Here at So Just Be, we love to support small businesses and crafters. A little while ago a new start-up caught our eye on Instagram as they prepared to launch their business. Now up and running with some great products, we thought it was time to shine a light on The Little Flame.
Who isn’t seduced by a candle? From that gentle, flickering light to the calming and soothing vibes they emit as they ease our minds and help us to relax, candles are a key ingredient when you are trying to create a warm and cosy space in your home.
If you enjoy candles, but are also trying to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life, then we have found the perfect product for you. Allow us to introduce Lisa Strachan, the face behind The Little Flame, and her beautiful candles.
Hello Lisa. Please tell us a bit about the person behind the candles:
My name is Lisa Strachan, I live in Oxfordshire, on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds, with my husband and 2 children. I love dancing, music, drawing, painting, chocolate and of course candles! (…not necessarily in that order!)
My career background has always been in supporting type roles. I have worked for a variety of big and small companies over the years and still work part-time in an office environment. Now the children are getting a bit older and less dependent on me I knew I wanted to do something for myself.
So why candles?
I have always loved candles and my husband bought me a candle making kit for our anniversary last year which gave me the inspiration. I started making candles and mixing different fragrances and giving them out as gifts to family and friends. It was upon receiving their feedback saying “you could do this as a business” which planted the idea.
What was the influence behind your decision to create candles that are environmentally friendly?
Once I began researching, I was surprised to find out how many big branded candle companies are still using paraffin wax and manufacturing procedures which mean they cannot claim to be environmentally friendly. I wrongly assumed that given the huge levels of environmental awareness around the world today all these companies would take more care in their materials and manufacturing (especially the more expensive brands). That was my motivation to do better and create natural and sustainable candles.
My candles are made from soy wax, using cotton wicks and essential oils only. The beautiful lid is made from bamboo and each candle comes gift wrapped in a reusable Fairtrade cotton bag. All my packaging is either recyclable or recycled, from the honeycomb wrapping to the twine it is tied together with. Every decision I have taken has been carefully made with the environment at the forefront of my mind.
I also wanted to go one step further which is why for every candle purchased I plant a tree. This is done via an App on my phone (sorry to disappoint if you had an image of me in my wellies in the garden!) The app allows you to plant a tree where they are most needed across the world; as we know trees remove the carbon dioxide naturally along with harmful gases so less carbon dioxide is less of the greenhouse effect and global warming.
What should we look for when buying a candle?
I would always start by choosing a candle which is made from a natural wax and therefore not harmful to the environment.
The choice of candle fragrance does depend on which room in your home you are thinking of, for example, in the bedroom I would choose something like a lavender scent as it is a calming and helps to improve sleep. If you are looking at a smaller room then don’t go for anything too strong and overpowering, however the opposite applies for the kitchen, I would go for a scent strong enough to combat the cooking smells, so perhaps a zesty fragrance.
What are the benefits of The Little Flame soy candles and how long do they last?
Soy wax is derived from vegetable soy beans and therefore from a completely renewable source and 100% natural, it is also biodegradable. The soy also burns very cleanly and does not release any nasty toxins into the air, which you may sometimes see black soot given off with other candles. Each 210g candle has a burn time of up to 40 hours.
We love the scents you have chosen for your candles. Where do you get the inspirations for your fragrances?
I only use essential oils, which does tend to narrow down your choice on what fragrances you can use, but mostly it is by experimenting with different oils to find out what works. The important thing you have to remember is that not everyone likes what you like, so I have tried to go for a wide variety with my range.
Please share some candle-care tips with us. What mistakes do we all make with our candles at home?
The common mistake is not trimming your wicks; you should trim your wick to a quarter inch tall before lighting every time. This will allow the candle to have a longer burn time and prevent flickering and high flames.
Tunneling can also happen when your candle is not lit for long enough to let the wax melt to the sides of the container. The flame on the wick creates a vertical ‘tunnel’ towards the bottom as it burns. The best way to prevent this is to allow the candle to burn for long enough to melt more of the outer ring of wax in its first few sessions. (It may take up to 3-4 hours).
Why do you think candles are so popular?
I think candles have become so popular because as well as being a lovely gift and providing décor for the home they also do so much more. Depending on the fragrance they can either help reduce stress and improve your mood, increase focus or encourage a more restful sleep and also help to trigger positive memories too.
We’re sold. Where can we find you online?
You can find me on Instagram using @thelittleflamecandles, Facebook using The Little Flame or visit my website www.thelittleflame.co.uk, where you can keep up to date with any new products or offers available by signing up to my newsletter.
Thank you so much, Lisa. It has been great talking to you and finding out more about The Little Flame. Beautiful candles, handmade and kind to the environment … what’s not to like? We wish you and your business every success.