#1,916 Speaking + Candles.
by Erin Napier
After breakfast at Bottletree Bakery (duh!)
We stopped by Amelia to finally meet Erin Austen Abbott in person, then we hustled straight over to the art department for our talk. And just as I expected, the full story on how Old Try came to be was fascinating. Micah went before me and had a fancy presentation and everything that made me feel very old-fashioned.
Then I was up, and did what feels like my exact same song and dance, but that’s the great thing about speaking in classrooms… They’re different people every year!
After a lightning fast lunch at Ajax with our tintype friend, Michael, we were back on the road headed south for our afternoon meeting at DPM Fragrance. This is the company responsible for creating your favorite candles from Anthropology, Urban Outfitters, Crate and Barrel and West Elm! I mean—are you not obsessed with the Volcano candle from their Capri Blue line?! Everyone is!
Here’s the deal—you know about me and my crazy smell favorites and memories. They made a promo video that actually made me cry big, fat, tears (you’ll get to the part I’m talking about and it’ll kill you too if you watch it here).
Anyway, we’ve been working with them to create a custom candle that will be one of our very first Lucky Luxe Dry Goods products this fall—a beautiful candle that will be the exact scent of the sweet olive trees that Laurel is known for, that are planted on every property in our neighborhood. It’s the smell of home to me, one that can bring tears to my eyes when I smell it. And it’s something I know so many of you have heard me talk about all these years with absolutely no idea what that smells like—so how cool would it be to ship you a little piece of Laurel? It will be like a trip to our porch in a jar! If you feel like getting a candle, we’ll be cosmically linked! Okay, or it just smells lovely. We had a meeting around the table about what’s coming up with us, then we got to smell the delicious little sample candle they’ve prepared for us (they nailed it!), then they showed us around the factory and every fascinating step of the process of making candles that are shipped to our favorite stores all over the world.
Do you recognize any of your favorites in the early stage of production? So cool, I think. But then we got to the crazy fun and overwhelming part… Making prototype choices for the packaging of my candle. Guys! The possibilities are endless. There were no limitations on my creativity. Which is the hardest thing in the world. I’m the most indecisive person. I needed Mallorie and Mama there to put blinders on me.
But the more I think on it, the more I’m leaning toward: simple packaging that’s like me: imperfect, a little wonky (recycled green glass—like Coke bottle glass), and a brushed, smooth, tarnished copper lid (like the hardware in our kitchen—simple, but a little different from the standard). The wax will be white, and I’ll focus on making a beautiful, minimalist label for the jar in copper foil. There were so many choices—I’ve decided it’s important to consider what’s going to be cost-effective and what’s going to look authentic to my style. And I think this is the starting point:
I really love candles. Really really. Can you tell?
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!