Blog

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September 5, 2017

TOP 10 SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS


Summer is almost over and we wanted to share our top 10 favourite accessories from this year.
1. Nkuku Antique Brass Bequai Divider Box - £29.99
Antique brass Bequai divider box. This stunning glass display box features a unique brass edge in an antique style, with three separate compartments.These divider boxes are perfect for organising your jewellery, treasured possessions, and memories.

2. Nordal Large Black/Natural Seagrass Basket - £40.00
Woven seagrass basket in a black/natural colour pattern.
These baskets look beautiful when used for house plants. Also very useful as general storage baskets in the home. Seagrass is a light weight but hard wearing material. Each basket is slightly unique in its shape and pattern due to the nature of the product.

3. Tobacco & Sweet Hay Reed Difuser - £14.00
Inspired by our trip to Morocco, Tobacco & Sweet Hay reminisces fiery ambers and smoky incense from the bustling markets of Marrakesh. Warm, homely notes of white lavender and sage combined with a honey base gives a well rounded earthy and slightly masculine fragrance; not too smoky, not too sweet.
Lasts 2-3 months. Flip reeds weekly or when the fragrance becomes faint. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.

4. Urban Botanics: Howea Art Print - 50 X 70cm - £65.00
Watercolour painting printed on 250g fine art photo paper. Limited edition of 300. Signed by artist with handwritten numbering. Sizes available: 60 x 80cm | 50 x 70cm | 40 x 50cm | 30 x 40cm

5. Amber & Musk Soy Wax Candle - £12.00
An earthy musk base blended with oriental woods. Amber & Musk creates grounded and relaxing vibes with subtle hints of lavender and jasmine pick-me-ups. Made with 100% natural soy wax and fine fragrance oils.

6. Knitted Cactus - £3.50
We can't get over how sweet these assorted decorations are! From the Colourful Cactus collection comes these fabric mini cacti in an assortment of two designs. Perfectly capturing and celebrating the beauty of the plant, theses fabric ornaments are so on-trend. Merging the essence of fun and style seamlessly, these decs are perfect for those that love plants that don't need to be watered.

7. Disposable Camera - £5.49
This single-use 200 ASA 24 exposure Camera with flash is great for capturing those moments that are often missed.

8. Pompom Cushion Cover - £19.00
Cushion cover with a jacquard-weave front decorated with wool pompoms and solid colour cotton canvas back. Concealed zip.

9. Sunglasses - £12.00

10. Incense Burner - Made to order
These small dishes are for burning stick incense. Place your incense in the small mountain in the middle, light the incense, and allow the ashes to fall directly below in the hand carved dish. Wheel thrown, hand painted, hand carved, and fired. Made to order. Measures approximately 3.5" x 3.5" x 1".


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August 30, 2017

NEW TO THE LINE: TOBACCO & SWEET HAY


Since our trip to the North African border, we've been so excited for the launch of our newest scent, Tobacco & Sweet Hay! Available in our standard sized soy wax candle and reed diffuser.

Warm, homely notes of white lavender and sage combined with a honey base gives a well rounded earthy and slightly masculine fragrance that captures the essence of Morocco; the dry, desert-like climate is reflected by fiery ambers and musk with wisps of smoky incense that reminisce the bustling markets of Marrakech. Not too smoky, not too sweet.
Get to know the scent then try it for yourself: you just might have a new favorite.

Top Notes: Fresh hay and tobacco leaf
Heart Notes: White lavender, sage
Base Notes: Amber, incense and musk

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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

"I really like the scent. It has the right balance, it smells kind of strong and sweet at the same time, so pleasant. The scent reminds me on adventures and all the countries I haven't been yet." - @friederikchen

"It's so calming and such an earthy masculine cologne, definitely my favourite fragrance from the range so far!" - @kimmipie

"I love the rich and comforting scent of the Tobacco & Sweet Hay diffuser. It reminds me of cosy evenings curled up by a log fire, it's perfect for the upcoming Autumn months." @thestarlitreader

Now it's your turn to try it out: click to shop the collection! Let us know how you're liking it by tagging us at @hmcandleco.

Photos courtesy of @friederikchen.
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April 19, 2017

IN STOCK: SECRETS OF GREEN

Secrets of Green is a blog, a community of urban nature-lovers sharing ideas, suggestions, discoveries and news, and also a lifestyle store to bring the natural world into your living space. From art, stationery, and accessories to home decor and plants, everything in store has been carefully selected to let customers reconnect with nature in the midst of city life.
Secrets of Green is a place for the discerning urban nature-lover to get inspired, nourish their senses, share with like-minded people and gather beautiful, stylish finds for their home.

