My Country Business is a series of evocative films that tells the stories of a new and savvy generation of country business men and women – who do what they love and love what they do! Ever thought about running your own business? Watch this episode and prepare to be inspired by the story of Melt Candles.
“My name is Cheryl Hook and I am a candle maker. I live in the beautiful village of Waddington in the Ribble Valley with my husband Trevor. The seasons are really evident here. Living here works perfectly for the job that we do – the colours are very vibrant, the fragrances are very fresh and the walk to work down the lane in the morning gives you plenty of inspiration for the day ahead. Many of the fragrances we create are natural, woody, earthy fragrances and that inspiration comes from the area we live in.”
“I started Melt in 1999 – it started as a hobby. I always adored fragrance so I started making candles as a vehicle to get the fragrance into a room. I found it very therapeutic. The candles looked terrible at the beginning, but the fragrance was great. From there we started doing tabletop sales and local fairs. We arrived at the name when we started producing the candles commercially because we realized that we needed a brand that people would remember and that fitted the product. We became Melt in 2001 when we first moved onto Back-Ridge Farm. We’d ran the business for 18 months from the kitchen and then we moved into a friend’s garage. We wanted to be somewhere in the beautiful countryside and then one day the local farmer was in the village pub on the opposite end of the bar and offered us a barn to rent.”
“For me the most important and fun part of the process is creating a new fragrance. It is the part of the job that is always exciting. Once upon a time we used to play with essential oils and mix them ourselves, but now we work with fragrance houses who make them up to the required standard.”
“We colour the candles according to the fragrance. Our Angel candle was going to be a delicate lilac, but our essential oils stripped out any shades of red so it ended up being duck egg blue.”
“Once the candles have come out of the mould and they are leveled, they are then ready to go into the dispatch area, then they are labeled and boxed. The chandlery was opened in 2014 and it next door to our main retail outlet – the original shop opened in 2004. The Chandlery was originally the room in a medieval house where the candles were kept – it’s lovely that we have a dedicated room where they can be displayed.”
“What I love about the business is making something from scratch – it is a very honest and therapeutic thing to do. And we’re just very fortunate that people seem to love what we do.”