I have been beyond excited to start these blogs featuring local businesses and products. I’ve been so blessed to have been introduced to some of Canada’s most talented and creative minds! Here is my way of introducing the world to some of my favourite lines and the hearts behind them.
I was first introduced to Brennan Michael’s line of exquisite candles when my sister purchased one for me as a Christmas gift. Oh my goodness, I fell in love. It was one of those candles you don’t want to burn for fear of losing it.
Honestly I am shocked how long this candle has lasted me and how perfect the fragrance is. If I didn’t have wild children grabbing at everything on my counters I’d leave it out, so instead I use it in my shower which creates the perfect atmosphere for a restless mum!
The scent is incredibly beautiful, and unique AND it is soy based and ethically hand made in Toronto. Not too interested in candles (common…who doesn’t love candles!)? He offers a range of other products that are sure to impress.
I’ve had the honour of asking Brennan a few questions about his business and heart behind it. Here is a little peek into the world of Brennan Michael.
My company is about creating fragrance and lifestyle goods that are both effortlessly integrable and fundamentally relatable to the consumer.
Years ago I bought a very expensive candle on a whim at one of my favourite stores in Toronto. When I got to the bottom of my candle, I had such good memories with the candle that I couldn’t just part with the idea. The candle was an exclusive, limited batch for a designer brand and I knew it was going to be hard to get another one. My creativity set in and I started learning and trying to make a comparable candle. I wasn’t at all prepared for the learning curve that ensued. After reading and reading, buying materials and test batching, months had gone by and I still hadn’t been able to attain my goal. The hot throw (scent while burning) was weak, my candle was burning unevenly and I was tired of spending money on materials that were going to waste. I was so discouraged that gave up test batching for a few months, although I was still reading lots about the trial and error experience that is candle making. My passion was reignited after something had finally clicked while reading something an old chandler (candlemaker) had wrote on her blog. She was telling me solutions for everything that I had been trying, and failing at. I decided to give it another try. This time with the recommended temperature and ratios, and I finally had all of the right supplies and equipment. After countless hours and dollars I had finally achieved a strong hot throw at full melt pool. In candle terms, this means your candle fills a room / your house with your desired fragrance. This is what every scented candle should do. I immediately made a double batch and supplied my friends. Everyone wanted more. Including the store that I had bought the inspirational candle at.
I now make 5 different products: Candles, Room Spray, Reed Diffusers, Incense and handmade Incense Burners. While concrete is very interesting to work with, my favourite would still have to be candles. Fragrance oils are very fun to mix and blend for all products, but the fun part of candles is also the messiest; the wax. Natural soy wax is very interesting to work with. It comes in flakes and resembles coconut flakes, but it is much more oily and effortful to work with. I enjoy the challenge of melting it down in high quantity evenly at an equal temperature. It requires a lot of care and patience. It exercises patience. The fun part is getting it to its translucent stage. Soy wax is interesting because it loves binding and sticking together. Like ice, when melting it too fuses together in chunks as it melts and then breaks apart to cool the hot liquified wax and overall temperature simultaneously. That is, when you are properly melting and stirring it.
My most popular product varies from month to month depending on season. This summer I sold many diffuser reeds and sprays compared to candles. I attributed it to the fact that less people are inside sitting around. But I also sold way more candles than I had anticipated, so that brings me to question my hypothesis. Candles overall have been my best seller in my year and a half of sales. That’s probably because everyone loves a good candle. And everyone knows how to use one. It is, in fact how we used to illuminate our churches and houses, and how we managed to survive through the dark ages.
Passion and Drive
People and perspective gives me passion and drive. Without the people in my life, I would be making products for myself. Without perspective, I wouldn’t be making products. I love to meet people from all walks of life doing all different things. The way people and societies operate day to day, year to year amazes me. As we grow older, we learn more about how humans and nature coexist, or even fail to. But it is the perspective that we must keep in order to survive and persevere in hope to help people and help nature. We can’t let ourselves get lost in one or two ideas. We need to cooperate to promote and achieve positive growth through acceptance of others and acceptance of our environment. We must continue to acknowledge what it and our people provide for each other.
Photo Credit Candle and Defuser – Julian Bowery