Homegrown Business: Felicia Laplume of Citchen Candle Co.

Citchen Candle Co., an artisanal candle company, is committed to illuminating your space with both style and conscience, specializing in non-toxic, eco-friendly candles that redefine the art of illumination. Each candle is handcrafted along with the company’s dedication to environmental responsibility and a toxin-free lifestyle. We spoke with Felicia Laplume, owner of Citchen Candle Co., to discuss further her idea of sustainable luxury.

Citchen Candle Co.

What is your business called and what does it do?

Citchen Candle Co. offers handcrafted, gently-scented soy candles proudly offered in Canadian-made reusable mason jars.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve always had a keen sense of smell and have experienced the world through scent. I’ve always been more interested in how things smell than anything else.

I started making candles because I loved using candles, but did not love the price tag [or the smell of cheap, unnatural scents offered in wasteful packaging.] For me it was a need because who has $50 for a candle and everyone has a nose and enjoys nice smells. So I decided to learn the trade in 2014 and here we are today!

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I wanted to make all-natural candles accessible to anyone and everyone who wants them. I wanted to make a traditionally overpriced product more affordable. It never made any sense to me to ask people to be more eco-friendly and socially responsible [while at the same time pricing the products in such a way that they are inaccessible].

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Anybody and everybody who wants to use candles and make more eco-friendly consumer choices, particularly people who prefer light-scented or non-overwhelming scents.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

I operate a product-based e-commerce business. However, I also offer wholesale which means I offer products to local Canadian-based retailers for them to offer to their clientele. I occasionally also do in-person events in which people have an opportunity to meet me in person and smell my candles for themselves before purchase.

Citchen Candle Co.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

At local markets, independent local retailers, or if you were to go to any gift shop in the city, you’d find handcrafted soy candles. I didn’t reinvent the wheel, I just tried to make the wheel more affordable and accessible.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Where do you source your raw materials from? Are they Canadian-made, Canadian-sourced, and how do you contribute to eco-friendly and sustainable practices, not just in your local community but on a global scale?

It’s important to ask questions to ensure that the business you’re supporting is not only consciously making their products, but are supporting our communities by keeping it local, as well.

I source as much of our raw materials here in Canada as I can. If I can’t find a Canadian supplier, I source materials from ethical producers and suppliers who I have researched and know are utilizing ethical and conscious practices.

It’s my aim to be as low-waste as possible, so I try to source locally to cut back on carbon emissions.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of what I do is contributing to people’s lives through scent. I have a wonderful opportunity to create a product that people use in their homes, during their special occasions, and in their everyday life, and that’s a really special thing. Also that I can provide eco-friendly, affordable and non-invasive scent options.

The worst part would be the consistent comparisons to brands that are not all-natural and have synthetic scents. When people ask “Why don’t you have a candle that smells like fresh baked bread?” I tell them that nothing naturally smells like fresh baked bread other than fresh baked bread.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

If you’re not careful, you might stink up the place and go up in smoke.

Where can we follow you?

Website | Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

There are so many amazing local businesses right here in Toronto – where we operate, I could spend hours listing off businesses that we love. There is an organization called Ontario Small Business Community that showcases and provides a platform for small businesses, and there are so many amazing ones to see. Go check it out! They feature businesses each day and if I get to pay it forward. I want to try to share as many as I can.

 

About Emilea Semancik 105 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods