25 October 2022
By Tom Collins
Think all candles are made equal? Think again. Recently founded in Kinsale, Co Cork, Wizard & Grace Essential Oil candles handcraft one of the most sustainable and eco-conscious candles available on the market. The start-up was set up purely because of the lack of genuinely healthy natural candle choices on the market and from a desire to cut through the greenwashing to create a simple sustainable genuinely natural candle.
“I created Wizard & Grace candles simply because I could not find what I was looking for in the candle market – something genuinely natural, sustainable, vegan and using only essential oils – that was safe to burn in my home,” explains Paula McGovern, founder of Wizard & Grace.
Paula, formerly the Communications Manager with Irish Guide Dogs, and having worked in charity communications and journalism for more than 20 years has made the move into entrepreneurship in a bid to both follow her passions – she is a trained yoga teacher – and also create more balance in her life.
Scented only with pure essential oils and using sustainable and ethically sourced Rapeseed & Coconut wax, Wizard & Grace are a very different construct from the myriad of perfumed or artificially fragranced soy or paraffin wax candles available. Both soy and paraffin wax are problematic – paraffin is a byproduct of the petroleum industry and soy, while plant-based, is an unsustainable crop to grow and its popularity creating sustainability and humanitarian issues in origin countries through intensive farming methods and deforestation.
In addition the majority of candles that may even describe themselves as natural still use artificial and manufactured synthetic fragrance. The candle industry is unregulated and the term ‘fragrance’ is a blanket term that can hold 3,000 ingredients in.
“To counter this I have created something simple and pure – if it’s not 100% essential oil – I don’t use it; if it’s not the most sustainable wax available – rapeseed & coconut – I don’t use it,” explains McGovern. Wizard & Grace brand ethos is to be committed to positive change for the planet. “Not only have we sourced ethically sustainable materials but all of what we use is recycled, recyclable, compostable, reusable and natural.”
After two years of research, learning, testing and a kitchen full of wax-splotched furniture Wizard & Grace recently launched with a range of ‘Intention candles’, all hand crafted by Paula in Kinsale and inspired by the colour and vibrancy of Irish landscape and language.
“I wanted to create something vibrant – using colour and design inspired by our beautiful landscape and seascapes in Cork where I am lucky to live in, and I created each bespoke essential oil blend candle to suit a mood, to uplift and bring joy.”
The intention range includes: Bandia (Goddess) candle – a fresh and zesty lemongrass and sage blend; Draiocht (magic) to evoke joy and enchantment with Frankincense and Lime; Misneach (courage) candle to celebrate your inner warrior with Rosemary, Juniperberry and Cypress; and Kinsale dreams – an invigorating peppermint and eucalyptus blend to refresh and awaken your senses, like a walk by the ocean.
“My aim with the intention candles, as well to offer guilt-free gifting, is to help people connect or reconnect with both themselves and our beautiful nature – even if that’s for the briefest moment. The use of Irish is really important – it is a language more grounded in earthy nature.”
Individual candles are available to purchase and you can also purchase ‘gift boxes of light’ from www.wizardandgrace.com. Wizard & Grace is available in Marnie & Lily, Kinsale; Leafling Mercantile, Ballinspittle and Snout, Cork. Wizard & Grace also provides bespoke corporate gifting services to companies.