Clare Makes candles bring the outside inside the home
When the first round of lockdowns was introduced back in early 2020, Clare Neilson just had her baby and because she couldn’t go outside she wanted to find a way to bring those natural smells inside the home.
This is where the idea for Clare Makes candles was born, with native botanical plants, herbs and flowers evoking memories of scenic country gardens, family holidays and bush walks.
“I kill plants, so this was a great way to have those smells in the house without having to water the plants or keeping flowers alive,” she laughs.
“I had made candles for my baby shower, that was really fun, and when my second baby was sleeping really well I just found I had a lot of time and I wanted to do something with my hands and that’s kind of how it all started.
“I rebranded about 18 months ago and worked with my graphic designer and copywriter on the label and packaging and figuring out how we could entice people to buy a candle online without smelling it and trying to evoke that sense of memory with the candles. Give people different reasons to buy a candle.”
Exhibiting at Reed Gift Fairs for the first time, Clare Makes candles are hand poured, hand labelled and handmade in Sydney’s inner west. Each scent is named after significant Australian figures who inspire each scent.
“For example, the Constance eucalyptus and lavender candle is inspired by Constance Stone, Australia’s first female doctor and lavender and eucalyptus have medicinal properties to them so they are linked in that way.
“The Clyde kakadu plum candle is named after Clyde Fenton, who started the Northern Territory (NT) Flying Doctors and kakadu plum is native to the NT so they all have some sort of connection.”
This year Neilson is looking to work with an Aboriginal artist to do either a label or a box for her candles.
“I really want to honour Australia’s Aboriginal heritage in some way as obviously we wouldn’t have all the knowledge that we have about Australia’s native plants and flora without the contribution the Aboriginal people have made.”
Some of the scents are custom blends or readily available fragrances, while for other scents she will work with a fragrance supplier.
“Your home should smell natural, which is why I focus on Australian natives. My candle range is trying to make your home mimic the smells of the outside.”