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THE IRISH-MADE CANDLES YOU NEED AT HOME
Meet Lydia Ging, the former accountant turned candle-maker creating vegan scented candles inspired by moments and memories of growing up in Ireland.
When it comes to home accessories, there is nothing like a scented candle. Not only do they smell divine and make your space extra inviting, but they have the ability to boost your spirit too. A clean, crisp fragrance will clear the air when you’re feeling overwhelmed, while a rose-tinted bouquet will bring a flicker of romance to a cosy night in. For the exhausted, a lavender candle will encourage deeper sleep, and grounding cedarwood notes can slow an anxious mind.
But perhaps the best thing about scented candles is their ability to, in the single flicker of a flame, take us from our living rooms and transport us to our favourite place or a special memory. This is the very concept that inspired D8 Design Co. “Our scents are taken from moments or places from growing up in Ireland,” explains Lydia Ging, founder of D8 Design Co. Every candle in the collection is named after something that brings back a happy memory for Lydia be it summers spent in Barley Cove (a candle which evokes the smell of coconut and sea salt) to her best-seller, The West, which has tones of sandalwood and Connemara Peat.
Here, we sit down with Lydia to learn more about her hand-made candles, the importance of sustainability and how to maximise the lifespan of your candles.
Q: Can You Tell Us A Little Bit About The Brand’s Beginnings?
A: “The brand began during the first lockdown in 2020. I had, very randomly, attended a candle-making workshop in London just before the lockdown as a time passer before my flight home. Then, when stuck at home with few creative outlets and zero interest in banana bread outside of its consumption, I ordered a very basic candle-making set online and filled all available empty jam jars in the house!
And so began the obsession with blending fragrances and searching for sustainable and aesthetically pleasing candle containers to house my new mini wax projects. It wasn’t until later in the year when I put photos of the candles online that the business began and we officially started trading in October 2020.”
Q: What Were The Main Objectives When Creating D8 Design Co?
A: “The original objective was to bring to the market a candle that was distinctive looking in comparison with existing brands, created little to zero waste, was made with very high-quality materials by hand and had a very Irish thread woven throughout. These objectives and values are still the backbone of the brand even with the extension of our product range.”
Q: Where Are Your Candles Made? Can You Talk Us Through The Process?
A: “The entire process takes place in our studios in Dublin 8. We have a core range of candles with a few special editions that we create depending on the season or if inspiration hits - but the process can take some time to get all of the elements right. For example, The West candle was inspired by trips to Connemara, seeing the turf being stacked, the greyish stone walls dotting the perimeters of fields and the warm smokey whiskey on a wind-struck evening in an old snug. These elements were incorporated into the entire candle from the core fragrances included in its blend to the light grey container.
In terms of physically producing our candles, every element is handmade including our sustainable and refillable containers. We spend a couple of days hand mixing and casting batches of our containers. They are then ready to be filled with our blend of soy wax and vegan fragrances which are poured by hand.”
Q: How important of a role does sustainability play in your business?
A: “Sustainability factors have been a driving force from the beginning. I had always wanted to create something that could be reused or refilled with candle refills and be used again and again to avoid waste. The material we use to make our containers are also eco-friendly and water-based and our packaging has always been as minimal as possible.”
Q: As a CREATE 2021 Alumni, Can You Tell Us How You Found The Experience?
A: “It was a very exciting time for the brand and will always be a major milestone and accolade for us. Being such a young Irish brand, it was a pinch-me moment to see the candles stocked on the Brown Thomas shelves, particularly amongst other amazing Irish brands. As such a new business, the Brown Thomas team were really great to work with and continue to be a great support throughout our growth.”
Q: What Inspires You And Your Creations?
A: “Inspiration mainly is taken from moments or places from growing up in Ireland, many of which are shared by our customers – that is the feedback we have gotten consistently. Whether it's being lathered (sometimes pointlessly) in sun cream and running around on Barleycove beach in West Cork or the waft of beautiful perfumes while perusing in Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, inspiration comes in various forms.”
Q: Do You Have Any Techniques To Maximise Your Candles’ Efficacy?
A: “There are a couple of care tips that we frequently tout that will maximise the life of the candle:
1. Keep the wick trimmed to 5mm at all times ensuring the wick remains straight and free from ‘mushrooms’, this might mean blowing the candle out during the burn period to trim and relight again. This will ensure a consistent flame size that will not only mean a safer and consistent burn but also ensure the flame will burn through the wax at a slower rate; prolonging the candle’s life.
2. Do not blow the candle out before the burn pool has reached close to the edge of the candle container. This will avoid the candle from tunnelling. Tunnelling happens when only a small portion of the wax around the wick melts while the candle is burning and will appear as though the flame is burrowing into the candle and creating a narrow tunnel which will cause the flame to eventually drown.
3. Once the candle has burned with about 5mm of wax left in the container (you should always avoid burning all the way to the bottom for safety reasons), fill our containers with boiling water and allow them to set over 2-3 hours. The wax will float and harden at the top of the container making it easy to remove and ready to be reused as a pen holder, plant pot or be refilled with our candle refills.
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