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The Story Behind Our Signature Magnolia Candles

by Magnolia
Published on August 16, 2019

A note from Jo about our candles:

After closing the original Little Shop on Bosque in 2006, I started hosting what I called ‘home shows’ a few times a year. I’d essentially set up shop in a few rooms on the first floor of my house and invite all my customers to come see the house and shop and mingle for a day. Before my first home show in 2008, I was shopping in Bryant Park in New York City when I met a candlemaker named Shane Nassar. I instantly loved his candles—every scent had the most distinct and wonderful smell that instantly felt both familiar and nostalgic. My favorite thing about Shane’s candles was the crackle sound it made when it was burning, the wood wick felt so unique and special.

Shane’s passion for his craft and commitment to high-quality ingredients was so evident that day, I knew I wanted to order candles from him. With every home show I always had a set budget that I could spend on inventory. I took a risk and decided to order 50 candles. This was a big deal for me at the time—it felt like a huge (really exciting, but also risky) investment. Before guests arrived to my first show, I lit a few candles throughout the house and within the first two hours, I had sold through all 50 of them. People came back to the home shows just for the candles! I’ve been ordering from Shane ever since—and over the years, worked with him to develop a full line of Signature Magnolia Candles. — Jo

If you were to poll all of us here at Magnolia on which one of our signature candles is the favorite—our guess is that Fall would win. It’s no secret that we all look forward to the first excuse to light one of our signature fall candles. With the launch of our most recent fall collection at Magnolia MarketOpens in new tab, we’re excited to have added a brand new scent that Shane and Joanna worked on for this season’s lineup. AmberOpens in new tab features notes of vanilla, jasmine, patchouli, amber and musk—and has been described around the office as that ‘warm-cozy feeling you get sitting by the fire.’

To highlight the addition of our new candle scent, we connected with Shane and asked him to share a little bit more about his process and passion for the candle making craft.

Magnolia: Before we get to the process, we’re curious to hear your take on that first time you met Jo back in 2008. What do you remember from that first interaction?

Shane: When I first met Joanna, she just had an excited, yet calm way about her. She was wearing jeans and boots and was shopping in Bryant Park with her family. Jo seemed to have stumbled on something that she truly liked and was different from what other candle vendors offered at the time.

Magnolia: At that time, you were already working with some pretty well-known clients, what made you agree to fulfilling Jo’s initial wholesale order of only 50 candles?

Shane: Although 50 candles was a smaller order for us at the time, we treat every order the same—50 or 5,000. I knew that if Jo was excited enough about our candles to order 50 of them, it meant she really believed in us and in herself and that’s all the reason I needed.

Magnolia: How did you get into candle making? What is it about this craft that you are most passionate about?

Shane: When I was starting out, I knew I wanted to have my own business and be my own boss. After buying my first candle, I quickly realized that it was an item that could be something great if made well—there was something about the process and materials that really intrigued me and I wanted to learn more. I bought all the materials needed to make a candle and just went for it—it was something I could afford to do in my spare time out of my apartment. I was able to take baby steps throughout the process of building my candle business, making sure I was sourcing the best materials for the best candles.

I see candle making as both an art and a science because every material that’s used affects the quality and longevity of the candle—I think that’s why I’m so passionate about it. Fragrances can set or change a mood and bring a tone to the environment that really makes a statement. I wanted to develop a product that made people happy!

Magnolia: Can you walk us through the process of how one of these candles comes together?

Shane: The first step is choosing a scent, which can take months, even years to develop. Each scent is crafted to smell as close as possible to the actual ingredient, rather than sourcing a synthetic version of the scent. Next is the wax—making sure it's the highest quality helps bond the fragrance to the melted wax during the process of mixing it in with the fragrance. Finally, our candles are made with wood wicks, which have a longer burn time, and our favorite detail about them is the soothing crackling sound.

Magnolia: Candle care—can you tell us about it? What are a few “best practices” to get the most out of our Magnolia candles?

Shane: Sure thing!

+ When you burn your candle for the first time, make sure you let it burn long enough so that the top layer of wax melts to the edges. This levels the wax in your candle for a better burn for the next time you light it.

+ Always keep your wick trimmed to ⅛ of an inch. If you don’t have a wick clipper, nail clippers will get the job done.

+ The suggested burn time for both of our candle sizes (11 ounce and 26 ounce) is 3 hours. If you burn it longer, you may not get as clean of a burn.

Thanks to Shane for giving us a look at all that goes into crafting our Signature Magnolia Candles. We hope you enjoyed hearing the full story behind our favorite candles! Later this year, be on the lookout for two new candles arriving alongside our Holiday launch. Here’s a hint to hold you over: Chip was involved…