Our family cat Mr. Frank has been as much in love with our candles from the start as we have been! He loves the smell and the colors, and often sits right by our side during the production of our products. Making candles has become a family activity, with everyone participating in some aspect of the manufacturing. It makes us so happy! We love every part of it, and we especially love coming home each day to the warm wonderful smells of the beautiful products we make.
Our family of 5 has 3 girls, Grace age 11, Isabella age 10, and Emma age 3. They are growing up with a Dad, who runs an office furniture company, and a mother that is the Artistic Director of an El Sistema music group in the Berkshires. So just how did Shire Fire Candles start? Well the story is cute, and goes way beyond just an idea of 2 girls wanting to make candles, so follow along as we retrace our steps of starting out our family candle business.
Our entire family loves to travel. We have been to Dubai, Egypt, Mexico, the Caribbean and most recently, we took a trip to Western Ireland. While there, we wanted to saturate the entire family with Irish history and culture. We rarely had an itinerary, and daily we drove the countryside, visiting stunning castles, ring forts that go back to before the time of Christ, and beautiful country and coastal landscape.
We would make stops on our drives often, visiting site after site, and anything interesting that appeared on signs on the side of the road. Well in addition to pubs, that everyone knows are plentiful along your drives in Ireland, we found plenty of handmade craft companies, that did business out of their homes. We visited pottery companies that made fairy doors and toad stools out of clay, bakers, and artists. We didn't expect how much the kids would love stop at all the crafters. It quickly became one of their favorite parts of the trip, other than the castles where their imaginations ran wild, and they ran from room to room pretending to be knights on a quest.
One day while driving the Ring of Kerry, we visited a handmade candle factory. The girls loved this place so much, everything from the clever designs of the candles, to the wonderful warm smells, and
vibrant colors used in the manufacturing. We purchased some candles in lemongrass and geranium to bring home with us. The smells just reminded you of Ireland, with all of them fresh and crisp like countryside you travel while in the country.
When we returned home, our girls starting asking how they could open up a home based craft company like those they saw in Ireland. We discussed what it takes to up a business, and started to brainstorm ideas of items that they may want to make and sell. Grace and Isabella quickly brought up the candle company, and wondered why they couldn't transplant the idea from Ireland right here in the Berkshires. But instead of scents centered around Ireland they could inspire them around where we live right here in the Berkshires. With the fall and the winter holiday season quickly approaching, the girls created an aggressive timeline to move their ideas forward, and have their products ready for the fall craft fairs and farmers markets.
With a little help from Mom and Dad, Grace and Isabella have been at the candle business ever since July. They studied which waxes they should be using. Soy was chosen because it is all natural, environmentally friendly and burns cleaner than traditional paraffin waxes. Grace researched wicks and became our wick master. She will tell you that having the right wick, and centering the wick is the key to the perfect candle. Nobody centers the wicks better than Grace! Isabella is artistic, and likes to dream up which scents they will produce next, and all of the clever names that come along with them. She is also getting quite good at pouring the candles on her own! Even little Emma participates. She loved putting our warning labels on each and every tin that comes off the production line.
At Shire Fire Candles, we hope you realize that our product is more than just a product and an entrepreneurial vision of 2 young girls. Each and every product is created with love, is handmade, and every unit is touched at least once by every member of our family. We take pride in each candle we produce, because we want our customers to have quality, handmade and hand poured soy candles, that burn for hours, inspired by warm wonderful scents and colors that will remind you of the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts where we live and work. We hope you see the quality of our products when you receive them. After all we have the absolute best quality control team member of them all with Mr. Frank checking in on each and every unit produced!