Brett Owens had a problem: housatosis, lingering smells from too many roommates in an old house. Then working for Dutch Bros. Coffee, he took a DIY approach and started pouring his own candles, scented strongly enough to freshen the space, but mildly enough so they could burn all day without making the house smell sticky-sweet or otherwise like a Yankee Candle store.
Owens, 27, now runs a small company from his home called Light Provisions, selling his candles online and at a few retail shops around the Springs. (Starting at $19; they burn for roughly 40 hours.) He launched the company in 2015, and it turned into his full-time job the next year. But getting to that point involved a long process of trial and error.
When he’s making candles, it’s spreadsheets all the way down: He heats the wax to one temperature, adds fragrance at another and waits for a third to pour into jars. He even heats the jars to slow the curing process; cold jars, he says, cause the candles to have a sunken top or crack, as the top cures faster than the rest of the candle. Similarly, he’s tried a range of waxes, ultimately settling on soy wax over beeswax or paraffin.
“I think they all burn kind of similar, but soy’s actually cheapest, which you wouldn’t think,” he says. He adds that, unlike paraffin, it doesn’t stain, either. For fragrances, his blends are unique, ranging from lavender-balsam to cranberry-mint and tobacco-walnut.
“I have one called campfire, and it’s probably the biggest seller,” he says. “It’s cedar, spruce and a tiny bit of smoke fragrance.”
For the upcoming holiday season, he’s partnering with Denver-based Mortar and Stone ceramics to offer candles in their stoneware. He’s also planning to move into beeswax candlesticks, hoping to have those on the market in November.