Tamara Mayne – founder of Brooklyn Candle Studio

Brooklyn based, Tamara Mayne founder of Brooklyn Candle Studio opened the doors to her home for a ‘tete a tete’ on candles, scents and motherhood to me in Brooklyn NY.

A young Mum to her one year old son Winston, she has her priorities set straight. Since last Fall, she has set up a team and drilled them to work her thriving soy candle company without her present in the studio. A one hour assured work time a day while her son is napping, makes her one of the more organized Mums I have ever met.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in California, raised in Virginia and moved to New York after college where I started my life flat sharing in Harlem with a rapper and two other girls. Since then I moved over 11 times and am now settled down in Brooklyn with my husband and son. 

I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience everything and anything that this city has to offer, from clubbing to museums, to art openings. It shaped me as a person, as an artist.

Honestly, I always thought that I would end of working as a graphic designer. I love packaging, wrapping, presentation. Very much inspired by the simplicity of Scandinavian living and Japanese minimalism, I apply my passion around my creations of my soy wax candles.

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Your business is thriving through your hard work and organisational skills. It’s wonderful to see how life is full of surprises and you just fell into the world of candles. Can you share your story with us?

Yes of course. It really was by coincidence. In 2012 I started making candles at home and attended some workshops. A company asked me to make some for them which they sold out immediately of. So I created Brooklyn Candle Studio in 2013 and set out on this venture.

I love to create a product that is useful and meaningful. Especially scented candles play a role in creating an atmosphere collecting memories. Like rituals.

The scent really has powerful properties. How do you decide on a blend?

I love mixing scents. Always have, starting off with essential oils. I guess I’d call myself an intuitive mixer. Attracted to botanical scents, I’m a self learner, mixing on my kitchen table.

For scenting candles however it’s a different story. As much as I wish, essential oils are just too tricky for the hot candle wick. They tend to leave a burnt taste in the air. Candles require testing, a good flame, a good burn, safety…I have this obsession with quality and love the smell of hinoki.

In 2017 I decided to work with a perfumer for BCS. He’s a hippy and plays guitar. He used to work for French perfume companies and knows how to create non toxic blends.

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What led you to choose soy wax over other waxes?

I use 100% soy wax. Even if the finish might not always look ‘neat’, it is the safest in terms of non toxicity and the most appropriate for scented candles. Many companies prefer to cut their expenses by using perafine wax which is basically petrolium based wax and highly toxic, as well as environmentally harming. It just throws the scent a little bit better.

Soy wax is sustainable and burn up to 60-80% longer than perafine. The colour of the wax might vary in my candles because it depends on what scent it’s mixed with. Just like essential oils, the colours vary naturally. I like that.

It’s really a conscious choice of quality and sustainability.

Have you got any exciting plans up your sleeve we can look forward to?

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I’m so excited to launch my first collaboration with my husband this Spring! it’s called “Escapist” and it’s based on memories of six places we visited.

  • Kyoto has a woodsy sent

  • Tuileries is floral

  • Maui smells of ocean waves, marine and bergamot

  • Italia, inspired by Italian bakeries, vanilla, spicy and sweet

  • Santorini smells of fig, currents, earthy woodsy

  • Ojai is full on citrus

 I love our “Noir” candle range inspired by single note scents like hinoki, jasmin, santal which is our best seller together with Love Potion
This romantic double wick candle is calming, romantic and comforting at once. We used the similar blend for our collaboration for Lululemon Meditation candles.

Very excited to be showing at the NY Now Gift Show in February again. It’s always good to put yourself out and meet new people.