Editor Rebecca Moore catches up with Anna the founder of the Cornwall Candle Co. to talk fragrance, family and forever living in Cornwall.
How did your relationship with Cornwall begin?
I was born and raised in Mullion on the Lizard Peninsula. Growing up in such an idyllic location was a huge privilege and allowed me to forge a relationship with the sea. Living within walking distance to sandy beaches and fishing coves, I practically lived on the beach growing up! And now, as a result, I could never live away from the Cornish coast, and have no plans to do so.
Where in Cornwall do you live now?
I live in Helston… I never did venture too far from the tree! I’m fortunate to have my studio workshop attached to my home. With such a busy family life, it can be hard to find the balance, but having a workspace so close to hand is very convenient.
Cornwall born and raised, Anna set up The Cornwall Candle Co. in 2020
Tell us a bit about your family.
I’ve been married to fellow Cornishmen Ben for twenty years to Ben. Together we have our hands full with four beautiful daughters; Nola 16, Erin 14, Lottie 11 and Florence eight, and a one-year-old whippet called Mouse. My family originates from Mullion and my dad had the bakery in the village before he retired – my life is rather stereotypical of a Cornish girl!
How long does it take to make a batch of candles, from start to finish?
The art of chandlery is very scientific and specific, with zero room for error. Matching the percentage of essential oil to wax, carefully considering the viscosity of oil and its fragrance to ensure maximum throw can be tricky, especially when you involve essential oils as I do.
Batches tend to differ widely upon the fragrance used and size of vessel, as a guide though, the research and development process of creating a ‘new’ candle scent can take around six months. Once perfected and ratios have been tried and tested many times, it’s a case of scaling the raw ingredients to match the batch I have chosen to make. A batch of 50 handmade candles, created with love and attention, will take me around a week from initial melt, to homogenisation, pouring, setting and finally topping, trimming and lidding.
How does Cornwall inspire your products?
How can it not… all of my fragrances have elements of Cornwall in them.
What’s your favourite fragrance?
Clary sage… or maybe geranium… or lemongrass and basil. No, wait… rosemary and white thyme! It’s so hard to choose, if I was pushed though, I’d say clary sage.
Each and every product is inspired by Cornwall
What’s your company ethos on sustainability?
Our intention will always be to tread as lightly as we possibly can, with a commitment to quality, excellence, and integrity. Our approach to sustainability is guided by the areas in which we can have the greatest social and environmental impact. We have never tested our products or ingredients on animals, and we do not use animal-derived ingredients in our formulations. Using as many natural, ethical, sustainable, genetically modified free, cruelty free and organic raw materials as possible.
Our packaging ethos has always been utilitarian: vessels must be functional, modest, have minimal environmental impact and be derived from recycled, reusable or recyclable materials. Our packaging is designed with purpose and includes British-made recycled cardstock boxes, FSC-certified and environmentally-friendly ECF pulp protective wrapping, eco-labels, recycled paper and paper tape. All of which are 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable. Our heavy weight, double thickness postal bags are left unbranded so they can easily be reused again and we don’t use any plastic, bubble wrapping or fillers.
Being as kind to the planet as possible is part of the company's ethos
Are there any exciting business plans in the future for The Cornwall Candle Co?
Oh my goodness, where do I start? We have lots of plans, all of which have evolved organically. For instance, we have been approached by a very large lifestyle brand to create and supply them with their own range of home fragrances, which is something I am keen to explore and our range of fragrances will continue to grow over time. I’m also looking into another passion I have… personal fragrance. Watch this space!