Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Robert Wade of Pure Light Candles

The holidays just don't feel right without flickering candles accenting our festive decor. Richmond-based chandler Robert Wade, who has been making scented candles for several years, has a simple formula for success: quality.
"We buy bulk soy wax, the essential oils and 100% cotton wicks. We hand melt and hand blend every candle one at a time. We don't use chemicals or dyes, so our candles are visually identical. We pride ourselves on the simple, elegant look."
Robert's brand, Pure Light Candles, is sold throughout suburban DC, Richmond, Alexandria, and Charlottesville. "Our style," he explains, "is very simple. We say 'Naturally Elegant.'" Here, we asked Robert for a bit more information on his experience, fragrance selection, and what it takes to stand out from the candle crowd.

How did you learn candle making?

Lots of trial and error…especially the trial part. It really is just mixing and blending and taking candles to market to determine what exactly the customer really wants from a fragrance perspective.

What motivates your art at the moment?

Honestly? It’s really all about getting out every Saturday and Sunday and relating to the customer…giving them exactly what they want every week. It doesn’t get better than that.

What is your newest item?

Our autumn and holiday fragrances, which include berries, pines and spruces, pumpkin, cinnamon and spices.

What are people’s favorite fragrances?

Our top selling candles year round are White Tea & Ginger, followed by Grapefruit & Mangosteen. They really are special, although on opposite ends of the fragrance spectrum. The White Tea & Ginger is subtle, almost sensual, while Grapefruit & Mangosteen is a surprisingly pleasant blend of citrus (the grapefruit) with a light sweetness (the Mangosteen). We usually sell out of these at every market we do. Then in September, we start selling the popular autumn scents. The most popular of these are Cranberry Marmalade and Mistletoe.

Why do your customers shop with you?

We hear it every single week. Whether we are in Georgetown, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria or Bethesda…our customer really appreciates 1st) the quality and 2nd the value of our candles. They know that they consistently will get the best product available every time.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

We are very humbled by it, but we hear it several times each week. We have many repeat customers, and they are not shy about telling us, or telling nearby customers that ours are the best candles they have ever burned. The ultimate compliment: “I came to market just for the candle”.

Do you pursue any other forms of art?

My other art is similar to candle making. My other real passion is cooking. I love to cook for others, and I am guided by the same principles: make exceptionally good food that I would eat every time.

Catch Robert and his scented delights this Friday and Saturday at our Cville Holiday Craftacular!

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