Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary
I interviewed candle maker Elizabeth Cameron of ECam and Co. in her workshop where I was greeted by a strong wave of various candle scents. Glass vessels of multiple shapes and sizes lined the shelves, some with her brand specific label and some without. I began with a question about her length of time at MAKEbhm...
How long have you been working at MAKEbhm?
I have been here since September. So just a couple of months, but it feels like forever.
What's your favorite thing about working at MAKEbhm?
I love that I get to share this space with so many creative people, but that I’m not in anybody’s way over here in my little corner room. But like I said, I also love the group aspect of it. I can talk to anybody who’s in here and everyone is friendly. You meet new people everyday, and I think that’s really fun.
How do you hope your business will grow and evolve in the coming years?
This year starting in January, this became my full time job. I had a day job for a while, and so there are a lot of things that are changing daily. I've grown so much in the past two months. One is example is that I got my candles into a couple more stores. I hope I continue to get into more stores and that I continue to get my name out there so that people recognize me when they see my products. But I am still taking it day by day. I'm not really looking to become this multi million dollar company though.
What first inspired you to start making candles?
So all of my candles are made out of wine and liquor bottles. I love wine and liquor bottles, but hated throwing them away. I hated the fact that it isn't good for the environment. So I instead of buying all of these toxin filled candles I decided I would try to make my own. It's also very unique, there aren't a lot of people out there who do the same concept. I have find ways to make mine unique and different with my own branding.
What are some of your favorite scents?
Currently my favorite scents are midnight bourbon, lush linen, grapefruit mint. One I just recently got is called cashmere cedar, it's very clean and sweet which I like.
What is the hardest part of the candle making process?
There are a lot of difficult thing in my day to day tasks. Cutting the bottles tends to be very hard. It can be dangerous but it takes a lot of practice. There are a lot of technical things that go along with it, there is science behind it. It's not just pouring and drying. Communicating with other businesses is also kind of difficult, I've grown a lot and learned a lot talking to other people. One of the main difficulties is me not having any employees. I'm doing everything on the business side to actually making candles, which I chose. It's a little scary some days because the business side is the most important side of it. It's the boring side, but you have to learn. I've learned by designing a website to taxes. Like I said, it's not just pouring candles. There's a lot that goes with it.
You do custom orders, right? Like, someone will bring you a bottle and then specify what type of scent they want?
Yeah! I do custom orders all the time. I have a lot of people that bring me specific bottles from a wedding anniversary, or maybe they just like that bottle. I don't do custom scents though. If someone is like, "can you mix X and Y?" I don't do that. I offer what's available. But the custom orders are always really fun. Some people will bring me containers in funky shapes, which makes it fun not to do the same thing over and over.
It starts next Tuesday (March 5th) and is here at Make (MAKEbhm). It's going to consist of a maximum of 10 people per class. The first one is going to be kind of a trial run. You'll be able to pick from pre-cut bottles that are going to be available for each week of the class. And you can pick one vessel to fill around 12 ounces of wax in a variety of scents. I'll be teaching the basics, and the class will be an hour and a half on Tuesday nights. Hopefully it will be once a month or every 6 weeks.
Well, that's it. Thank you for letting me interview you!
I recently got the opportunity to sit down and chat with some of the creative folks at MAKEbhm, which is a group of businesses that include Alabama Sawyer, ECam and Co., Amanda Loper, and more.
In case it wasn’t obvious, we love all different types of wood products here at Alabama Sawyer. Especially the ones that make you and your living space smell like a forest. Speaking of which, here are some of our favorite wood scented candles + soaps.
- This pine and lavender scented soap comes from the local Left Hand Soap Co. The 2 oz option is $2.75, the 8 oz option is $7.25, and the 2 lb option is $25.
- Bath & Body Works brings us a high intensity mahogany scented candle for $12.95
- This smokey Log Haus candle has a tobacco leaf base with “notes of charred birch and cedar” for $34
- For only $10, what’s not to love about this Lumberjack Sawdust Scented soap described on its own website as, “created to capture the essence of the lumberjack lifestyle and the scent of fresh cut wood.”
- These lovely Pine Tree of Light Candles bring together visual beauty and the appeasing smell of cedar + pine. The smaller option is $38 while the larger option is $72.
However, nothing can beat the smell of actual wood furniture, so be sure to check out our website for a variety of products made using timber sourced entirely from the urban forests of Alabama.
Featured image taken from Mountain Man Soap.com