IT'S A WOMAN'S PREROGATIVE TO: FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION
How Sukie Jefferson started her candle business: Sukie’s Candle Co.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What you want people to know about you?
I’m the proud daughter of a beautiful Swiss nurse who met and fell in love with a tall dashiki-wearing brotha from KC Missouri. My father was a poet, musician, educator, painter, actor and dynamic genius. My mother is a sweet gentle soul, like a flower that continues to bloom in life.
The Pacific Northwest, Seattle specifically, is the lush landscape I called home until 2005 when I moved across the country to join the ranks of the illustrious women who attended Spelman College. The South in many ways raised me and were some of my most pivotal years in terms of the cultivation of my womanhood and femininity. I studied both Sociology and Anthropology until my desire to see the world brought me to Bahia and Mwanza during my later studies of public health.
I have 2 older brothers, both of whom live and work creatively in London and Berlin. We are a hippy, humor-loving family of progressive artists. I am a product of Waldorf schools, and thus am hardwired to believe in the things you cannot see. The imagination and the greater unknown. Most days, I listen to jazz or some version of Sade. I love nature, v-steaming, boxing, traveling (Jamaica is a beloved second home), medicine making, and an occasional 2-day cooking spree ☺
Tell us about Sukie's Candle Co and a bit about your journey to get where you are today.
It all began with a meditation. For many years I had been asking the Universe to send me a passion. A hobby. A slice of this world I could come alive with and take on as my own. In a meditation at home in LA about 3 years ago, I received a message that simply told me to teach myself how to “make things.” I started with body oils, facial cleansers and scrubs, only to graduate one day to the art of candlemaking. My first batch came out great and I haven’t looked back since!
What is the hardest part of starting a business? Specifically, a candle business.
In the beginning stages, the hardest part was finding my own voice. Determining a brand identity that I felt represented me and my aesthetic. From the logo and colors to the types of candles, sizes and scents. It was all open to negotiation in the beginning so it was hard to step out because I was hooked on the notion of needing things to be perfect. It prevented me for a very long time from getting going. I also found it difficult to filter out the noise from others, many of whom had strong ideas and opinions about what I should do. I’ve learned over the years to listen to myself and trust that I will lead my business and brand in the right direction, no matter how long it takes. While others have good intentions and want to be helpful, it felt at times like too many cooks in the kitchen. You can have people with an array of wild ideas about what your brand should look and feel like, where you should take your business. It’s impossible to please everyone and important that you learn in business to block out all else and bet on yourself.
I’ve learned over the years to listen to myself and trust that I will lead my business and brand in the right direction, no matter how long it takes.
What inspired you to start Sukie’s Candle Co?
I loved the notion of having independence, throughout many areas of my life. I was looking for more ways to be liberated and the idea of small business ownership as a woman has always been remarkably badass and sexy to me. I think of myself as smart, hardworking and resilient, so the older I was getting, I no longer enjoyed taking so much direction from others in life. I wanted to be my own boss. But It needed to be about something that was aligned with my values.
Romance, sensuality, relaxation, serenity, and enlightened places within our consciousness are important to me. Ritual is important to me. As are sacred spaces. Candles are a gateway to many of these soothing environments. I take deep pride in being a woman. It’s important for me to treat myself well. To be gentle and loving to myself. Candles feel like a gift. A direct pathway to dropping in deeper within oneself. Candles for me are not a casual accent to a home, but rather a tool for self-love and relaxation.
Why did you choose soy wax for the candles?
There is a considerable amount of debate on this topic. I researched for about a year before ultimately deciding domestic soy wax was right for me. I love beeswax but find it to be less malleable to work with. Palm oil has been linked to too much deforestation and paraffin wax was out because it’s a byproduct of petroleum. Soy, while it has its own challenges, is a clean burning, renewable and eco-friendly material that supports American farmers.
Why is sustainability/being eco-friendly important to you?
It has been important for me to keep my candles as natural as possible because candles for me are about healing. This means I do not add stabilizers, dyes, or additives. The candles I make are also free of cancer causing phthalates. There is no lead or zinc in the wicks. Each one of these aspects to my candles are important to me. We are exposed to enough toxic chemicals, pollution and heavy metals when we enter the world. Our homes should be protected, safe spaces. Furthermore, it’s our responsibility to treat this sacred earth with our devotion and love. I want to have children, and it’s important to me that they live in a world as beautiful and profound as the one I’ve been fortunate enough to experience.
What are your personal favorite scents?
It changes. But I have a special connection to Honeysuckle Jasmine. It makes me feel super feminine and exotic. When burning, my mind often drifts to visions of a foreign land. I also really love Coconut Lime and Grapefruit Mint. Each candle is good for different reasons and places in the home. All citrus scents thrive in bathrooms, while I like florals in my room. Amber Noir, for instance, is a brand new fragrance I just released and it is THE perfect sexy evening time romance candle. A beautiful compliment for intimate moments with your lover ☺ .
What candle scents would you suggest during the summer?
I personally like lite, fresh and clean scents in the summer! Sea Salt & Orchid, Seattle Fir, Sparkling Pomelo and my newest scent, Blood Orange are all amazing all-day candles for summer months.
Green undertones and fresh citrus notes characterize this true-to-life crimson beauty. Originating from southern Mediterranean, this candle offers full-bodied notes of bergamot and grapefruit and is one of the newest additions to our collection!
This fragrance is infused with natural essential oils, including Bergamot.
Top: Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle: Orange, Green Leaves, Neroli
Refreshing and crisp summer candle that starts with tangy, ripe grapefruit infused with garden-fresh mint. With sophisticated hints of lavender and rhubarb to add depth and complexity, this candle is accented with citrus essential oils which are blended against herbal bases such as mint, thyme, and bergamot which beautifully balance the punchy, juicy grapefruit.
Ideal for freshening up entryways, kitchens, bathrooms & common areas.
This candle is infused with essential oils, including Grapefruit, Mandarin, Orange, Lemon, Thyme, Bergamot and Buchu Leaf.
Top: Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Mint
Middle: Lavender, Rose, Apple
Base: Vanilla, Clear Musk
Sea Salt and Orchid pure soy wax candle is a smooth and elegant blend of soft floral notes with salty highlights. Crisp ozonic notes of sea salt accent the calming notes of jasmine, sweet cream, and musk. This scent has year round appeal and an intoxicatingly mature aroma.
This candle is infused with natural essential oils, including orange oil.
Top: Green, fruity
Middle: Jasmine, muguet
Base: Wood, cream
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