We caught up with Ulrike Schulz, Founder of Secrets of Green to find out more about green living and how it fuels day-to-day running of the business.

Let our readers know a bit about yourself. Who are you?
I’m Uli, the founder of Secrets of Green, a lifestyle store and community for nature-loving urbanists. I’m originally from Germany and I have been living in London for over 5 years now. I started and developed my career in social media and advertising. Last year, I founded my first business The Social Hunter, helping small businesses and startups with their branding and social media presence. That inspired me to start Secrets of Green where I have the chance to work together with talented small businesses and build a community of like-minded people who want to make the world a better place.

What is Secrets of Green?
Secrets of Green is an online marketplace, a community and a platform for collaborations for people who live in cities but deeply care about nature and their environment. With Secrets of Green, they have the chance to express their love for nature and be part of a like-minded community. We feature unique small brands from all over the world who put a lot of effort into making their products.

What inspired you to open the shop?
I was inspired by the small businesses I worked with as well as the entrepreneurial spirit I was surrounded by since I started my first business The Social Hunter. I could also see that people wanted to express their love for nature, especially the people who lived in urban spaces. I wanted to create a destination for exactly those kind of people.

What are your hobbies? How do they inspire/relate to your shop?
I write a blog about art, design, and creativity called Found Some Paper. Through the blog, I got to know quite a few talented small business owners which definitely inspired Secrets of Green.

What do you look for in your partners & team members, how do you work together?
We love well branded, unique products with a story. If we can imagine buying the products ourselves then it’s definitely something for Secrets of Green. We also love building relationships and trust. It’s not always easy as some of the relationships only exist online but we do our best to translate our vision and culture online so people have a first good impression. It’s important that our partners feel comfortable working with us and communication is key here!

What made you decide to stock our products?
Handmade Candle Co. has very beautiful and straightforward branding. The first impression was excellent! Secondly, we really loved the combination of ingredients of the different soy candles. Last but not least, the candles look great. Again, we immediately imagined having Handmade Candle Co. in our own homes.

Do you have a favorite scent?
Amber & Musk. When I received the candle I could not stop smelling it. What a great combination!

Where can we expect to see Secrets of Green a year or two from now? Goals?
Yes, we have many goals! We want to be known as THE number one destination for all things ‘green’. You will find the best, unique products and brands on our website. Furthermore, we’re working on exciting collaborations with other brands and organisations. We really want to make an impact in the world one step at a time. Our goal is it to combine beautiful design with sustainability.

Our full range of standard sized 180ml candles are available to buy from Secrets of Green here.

Photos courtesy of Secrets of Green, Katie McAtackney and Jinny Olney

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March 23, 2017

MARCH MEET THE MAKER: TRI GEOMETRICA

For our March collab in aid of 'March Meet the Maker' we teamed up with Robert Laing, the face behind the brand Tri Geometrica to find out more about his work. Robert is a designer currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Robert trained in Visual Communication at Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 2005 but only recently started his own business, Tri Geometrica, in 2016. Setting up Tri Geometrica was a bit of a sidestep in terms of discipline for Robert as it brings in a three dimensional sculptural element but the process maintains many problem solving skills which he developed as a designer over the years.

How did you get into sculpture and concrete molding?
When my partner and I bought our flat we spent a lot of time renovating it before we moved it. When it came to accessorising we really wanted some concrete planters to match the style - greys and geometric shapes. We couldn’t find anywhere in Scotland who made exactly what we wanted. There were a few companies in the US but shipping was really expensive. I decided that I would try and make my own which allowed me to create a one off unique piece. Once I had created my first planter I kept looking at it and thinking about other possibilities. Through considering other geometric shapes and experimenting with scale and height I got the bug and Tri Geometrica was born.

Why concrete?
I have always been interested in brutalist and modernist architecture which uses concrete as its main building material. These pieces of architecture are hated by many but I've always been drawn to their angular geometry. Buildings such as the Giesel Library in San Diego by William Pereira are perfect examples of geometric perfection. More locally to me the Gillespie Kidd and Coia designed Cardross Seminary which, although it sits in ruins, is a fantastic concrete structure which I’ve visited a number times. It's fun to be able to experient with concrete myself and I guess the pieces I create are mini homages to these brutalist examples of geometric architecture.

Generally I feel concrete as a material is much maligned. In part this is no doubt down to its use in unpopular 60’s and 70’s architecture which haven't always stood the test of time. It is very versatile though. I really love the textures which can be achieved ranging from rough to highly polished. It provides a solid industrial feeling which is perfectly offset by the use of succulents and cacti in my planters which bring a natural contrast.

