This week’s featured artist from the Garden City Art Festival is Laura Deffenbaugh and her family business, Lunar Lights Candles. I chose this artist for today because I really like her story about how the business was born from a 6th grade school project and evolved into a family business, with three generations of women having a hand in it. I asked Laura a few questions and her response tells the story perfectly, so I’ll share it with you here.
Lunar Lights Candles started out as a science project for my daughter, Elizabeth, who was in 6th grade at the time. She had to create a “sell-able product” for school, that had low environmental impact. We both enjoy how candles make the house smell great, and Liz thought that we could make candles that don’t burn black.
So we did our research and found that soy candles burn clean, and the majority of the candles on the market are scented with chemical fragrances and contain lead or zinc in the core of the wick. I know that breathing those chemicals is not healthy. I mentioned that to Liz, she decided that she wanted to make an “all natural” candle. We did more research and found a way to blend essential oils with a soy carrier oil to use as scents for the candles, and were able to get all natural wicks.
We bought the materials that we needed and we made the candles. Liz also thought that she could use these candles to give to the family for Christmas gifts too. She gave out the candles as gifts and we had family members asking for more! They loved the way they burn and smell. My Mom came up with the idea that we should sell them and the name, “Lunar Lights Candles” evolved over a family dinner.
We have done a couple of other festivals, including Gaspee Days Arts and Craft show, Kenyon Mills Johnny Cake Festival and Festival Fete Holiday Market. The whole family helps out, from making the product to selling at the shows. We are in two retail stores that carry hand crafted in RI products, Small Circle in Providence and Anything Goes in Warwick. We are going to be at all the Festival Fete shows this year, Gaspee Days, Johnny Cake Festival, and we applied to the Scituate Art Festival.
This year we have expanded the scents that we will use. I have seasonal, aromatherapy, herbs, and fruit scents, also, we are going to debut all natural citronella candles for spring and summer.
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