Handcrafted, small-batch soy candles with custom-blended scents

James and Lainey Lake

Scents for the Senses

Lainey Lake is well acquainted with the five senses. During her nine-to-five as an audiologist, she attends to one of them—sound— but when she gets home, she turns her attention to another—smell—as she and her husband, James, create beautiful hand-poured soy candles for the Lake Candle company. Featuring soy wax, 100 percent cotton wicks, and custom blended scents that evoke the best parts of life outside, the Lake and the newer Coast line, are hand crafted to take you to another place without having to leave the house.

Since they debuted in 2015, Lake Candles have found success all over the country. Now the Lake family is getting ready to add another member to the company—a baby boy in 2018.

KCS: How did a busy doctor of audiology get involved in the candle game?

LL: Lake Candles was started in our kitchen. I was making soy candles for my own personal use. I always have a candle burning and thought it would be fun to start playing with scents and making my own. Over time we continued to have requests to make candles for friends and family. We decided we would start a company and sell our candles because people liked the scents so much. We moved the candle making process to our basement because our kitchen was no longer being used as a kitchen. At about that time, I reached out to the Fiddly Fig in Brookside and Made in KC to see if they had any interest in a local candle line and they both said yes. Once we were in those stores, other retailers heard about the candles or saw us in those stores and the company grew rapidly. We are now in several states all over the country; however the majority of our business is locally here in KC.

KCS: Why did you choose soy as your main wax?

LL: Soy wax is a very clean burning wax compared to paraffin; there are no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants. That means that they are much less likely to trigger allergies. They produce less soot (the black smoke) than paraffin and they burn cooler, which means you can typically enjoy your candle for 30-35 percent longer than one made with paraffin.

KCS: How long does a Lake candle take to make?

LL: Our candles are made in very small batches—seven at a time. It takes about three hours to produce one batch, which doesn’t include cooling time. Once they are poured, we leave them untouched for at least 12 hours. Once they are completed, they should be able to burn for roughly 60 hours.

KCS: How did you decide on the fragrances?

LL: We use fragrance oils and custom-blend them to perfect each scent. We ordered about 200 different fragrances and mixed them together to figure out which scents mixed well together. Then we had to pick which were our favorites and then come up with fun names for each scent. Right now, we have some seasonal scents in addition to our normal lineup that include Apple Spice, Pumpkin Chai and Fairway Fir. Fairway Fir is my personal favorite!

KCS: What is the difference between the Lake line and the Coast line?

LL: The Coast candles have ‘beach themed’ names (such as Shoreline Sails or Yacht Club) and smell more beachy and come in a blue opaque glass. The Lake candles have ‘lake themed’ names (like Lake House, Canoe Club and Brookside Bouquet) in a frosted glass.

The Alchemy of Ambience

While it may be easy to divine the meaning behind the Lake Candle name, there’s more to the packaging than just their name. The ‘A’ in Lake is a triangle, which in alchemy, is the symbol for fire. With the beautiful topographical map of a lake on the bottom of the box and a warm pink tone to the top of the box, each Lake Candle represents the sunset over the water.

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