Does working with this material have limitations or cause issues within your work?
Concrete can be difficult to work with at times. I’m still getting used to making the perfect concrete mix and dealing with varying temperatures and curing times - it can be a bit of trial and error. I’m a bit of a perfectionist too so a few pieces have ended up in the bin!

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Experimentation. There are so many possibilities, combinations and products which can be created from this very basic material.. I’m looking into making further variations and items such as lighting and furniture. The versatility and unknown possibilities is what makes it fun. Generally I find the whole process intriguing in the sense that you can start with a powder, mix until it's a liquid and finally end up with such a strong solid material - all within a week. It certainly gives you a sense of satisfaction that you have made something from nothing!

What is your favorite piece you have made so far?
I would say my favorite piece so far is my set of geometric tea light holders. I wasn't sure if the smaller scale would be as successful in terms of finish but when they came out of the mold I was quite happy with the outcome!

We have a selection of hand crafted geometric concrete planters available from Tri Geometrica for you to purchase on our website for a limited time only!

Tri Geometrica
Photos courtesy of Robert Laing / Tri Geometrica

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FEBRUARY 10, 2017

IN STOCK: NO GUTS NO GLORY

After recently launching our new rugged and mysterious fragrance Rosewood & Moss, we step inside lifestyle store 'No Guts No Glory' - our first stocklist to have our latest scent on their shelves. NGNG is a must-visit lifestlyle store based in Devon, owned and operated by couple Hayley and Nathan Maker.

Hayley and Nathan both grew up in beautiful Devon although their lives have taken them on very different journeys, Hayley spent many of her formative years travelling and working in many roles, adapting to different ways of life and eventually working on her own, creating her own job roles and business ideas. Hayley has always kept a close connection to art, design and nature and has felt as though every step of her life has in some way over prepared her for a role and lifestyle that she would eventually step into.
Nathan had a very different experience. Staying close to home and falling in love with photography and the dark room process whilst being immersed in punk rock culture that carries with it such a strong creative surge. Finding no local outlet for his work and not wanting to move out of Devon, Nathan responded to the call to arms and set up No Guts No Glory as a platform for local artists, designers and photographers.

The couple met via mutual friends; the friends suggested they talk to each other about a creative project that Hayley was working on in Bath at the time. After a series of long, rambling emails they decided to keep in touch with progress, and began writing letters and sending them by post to each other. Six months and a stack of envelopes later Hayley & Nathan met in real-life for the first time, it was a nerve-wracking experience for them both but they instantly felt as though they had been working side by side forever.

The couple's styles juxtapose, with Hayley's swaying towards more bohemian, nature based ideas, to Nathan's more architectural and pragmatic eye, leading to more linear and bold concepts. Their curated selection has a very distinct style that is unique to them and their shop space. Their home feels very much the same, it's a marriage of the two styles that creates something new and exciting. When they are working on designs for the shop it becomes about the balance of both masculine and feminine energies it's the balance of both of their energies intertwining.



NGNG was founded in 2009, on a shoestring budget. A tiny shop space that Hayley & Nathan nicknamed 'the shoebox' was where it all began, with the help of a supportive creative community. With little business experience Nathan had to teach himself the necessary skills from scratch enabling him to put his ethos first rather than the bottom line. A year after opening Hayley joined the team and they became a partnership, working on the project together meant they could start to add some new elements into the shop space and so the business began to evolve. The name No Guts No Glory tells so much about the shop, the passion the couple put into it, the fact that they are ethos driven, putting environmental and community values first whilst still maintaining their love for good design and modern living. It's about having the courage and dedication to work at something in their own way.

NGNG also organise workshops which have an underlying theme of mindfulness and design coming together. Hayley says "Workshops are a valuable experience, learning a new skill, using our hands and really owning the time spent is a powerful way to put us back in touch with our selves and our true potential."

We asked the couple what was the most rewarding thing about owning their own shop Hayley says "Without a doubt the people we meet along the way, the stories we hear and the way that people react to the work and products that we display in the shop. We like to feel that the shop is a refreshing oasis, where people can leave with a different aspect on design and the environment, and have the power to change the way they live and shop to be more sustainable without compromising on design."
We asked the duo if they could give any advise to those aspiring to open their own shop they answered "Learn from your mistakes, get advice, write a plan and (kind of) stick to it. Having boundaries such as being more sustainable and eco-friendly empowers you to make decisions more easily. Trust your heart and vision but make sure that your head is clear enough to think realistically and to be able to look forward to the next thing and prepare to embark on a journey that will define your character."

blog-photo4-re-sized When it comes to HM. Candle Co. fitting into NGNG, Hayley says she caught wind of us through Instagram, HM Candle Co. really stood out as something that would be a perfect fit for their range of homeware. She says we had her hooked at Rosewood & Moss. They decided to stock with us because of our beautiful scents which matched their ethos of bringing the outside in and creating more natural and harmonious living spaces. Aside from these things, they loved our branding and packaging as well as the fact that HM Candle Co. are based in the UK, our candles are hand poured and they love that we use soy wax, it all helps add to their amazing forest/jungle vibe.

