In the spring of 2016 the Hargrave family decided to get into the candle making business, thinking it would be something fun they could do together. Buying most of the moulds and other supplies from Izzywicks, a beeswax candle business owned by Izzy Ruthenberg from Cortes Island, Theresa also received ten hours of training on how to make different varieties of beeswax candles, as the only experience they had before was making paraffin candles for gifts many years earlier.
Theresa enthusiastically explained that making candles out of beeswax requires a much higher temperature than paraffin and that one of the major advantages to burning beeswax candles is that they release negative ions that attract dust and dirt in the air and therefore act as natural air purifier as long as you have the right sized wick and no drafts, that would make the candle smoke.
Also a friend of theirs had just gifted them with a little travel trailer which gave them the necessary workspace for the business. Everyone in the family is involved. Theresa makes almost all the candles, while Eric takes care of the financial part of the business. Their son, Nathanial, has build their website as well as made a special temperature controller that helps keep the temperature of the wax within a degree or two of where it needs to be, while their daughter, Esiana, enjoys making displays for the markets. Nathanial and Esiana also help with putting stickers on the finished products and know how to make the poured candles.
There is always new things to learn and experiment using different moulds. Making the tapers is the hardest and also the most satisfying for Theresa. The beeswax she uses is Canadian and comes from Alberta. Theresa hopes that someday she will be able to get enough beeswax as locally as possible and find a source of organic wicks that she can use.
The name for the business was Eric’s idea: Chrysopoeia Candles.
In alchemy the ancient greek term “Chrysopoeia” means transmutation into gold or “to make golden”. The Hargraves loved the idea of the term in the sense of “purifying” and that their candles will be used for those special times and events in our lives where the light brings us together and are used for celebration, reverence, contemplation or remembering someone.
Currently Chrysopoeia candles are available year round at the Coop, in the summer season at the Craft Coop in Squirrel Cove and in the winter at the Christmas markets.