Mary Jane Minogue of Bee-Light Candles has been crafting beeswax candles since 1984. One of her first retail locations was the farm store run by Kimberton Whole Foods founders, Pat and Terry Brett, at Seven Stars Farm. Her candles are made using 100% beeswax, cotton wicks, and pure essential oils.
Tell us about how you got your start in candle-making in 1984.
When my friend, Alana, showed me how she made hand-rolled beeswax candles, I immediately fell in love with the process and the colors. Over the next few years, as I experimented with the wax, my family and friends received more candles than they could burn in a lifetime!
When did you decide to turn your passion into a business?
In 1988 I was inspired to start a very small business. My sister, Liz, helped me design a display and before I knew it the candles were in a few stores and people were buying them! It’s hard to believe that was over 30 years ago – and making beeswax candles is as much of an adventure now as it was when I first started out.
Where do you make the candles?
In my home. I converted one of my bedrooms into a “candle factory”! I roll the candles after work and on weekends.
Does anyone help you in your business?
My family helps out a lot – especially at craft fairs and festivals. In 2016, my sister Liz joined me in making candles.
What are the benefits of burning beeswax?
- Non-Toxic: Because beeswax candles are all natural, they do not produce toxic byproducts when burned.
- Neutralize Pollutants: Beeswax candles produce negative ions when burned, which help neutralize pollutants in the air, including dust, odors, and mold.
- Relaxing: The simple act of burning a candle can aid in relaxation or meditation, and help relieve stress.
- Natural Mild Scent: The natural honey scent of beeswax candles can be relaxing without being overwhelming.
- No Mess: Beeswax candles are naturally dripless and do not smoke when used properly.
- Light: Beeswax candles have the brightest, purest light of any candles and are closest to natural sunlight. If the candles are used as a light source, this can help minimize eye strain and reduce headaches.
What has changed in the way you make the candles over the years?
The candles are made from 100% beeswax and the wicks are square braided cotton. The way I make candles has remained the same over the years and, now, the familiar process of making candles helps me to relax and become more centered – especially after a long day at the office.