After living in the city then the Blue Mountains for many years, furniture restorer and candle maker Stacey Alexander decided it was time for a change. In what was a memorable 2019 with global disruptions from the pandemic, she moved back to Orange with husband Matt so their daughter Molly could see more of the family.
A chance rediscovery of her candle making supplies after this sojourn led to batch of candles being made for her sister’s beauty salon with the words ‘Orange NSW’ on the labels. They were an instant hit. Orders soon came in from towns across the region asking for their own candle for what has been quickly recognised as a perfect gift that looks and smells good.
Stacey says she’s always been creative and entrepreneurial. While they lived in the mountains she was upcycling furniture for a friend’s shop during her maternity leave. Later, when Molly started kindergarten, Stacey opened her own store selling her popular pieces and running furniture-painting workshops. Candle making then was just a hobby on the side but little did she know how brightly that kernel would glow in the future.
With Matt’s parents living in the UK and him working in Sydney, it made a lot of sense to move the family close to Stacey’s mother (originally from Coonamble), stepfather and sister in Orange.
Once moved, their priority was firstly to renovate their ‘new’ 1970s bungalow and settle Molly into her new school. Months later when she found her old candle box in the shed, Stacey initially planned to open a candle shop in town, but revised that idea to making it a home-based business. Then she dug in with conviction, did a lot of reading and product testing and practiced until her candles were perfect.
“It’s been two years since I’ve been doing Our Town Candles,” she said, “and now they have a life of their own.”
For this special Mother’s Day project, Stacey was given a brief. “The candles were to be obviously targeted to Mums. They needed to have that special smell when you walk into a home that is warm and inviting; that amazing all-round good smell that makes people feel welcome and think WOW.” You know the one.
The brief included a range of fragrance choices and some suggestions for the scent. “We did a few samples of these, and ironically came up with something completely different,” she laughed.
Stacey’s own alchemy of fragrances was the winner and it was unanimous that this should be the unique scent representative of Central West Mums.
“A lot of our preferences are based on associations from the past, like growing up, leaving home and our relationships and scent-memory is no different. But I think we realised that maybe we have out-grown some of those fragrances now or we are not remembering them as we used to, so after that conversation I decided to leave the brief to do a mystery scent that I thought would be perfect and that is the one that was chosen.”
The candle size and colour with a matte white holder and blonde timber lid were chosen by Amorette at Central West Mums. “Being simple and elegant it can go into anybody’s home.”
Our Town Candles keeps Stacey busy three to four days a week, mainly during school hours. “Its a busy time now, and leading up to Christmas is also busy. I am also working on a few signature candle collaborations in the central west for an artist, a restaurant and a beautician. I get a lot of requests. It’s a matter of people reaching out to me and I’m particular that any project works well for both parties.”
Click here to see the full range of Our Town products including gift box sets, artisan candles, cards and scent collections.
Be sure to secure one of these Central West Mums limited edition hand-made candles for this Mothers Day, where satisfaction from use is 100% guaranteed. Then use generously.