February 8, 2023


Earn Nicely, Spend Wisely

The scent of success: Pandemic turns into enterprise prospect for Queen Anne lady

4 min read

In Latin, “velle” means “to be ready is to be equipped,” and that is specifically what Shenalyn Castoldi had in thoughts when she started her have small business throughout the pandemic.

As a designer by trade and an esthetician by observe, the long-time Queen Anne resident found herself with a great deal of cost-free time when the world shut down. With two minor types who experienced shifted to virtual schooling, having said that, Castoldi learned she essential anything she could do from her personal house.

“There was so a lot uncertainty in the world, I felt like I just essential to retain going,” she explained.

After the initial couple of months of the pandemic, Castoldi was becoming an completed sourdough baker, and she needed to test a little something different. Which is when she identified candle making on social media and decided to buy a starter package.

“It was sort of a pleasurable experiment,” Castoldi stated.

Her initial batch of scented candles was really extra of a take a look at to see if she preferred the passion and would be any very good at it.

Picture by Laura Marie Rivera

Shenalyn Castoldi sets up candles she made for her Velle Candles line among the playing cards and residence items at Queen Anne Body & Reward, 1621 Queen Anne Ave. N.


“It’s comparable to baking, with particular temperatures, recipes and timing, but I also uncover it to be a therapeutic and enjoyable distraction,” Castoldi mentioned.

She gifted the candles from her primary package to mates and acquired a great deal of good comments. And at that stage, she started out to think about building it an formal company – Velle Candles.

Castoldi identified her creativeness and style and design abilities could glow when she started out producing her individual recipes.

In addition to offering a excellent consumer experience, Castoldi mentioned she prioritizes sustainability, pure elements and sourcing from nearby distributors in her company. It wasn’t normally uncomplicated, nevertheless.

Castoldi said she understood she preferred her candle holders to be reusable. Since most of the glass suppliers experienced everything on back again buy, she had to make substitute options. That is when she came up with the idea for concrete holders.

The containers are created with a good concrete, utilizing a sand aggregate. She mentioned concrete has turned out to be a fantastic materials simply because it has a attractive end that doesn’t need to have any added buffing. The candle holders are also porous, so she learned that they want some form of supplemental seal or they will soak up the candle wax. She stated it took a great deal of work to obtain a sealant that was drinking water-primarily based, flame retardant and nontoxic, but she was sooner or later profitable.

Because the candles arrive with equipped lids, as a bonus, shoppers have informed her they use the vacant holders as containers in their bathrooms or drawers.

Up coming, Castoldi experimented with wax. Organic and cleanse burning wax was a have to, but she discovered numerous choices are accessible. Castoldi said soy wax is 1 of the most well-known, but it is also quite temperamental and can have a whole lot of imperfections. She eventually settled on the far more forgiving apricot and coconut waxes.

The fragrances are at the coronary heart of Castoldi’s candle earning.

“I determined to concentrate on scents that remind me of happy reminiscences,” she reported.

Her blackberry candle is specific because it reminds her of choosing blackberries with her spouse and children: her partner, Ryan, and sons, Ethan and Aiden.

The November candle is scented with steamed milk, oats and honey and is exclusive since it celebrates the birth month of both of her boys.

The espresso candle celebrates a vivid place of her mornings.

And the Scotch candle, with a mix of jasmine, Italian bergamot and cigar fragrance, was established for Valentine’s Day since she enjoys the occasional Scotch on the rocks and “it felt romantic and reminded me of date nights.”

She explained her all-time favorite is the backyard garden candle with a fresh green scent of lemon, basil and tomato leaf. It need to return when the weather is warmer. Her current favored is possibly the spruce and fir or the lingonberry, standouts from the wintertime fragrances.

Castoldi mentioned the last hurdle was having her candles put in the retail retailers. At this time very last 12 months, Castoldi debuted Velle Candles at a boutique exhibiting in Belltown. Now they can be observed on the cabinets at Queen Anne Body & Gift, 1621 Queen Anne Ave. N., at the top of the hill, and on the 1st Thursday of each individual month at AXIS Pioneer Square, 308 To start with Ave. S. for the duration of the Pioneer Sq. Artwork Stroll. They can also be transported immediately by means of Castoldi’s site, vellecandle.com.

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