Their scent of choice? Rosewood & Moss.
Hayley describes it as beautifully sweet - warm yet woody. Uplifting and comforting, refreshed like a good walk outdoors or opening the windows on a fresh sunny day and standing in the light.

No Guts No Glory
Photos courtesy of NGNG

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FEBRUARY 1, 2017

OH SO HYGGE COLLAB

I first came across Kirsty's work online, the curator and pro weaver behind the brand Oh So Hygge. As part of extending our Handmade business, this year we wanted to work on collaborations with a select few makers and designers to help make their work more accessible and to give them a shout out for all the great work they do! You can read our interview with Kirsty below and her amazing weaves are available to buy as one off peices on our online shop now in our Collabs section!

Tell us a bit of background about yourself, who you are and where you are from?
I am a mother of 3 from Dunoon, Argyll Scotland. I studied interior design at Glasgow Caledonia University and started my business working from home around 3 years ago after planning my wedding and discovering fabulous wedding decor including Terrariums and Macrame which I taught myself to make and design. Since then I have hosted around 20 workshops and private parties and completed large commission projects for high street store Warehouse and TV series Outlander.

How did you get into weaving?
I have always been creative and learned to make macrame friendship bracelets at a young age. I then revisited macrame again around 3 years ago when I was planning my wedding and I wanted to incorporate it into my decor so I taught myself how to use macrame techniques in different ways to create wall and plant hangers. I instantly fell in love with process and found it very therapeutic. It was very rewarding and sentimental being able to create my own altar backdrop which was then used indoors later on our wedding day for people to peg their wishes to. This hanging has now been transformed slightly and hangs in our living room.

What is Macrame?
Macrame is a fibre art which uses a range of tying knots to create wall and plant hangers, rugs, table runners, cushions, curtains and many more other textiles. It is believed that this art is centuries old and started in the middle east where camels and horses were covered to keep the flies off them and their covers were fringed for decoration.

Where is your most inspirational place to work?
I currently work from home in my little dining area but find that when I am out hosting workshops, I enjoy the large open space. Each venue has been lovely in its own way such as Bakery 47 which is where I work from most. It is a very friendly, warm and inviting environment. The most inspirational however would be Craft Design Scotland in West Kilbride which is a fantastic venue for all artists. It is housed within a converted church and the large modern interior is very bright and spacious.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
I love to teach! I have had a lot of people telling me how they have wanted to try macrame for so long and they were concerned that they could not learn and grasp the process but each time a workshop has been completed I receive many compliments on how they have enjoyed the class and it is really rewarding to see and hear. I also learn new designs and discover new ideas each time I hold a workshop so it is a constant cycle of everyone learning and I believe that whatever you learn should be passed on.

I also get great satisfaction from creating new designs and trying new techniques. There is so much scope to develop with macrame as it is a textile art.

Tell us more about your workshops?
My workshops started in the summer of 2015 after my friends of Bakery 47 suggested that I try to hold a few classes. They were an instant success and are becoming more and more popular every month. I am now hosting further afield as far as Inverness and have been invited out to Croatia!

Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?
I hope that my business will continue to grow from strength to strength and I aim to include other textile products including knitwear and accessories, marbled products and much more that I can turn my hand to and let my creative skills expand. I enjoy working on collaborations and hope that within 3 years I will be able to work as a collaboration on a permanent basis.

To follow more of Kirsty's work you can visit her Etsy shop Oh So Hygge
Photos courtesy of Sue-Slique Photography

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JANUARY 25, 2017

NEW BEGINNINGS

So with a new year comes new exciting things on the Handmade front, we have a spanking new website, three amazing new scents to waft away the January blues and a new project which we are very excited to tell you about! We’re launching the blog today in the spirit of progress and growth. We want to give you a peek behind the scenes at our company as it evolves, share inspiration, projects, collaborations, and also to inspire you.

Over the next few months we will be working with independent designers and makers around the country and offering one-off pieces made by them which will be available to buy on our online shop.
You will also find short interviews and stories about the designers and makers we collaborate with to find out more about them and their passion for what they do best – the who’s, the what’s and the why’s…

Our first collaboration will be kicking off in February so watch this space!


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