Ode to Burning candles
In an old building along the ring road of Utrecht, it is brimming with creativity and entrepreneurship. In every room, young entrepreneurs work enthusiastically on their projects. Among them is also Giselle, an extremely pleasant young lady with a heart for candles. We are welcomed with open arms in her shared studio. A tea, something different and always a smile on her face.
Giselle is the proud founder of Brandt Kaarsen. She designs delicious collections of natural scented candles. No paraffin and beeswax, but essential oils and soy wax. The different scents each have a beneficial and relaxing effect on our body. Light the candle during an evening at home, enjoy the scent and then doze off between your sheets.
Photos by Céline Gladiné
Facebook: Burning candles
What does your morning look like?
“I try to start my day as relaxed as possible. Have a quiet breakfast, play some music and then get on my bike to leave for the studio. I really enjoy those twenty-five minutes of cycling. It is a kind of introduction to studio life or a return to normal life.”
Have you always been creative?
“I used to draw and act a lot. But that is a different form of creativity than making candles, of course.”
How did you start this adventure?
“For Brandt I worked in the security world with policy and risk analyses. Although I found this very interesting at the beginning, towards the end I wanted to try something different. I applied to several companies, to no avail. After a while, I even interviewed for jobs I didn't even want."
“At the same time, a friend from Tennessee came to visit. She was carrying a candle from a girl from New York who had just started her own scented candle business. That seemed like something to me. A little later I was on a plane to New York and helped out in the studio for a month. Not very long, but very intense. “
“Back home, I worked for a while in the Van Gogh Museum, and started my own candle company in October 2016, Brandt. It's just so relaxed that it makes me completely happy.”
What makes that craft so special to you?
“The whole process is very meditative. You are focused so you don't think much about other things. The various actions, from cutting the fuse to pasting and labeling, give me such a nice feeling. “
“I also really like the natural aspect. For example, my wax comes from ecological cultivation and I make my own wicks without harmful paraffin. What made it easier for me to start with Brandt was that I already knew the different steps from jar to candle from my time in New York. Although I had to translate that process into what I found here in the Netherlands and Europe.”
Do you sometimes lose yourself in the process?
That sometimes happens. I really work on my own energy. Sometimes I sleep a little longer while other days I start at 7:30 am. That's all right. Everything happens very much with my own flow, I attach great importance to that.
Have all the products you use been chosen with an environmentally conscious eye?
As much as possible. For example, the labels are made of recycled sugar paper that I buy from a small business in Utrecht and I try to use as many ethically produced or reusable products as possible. I reuse the boxes and packaging material that I receive from suppliers.In addition, my housemate can easily collect plastic ball paper that would otherwise be thrown away. If I do buy something myself, it is recycled or biodegradable as much as possible.
Do you extend that environmental awareness to your personal life?
Yes. For example, I have a fairphone. You have to have a lot of love for it, because sometimes it really has cures. Furthermore, I almost never buy clothes, everything I wear, I have received. I help friends clear out their wardrobe. I can go through everything they throw away again. In addition, I eat as little meat as possible and my boyfriend and I have also been very active in a community for tiny houses in Utrecht. That also means that I don't have that much stuff.
What inspires you?
I love to travel. Although it is not so much an inspiration for candle making itself. It takes me out of my bubble for a while so I can see what I really think about it and what my plans are. I also notice that I have to keep surprising myself. I can go on for hours, but sometimes I have to do something completely different.
Do our natural scented candles really warm you up? You will find the refill, wood and pharmacy collection of Brandt candles in our self care collection.