In this installment of Maiden America, we sat down with Tamara Mayne of Brooklyn Candle Studio (based in, you guessed it, Brooklyn New York). Brooklyn Candle Studio first came on Maiden Home's radar after an employee stumbled upon Tamara's beautifully packaged candles at a neighborhood shop. Each Brooklyn Candle Studio scent is housed in exquisitely designed glass and ceramic vessels, making them as much a decorative object as a home fragrance. Needless to say, we can't get enough. So much so, we've teamed up with Brooklyn Candle Studio for an exciting project this Holiday season that we can't wait to share with you.
Tamara's journey from fashion art director to candle aficionado is a true tale of creativity at play and we're excited to share a look into her process from inspiration, to home interiors, to why American production is so important for her business.
In 2012, I decided that I wanted to make handmade gifts for my large extended family out in California, and thought candles would be the perfect DIY project. I bought a kit from Michael’s, and the whole thing started out as a hot mess. After initial debacles, I got obsessed with getting the science right, learning about natural and sustainable wax alternatives to paraffin, and achieving the perfect hot throw, the holy grail of candlemaking (the way a lit candle’s fragrance fills a room). Of course, my obsessive personality shifted from learning how to make candles to learning how to sell candles. And the rest, of course, is history!
Keep it simple, balanced, and beautiful.
I like to produce everything locally, because I can, along with my team, monitor the quality, and make sure it’s the best it can be. Candlemaking is a very fickle art, and you really have to have the science down to make the highest quality candles. I like to go in, pick up candles, test them, see what my team is doing, and adjust different things as needed—maybe up the wick size for a stronger burn, reduce or increase the fragrance load for optimal throw, or adjust placement of labels for aesthetic purposes. Everyone on our production team is an artist by trade, and their talents come through in the quality of the candles. It’s difficult to control quality, to know that working conditions are good, and introduce new products if production is done in another country.
Dusty pink everything, gold accents, and terrazzo!
My second studio. It was behind the Red Hook storage space of a well-known artist, and I shared it with 3 artists. We had old multi-planed windows, concrete floors, and the most beautiful morning light. I brought in lots of plants from a nearby nursery for greenery and to bring life into my space. I loved working there alone while listening to music and making candles, before I hired a production team to handle all our manufacturing.
Magazines, the subway here in NYC, wandering the city aimlessly, Pinterest, travel, nature all kinds of interiors from restaurants, to retail shops, to hotels.
3. Pendleton - Always a classic!