home fragrance business while keeping true to that mission of creating candles free of toxic ingredients.

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