We've just added soy candles to the UpCircle range. We collaborated with Subluceo to create them, so we thought we'd catch up with Sophie, the woman behind the brand, to find out more about why she decided to become a candle maker. We hope you enjoy our Q&A with her!
How did it all begin? What made you want to become a candle-maker?
I used to be very creative in my teens, attending art college and painting with every spare minute I had. Over the years a busy lifestyle got in the way of my art and I found myself no longer being creative. The idea for Subluceo came about at the end of 2018. The desire for a new creative hobby, teamed with a love of candles sparked a light bulb moment. So many of the candles I owned I realised weren’t vegan and used a lot of plastic packaging. I wanted to create a beautiful product that did not harm animals or the environment.
What did you do before launching Subluceo?
I worked for the emergency services, and still do! People say I’m mad running a business alongside working full time. Any spare moment I have off shift I spend pouring candles, creating my content, packing orders and interacting with my customers. As cliche as it sounds when you love something it doesn’t feel like work!
Can you explain the name for us? Why did you choose it?
Subluceo is Latin meaning to glow, glitter or faintly glimmer. My favourite part about candles is the glow and flicker of the flame, I wanted to incorporate this into the name without it being too obvious.
How did you learn the art of candle making? I hear it was largely down to reading and internet trawling?
You are correct! Subluceo started as a hobby so I had lots of time to really hone in on my candle-ing skills and get back to basics. I didn’t have the money to invest in classes and to be honest I’ve always liked trial and error and finding my own way. Many hours and google searches later I had perfected the art of pouring the perfect candle (with many a waxy pair of ruined jeans along the way).
How do you go about choosing your scents?
A lot of my scents are inspired by nature and happy memories. I make sure I have a few scents in each category to appeal to customers tastes whether that be musky, spicy, fruity, sweet or floral. Choosing a new scent can be overwhelming as there is so much choice and as a candle maker you have to make sure you love it yourself. I trust my gut with a lot of things and the scent has to FEEL right. This one is hard to explain but when I test burn a scent I mostly just know whether it’s a winner or not. I also regularly do Q&A’s on Instagram to get scent suggestions from my lovely customers, I really value their opinion as my candles are for them after all.
What’s the benefit / are the benefits of using soy wax?
Don’t get me started, I could talk about soy wax all day! I always used to wonder why so many of my candles created black soot which would stain my walls and affect my asthma. Since becoming a candle maker I have realised this is because commonly used paraffin wax releases soot and toxins in to the environment creating that smoke effect.
Soy wax does not do this as it is clean burning! It also burns at a far lower temperature meaning you get more out of your candle. Plus soy wax does not contain any plasticisers or animal derivatives and is sustainable - what’s not to love!?
Talk us through your setup – you make the candles in an at home candle studio at the moment?
Yes, at the moment the spare bedroom in my apartment has been adapted in to an office/candle studio. I’m very quickly out growing the space but I do like having everything in one place, the ‘commute’ can be done in less than a second!
What’s your favourite thing about running Subluceo?
I find the candle making process very therapeutic. From blending the beautiful essential oils down to making sure the labels are perfectly applied, it’s very calming having something to focus on. I also love how many small biz friends I have met through Subluceo whether that be at retail markets or through social media. We all help, support and bounce ideas off one another - it’s really lovely.
Candles are universally popular and timeless – what do you think it is that we all love about candles so much?
Candles create such a cosy, ambient vibe and the movement of the flame is so magical and captivating to watch. For me, having a candle lit instantly changes the mood of the home, I feel as though I want to snuggle down and let my mind wander. Scent also brings such nostalgia. It can transport you to a past memory or place!
What’s one activity that you can’t do without a candle burning beside you?
In my home it’s rare that there isn’t a candle burning, I’m always scent testing something! The one thing I love is a candle burning when I’m in the bath, super relaxing.
What’s next for Subluceo?
At the moment I am preparing our Autumn and Christmas ranges - in the middle of summer, I know but it’s best to be ahead of the game. I also have some Christmas magazine features in the pipeline, watch this space. Next year I am going to explore the option of having my own studio space so I can move Subluceo from home studio to something bigger and better. It’s both daunting and exciting.
As you know, here at UpCircle we’re all about upcycling. What are the best uses for the candle jars that you’ve seen / tried when the candles have finished burning?
I absolutely love seeing customers photos of their recycled jars. Being eco friendly is a Subluceo brand staple and something important to me personally, so it’s great to see others getting involved too. The jars are easy to recycle, simply pop in the oven on a low heat for 10/15 minutes until the wax has melted. When the jar is cool enough to touch simply pour the wax in to some tissue and pop in your bin!
My top 3 would be:
Ear bud holder (plastic-free of course)
So there you have it, some insight to the wonder-woman who has helped us to create our gorgeous new candles! You can shop them by clicking HERE!
If you'd like to find out more about Sophie and Subluceo then you can visit her website HERE!