Fresh river scents, cool breezes, and sea salt in the air, oh yes, this perfectly describes life in beautiful coastal Georgia. What is a close second to sitting beachside? A moment in time when you can close your eyes and sense and smell the sensations of the coast right inside your own home. Richmond Hill Candle Company, one of the fine small businesses here in The Hill, has made it their mission to make every house feel like home by filling it with scents you love. Stacy and Gordon Chandler moved to Richmond Hill in 2019 after Gordon completed eight years of service in the National Guard. When he decided to go to trade school to become a lineman, the family never dreamed they’d wind up in the Coastal Empire. Today, both of the Chandlers work full time jobs in addition to growing their small business. Gordon is a lineman with Coastal Electric Cooperative and Stacy has been with Staples for the past 18 years. With three beautiful daughters, full-time jobs, and a family business, they have no trouble keeping busy.
The Chandlers admit they knew nothing about candle making when they began brainstorming to find a side hustle that would give them some extra vacation and date night money. They never dreamed their home business would be such a local success. It began with a determined Gordon, who started doing online research to find something that they could do within their home and market locally. At first, the couple headed in the direction of making soap, but as their research continued, Gordon noticed all roads kept leading him to candles. Fast forward one year later and they are amazed at how candle making has taken over their lives, their free time, and their space! This creative husband and wife team has learned that perfecting each candle is an ongoing effort. Stacy shares, “We test, we retest, and test some more to refine each candle recipe, manage each wick size and placement ultimately with a goal of getting a good, clean burn.”
“It’s a lot of work,” Gordon admits. “We do a lot of prepping, pouring, and burning before we have a finished product, but at the end of the day, it’s always worth it when a customer loves their purchase.”
Quality ingredients seemingly set Richmond Hill Candle Company apart from others. It is with an element of pride that they explain they source all of the elements, from the soy wax to the hand-blown candle jars in the USA, in an effort to support local farmers and craftsmen. “You want a candle that burns across the whole surface, not just around the wick,” Gordon says as he explains the perfect burn of their candles. The candles are all natural—completely free of dyes, toxins, and paraffins. Another perk customers seem to love is the subtle, neutral tones of the candle wax which make them a great addition to any style of decor. The big reveal though is the unique coastal scents they’ve developed. “People love burning candles for the relaxing effects, and around here the locals are drawn to anything with a coastal flair,” says Stacy. Many of their signature scents are aptly suited to our coastal surroundings of mossy trees and marshy rivers. Their biggest seller is the HighTide candle which has a briny sea scent with a bit of jasmine. Another favorite is the Coastal Empire candle, a crisp scent paired with undertones of amber and vanilla. For a little twist on a traditional candle, they make varieties such as the Bourbon and Honey candle with a crackling wooden wick. The wood offers a bit of a slower burn and a charming crackling sound.
The Chandlers are overwhelmed with how the “shop local” mantra is alive and well in Richmond Hill. They are happily selling their candles successfully on social platforms like Facebook, at local pop-up events, and through their website. In addition, you can find them in many of the local boutiques. It is important to note that each boutique carries their own signature candle scent. A new creative direction will soon showcase laser-etched maps, jewelry, and logo design for businesses. Stacy chuckles as she points out that her house won’t just be cluttered with candle making supplies, but now wood, too.
The Chandlers are very excited about what is to come for this crazy idea they came up with that has catapulted beyond just a few extra dollars for a date night.
You can find this Localesque product online at richmondhillcandleco.com.