Our Brand View series continues with Homewick: a handmade vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly candle business grown out of the first lockdown! In this third episode, David talks scents, how he keeps his carbon footprint as low as possible, and what products are available at our Brand Academy store. Watch the full interview here!
BA: How do you choose your scent? Do you have a supplier and a day you go and smell lots of different ones and pick your favourite?
Homewick: Yeah, exactly that! I work with a number of suppliers, all based in the UK. There are options to get stuff in from abroad which is a lot cheaper, but I really focus on sustainability - I want to keep my carbon footprint as low as possible, so I work with local candle suppliers. I have chosen various different scents, and they mix and make them for me. I know they're not tested on animals, cruelty-free and all vegan friendly as well! One of the things I offer, because I know it's difficult to buy a candle from home, is little tester packs. These are essentially little tea light packs you can buy on the website, which gives you an opportunity to smell the different scents before buying them. There are packs which are broken down by scent, because you may have a particular interest in floral scents, or it might be fresh scents like fresh linen, or more fruity scents, or woody scents. I have 6 different scent areas. You can get the tea lights, have a smell beforehand, and that allows you to choose and make up the candle, diffuser or whatever else you like!
BA: Which products are available at Brand Academy?
Homewick: I've chosen 6 of the most popular scents for Brand Academy. The most popular is Seychelles, it's a really nice fresh scent and reminds you of being at the beach! Then there's Smoky Mist, which is more woody, Tropical Zest which is more fruit. Wild Rhubarb, which is really popular, some people think 'rhubarb? Not sure about that', but people seem to love it! There's a few there to go in and smell.
BA: So how did you join Brand Academy?
Homewick: If you've been into the store, you might recognise me because I'm often at the front selling coffee! So I work in the store in Coffee Academy, alongside Brand Academy and so got to know the owners of the business. They very kindly offered to display my products. The great thing about Brand Academy is that they are essentially there to help independent makers start their own business. It was a great opportunity for me to have a platform to be able to show my products, and give customers the chance to come in and look at them before they buy them. That's been the most difficult thing for me in setting up a business - it's incredibly expensive to have any kind of space to do that. Whether that be a storefront, or even a workshop, so for Brand Academy to give that opportunity is fantastic. If you go into the store, you'll be able to see a nice display of the various scents and be able to have a smell as well. I'll be hoping to add some diffusers and room sprays into the store soon to give people a few more options.
BA: Do you have a favourite product amongst them all?
Homewick: I definitely have a least favourite product and I'll tell you why. Wax melts I make in little moulds, and one of them is a pineapple wax melt. The top of it obviously has the bristles on top of the pineapple, and it definitely takes me a while to make sure I'm not breaking them off. I'll spend all night making wax melts of pineapples, leave them to set overnight, then take them out in the morning, and all the heads break off and I'll have to start again. So that's a very frustrating one. But I've really enjoyed making the Pride candles - getting the colours correct and the right balance, but I also think they look pretty smart as well!
BA: They look great! Do they have a specific scent?
Homewick: Actually you can add any scent into the pride candles as well. You can choose the different type of wick, the different type of scent, and they come in both the square glass and the clear circular glass.
Stay tuned for the final part of our interview with Homewick, where David shares how we can get the most out of our candles!