Style Features

CANDID with Natalie Van Hee

Glow Candle Co. is a small-batch, hand-poured candle company in Webster Groves. Founder Natalie Van Hee is inspired by the power of smell, a sense so strong that it can take you back in time, transporting you to a feeling or place from the past. 

Van Hee has created a fragrance line that’s divine, yet relatable. Made with American-grown, eco-friendly soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks, Glow’s candles are free of dyes and nontoxic, so you can feel good burning them for hours. 

My personal style … Day-to-day, you will find me in my cropped sweatshirts and my favorite leggings. I also wear a lot of black combined with a good pair of sunglasses—the black section takes up 80% of my closet. When I do get dressed up, my go-to is a high-waisted, wide-leg pant or a good blazer.  

The best pieces of fashion in my closet … are my Alice and Olivia wide-leg pants and a leopard SAM puffer that I wear entirely too much in the winter.

I am making my mark by … paying it forward. I try to leverage my channels and resources to shine a light on other cool entrepreneurial business owners and small shops that I admire, just like people did for me. 

A professional/personal challenge that keeps me up at night … is ensuring that I am being thoughtful about the right things for my business to be around long term. At the end of the day, a sustainable business is one that has a strong core. You have to be able to take the occasional hit and get back up or have enough invested in order to have your biggest year ever. It’s a delicate balance.  

In moments of self-doubt I build myself back up … by looking at where we started or reflecting on what we were doing at this time one year ago. Sometimes, it feels like a hamster wheel, but this helps to put things into perspective. It is crazy the difference one year can make.  

My version of personal care … is traveling. It doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to now that we have small children, but I think it is so very important. Putting yourself around new people, new perspectives, new smells and new scenery can really help you recharge and give you a fresh outlook on everything. 

Words of wisdom that resonate with me … are “focus on one thing.” Be the best you can be at that one thing and do it really well.  

I stay true to my passions by … seeing others achieving success. This reminds me that I started small, and even though I am still small, I have come a long way.

I am most proud of … my branding. I agonized over it. It’s the first interaction customers have with the brand. I wanted it to be classic, subtle but noticeable, and have a luxury feel to it—exactly what I want to convey when someone smells each candle.

The one message I would like to share with all … Don’t sweat the small stuff. Always stay focused on the larger goal. Where I want to be in 10 years is constantly on my mind. 

natalie’s favorite things

Laura Katherine Sawyier is a women’s personal and wardrobe stylist and founder of the SALON X LKS event series. She is based in St. Louis and New York City. To find out more, visit

Photo: Photo: Jessica Mangus Photography