Two enterprising local ladies have created an exciting new business that’s literally lighting up lockdown. It’s not only clever, but environmentally conscious as well. Introducing CandleXchange – a swap and go for candles.
Local entrepreneurs Hayley Clarke and Karen Platt launched their first One P Design retail store with a focus on natural, ethically made and Australian made products. Their clothing immediately hit a chord with thousands of women who were over the vast failings of fast fashion. This, and the dynamic duo’s desire to help save the environment, soon had them wondering what else they could turn their talents to.
When the pair realised that candles were flying off their shelves, they saw an opportunity for a somewhat unexpected pivot. But it wasn’t just the product that appealed – the candle industry was creating waste on a mass scale and was in desperate need of disruption.
“CandleXchange was born in early 2021 from listening to customers and identifying the opportunity to reduce the waste generated by the four million largely single use candles sold in Australia every year,” says Karen. On top of that, we could also offer our customers the cost effectiveness of it being 40% cheaper when they exchanged their candle container for a refill.”
“Candles was definitely a surprise pivot from women’s fashion,” adds Hayley, “but it really was a no brainer when we saw how much people love to buy candles for their home and for gifts. And our chief goal at CandleXchange is to alleviate as many single use containers as possible to avoid unnecessary landfill.”
With Hayley’s passion for creating and making, and as a candle lover herself, she began refilling customer containers and testing fragrances and various containers with the local market. Candle quality was of the utmost importance as well.
“In addition to our reusable containers, we use pure soy wax and cotton wicks to create an even, clean, and safe burn,” says Hayley. “We also use high quality pre-tabbed wicks that are zinc and lead free and acid resistant. They’re constructed of a cotton flat braid, with paper fibres throughout.”
The result allows customers peace of mind to truly enjoy their candle without the worry of waste or toxic components. This makes a lot of sense for a product that exists to bring serenity to the home, and right now there’s a huge need for people to find extra ways to de-stress and make their homes more tranquil. As a result, Karen and Hayley are seeing a surge in business with the current COVID situation.
“With many working from home and impacted by lockdowns, candles are a great way to bring some calm and relaxation to the home,” says Karen. “We are seeing people not only buy for their own home but sending to friends, and companies are sending to employees as wellbeing gifts.”
Candle connoisseurs will be excited to hear about the scents as well, which have gone through rigorous testing and market research.
“Hayley has tested many fragrances inspired by Australian nature,” says Karen, “but the ultimate test is with our customers. We have selected the six most popular fragrances based on customer feedback.”
“Australian Bush is our most popular as it’s quite unique and everyone loves it,” says Hayley. “Jasmine & Mint is popular for gifting. Ocean Breeze we’ve been told makes a home smell like fresh sheets, and Coconut & Lime is popular for those wanting to bring the smell of summer into their homes. Lemongrass and Gardenia are fragrances that customers often tell us bring back memories of their childhood or holidays.”
While current restrictions have changed how customers exchange their candles, it’s still a simple process.
“Usually customers can exchange in our Balgowlah Stockland store (when not locked down), or through our many stockists or online at www.candlexchange.com.au,” says Karen. “Currently we do contactless delivery to your door at no cost during lockdown. If exchanging for a refill candle, we ask that customers leave out the used container and we will collect at the same time.”
You can even exchange any good quality containers you have at home now, and they’ll go to spreading the joy where it’s most needed.
“When buying a CandleXchange candle, we welcome you to donate your old containers and we will refill and donate to the Generous and the Grateful for use when setting up a new home for survivors of domestic violence,” says Karen. What a lovely way to share some peace and light with those who need it most!
Along with free delivery until the end of Sept, there’s also another offer for WL members: 1 x free refill with every new candle purchased before 30 September 2021.