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Home / News / Business / Entrepreneur launches environmentally-friendly candle brand, BeAmbiance, in middle of global pandemic

Entrepreneur launches environmentally-friendly candle brand, BeAmbiance, in middle of global pandemic

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Cooler temperatures and a little bit of rainfall are such a welcome relief after several months of dry and hot weather. We’re eagerly storing our summer attires of shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops and putting on jeans, sweaters, and booties. We’re cheerfully preparing comfort foods for dinner and baking pies for dessert. And, as we hear heartening news of COVID-19 infections slowing, we can look forward to the holidays.

During cold weather, there’s nothing that warms our hearts and homes more than the soft glow and pleasant scent of burning candles. And if providing a cozy atmosphere isn’t enough, candles also add beauty to any space and make every room feel lived-in. Fortunately, there are several different kinds to choose from and varying price range. In fact, the selections are plentiful so you can have a variety of them in your house.

BeAmbiance, an entrepreneurial candle brand born in the middle of a global pandemic, set themselves apart with their signature inspirational quotes. They are made with 100% beeswax with no additives; their wicks are 100% cotton with no metal hardeners. They also come with a guaranteed 65 hours of burn time so candle lovers with allergies can enjoy a healthy and safe product.    

Melinda Kilchoer, an allergy sufferer herself, established BeAmbiance early this year. She is keenly aware of how the environment affects everyone and how people, in turn, affect the environment. Her choice of materials to create BeAmbiance candles reflects her ethos of a healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle. She diligently eats plant-based food and vigilantly buys only ethically-sourced products.         

Melinda Kilchoer | Photo courtesy of BeAmbiance

“I like candles and I have several friends who are always burning candles. So candle-making was my instinctive choice when I embarked on an entrepreneurial endeavor,” Kilchoer says. “Because the environment is the major factor in this venture, I decided right away that my candles are definitely not going to be made of paraffin; I looked at only natural products. I opted against using palm wax because forests are being burned to grow palm. Soy has the same problem – the Amazon is being burned to produce organic soy to feed animals whose meat is then sold as organic. Moreover, to produce soy wax, the oil extracted from the beans are processed, refined and bleached, then hydrogenated in order to increase the melting point.

“In comparison, beeswax comes directly from bees. Worker bees secrete the wax which they use to construct their comb. When the honey is harvested, the honeycomb can also be collected for the wax. The only processing needed is to boil the honeycomb and filter the wax through a cheesecloth.

“I also chose beeswax because I wanted to put quotes on pillar candles. Soy wax is too soft, which is why it’s mostly used for container candles. Beeswax is harder, giving it a longer burn time than soy wax. To make pillar candles, soy wax must be blended with paraffin, palm oil, coconut oil, or beeswax. Additionally, soy wax has no natural scent, hence fragrance has to be added. Because I don’t like fragrance, in general, and I would like to help people with allergies, in particular, I want to make candles that emit a natural honey scent.”    

Other benefits of a beeswax candle include: it emits a brighter light; it burns cleanly and doesn’t drip so it’s mess-free; its soft glow creates a relaxing atmosphere; over time, a beeswax candle develops a unique white film called a ‘bloom;’ it has no oil-based ingredient and making it doesn’t involve any chemical process – it’s biodegradable; it’s bee and bee-keeping friendly; it doesn’t contain synthetic substances that can have adverse reactions on people with allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities.

Beeswax has the maximum shelf-life of all other candles made from natural waxes because it contains bee pollen and propolis, the component that gives it its honey scent and natural color. It can also stay for long periods of time without degradation because propolis has a conservation effect – ancient Egyptians used it to mummify the dead bodies of relatives. This longer shelf-life means a candle made with beeswax is a more cost-effective, even cheaper, option over other candles.     

BeAmbiance candle
Photo courtesy of BeAmbiance

“Following the environmental mindset, I decided that the packaging will not have any plastic,” continues Kilchoer. “I searched for the box, the paper wrapper, and shreds. I’m still not happy that the box is not 100% brown kraft paper and I plan to change that when I sell all my current inventory.”

Kilchoer’s quest to get BeAmbiance candles on the market took almost two years to realize. She wanted to make her candles in the U.S. and the saga to find a domestic manufacturer began in mid-February 2020. For two months, as a deadly pandemic took hold and the world’s economy ground to a halt, she contacted over a dozen companies only to be given the run around. When it became clear that no U.S. manufacturer could make beeswax candles with the inscription, she turned to Asian companies.

“By then it was already mid-May and China had reopened for business so I resolved to contact the manufacturers myself,” relates Kilchoer. “I got in touch with some Vietnamese and Indian manufacturers as well. After another couple of months of describing, drawing, explaining, decoding the different languages, and getting samples back and forth, I decided to go with the Chinese manufacturer who came up with the best sample candle and packaging.”

Kilchoer relates further, “I placed an order in August and the candles were done in September. However, the initial candles didn’t pass the third-party inspection required so the manufacturer had to reopen every single box and change each candle that was deemed unacceptable. The second inspection had to wait because there was a week-long Chinese holiday until Oct. 9. Thankfully, the candles passed the second inspection on Oct. 10!

“Then there was a snag with the payment – the supplier refused to accept PayPal, which I had used to pay for the samples, as payment for the complete order – and I had to wire the money instead. Ultimately, the freight forwarder from Tennessee could only pick up at the end of October. The shipment cleared customs in New York early in December and was scheduled to arrive on the 15th of December. However, a winter storm caused a delay and it was after Christmas when the candles eventually reached the warehouse in Alabama. Of course, by then all holiday shopping was done, and I was left with candles during the down season.”

Instead of despairing, Kilchoer used that time to create BeAmbiance.com which she launched this past spring. She learned so much about candles when she did her research that she compiled all the materials to create an e-book to share with visitors to her website.   

BeAmbiance candle
Photo courtesy of BeAmbiance

Twenty-one months and several twists and turns since her journey began, Kilchoer is hoping for a boom in this year’s holiday online shopping. With its signature inspirational quotes on love, romance, friendship, happiness, and blessings, Kilchoer hopes a beautifully wrapped BeAmbiance candle will make an excellent gift for someone on your list this Christmas. Its sweet honey scent will be appreciated by people who are sensitive to artificial fragrances. And because it’s purposefully fragrance-free, the aroma from a burning BeAmbiance candle won’t clash with the scent of your Christmas tree or wreath. Furthermore, purchases help advance the bee-keeping trade!

A room becomes warmer and more welcoming with a candle’s soft glow and sweet fragrance. Candles can also create a cozy atmosphere in any outdoor space. They turn the simplest meal into a fancy dinner by candlelight. After a busy day working and helping the kids with schoolwork, you can relax by lighting a candle as you soak in the tub. Its gentle light and soothing aroma help reduce stress and improve sleep. And after an extraordinarily challenging and difficult year, we all deserve to indulge in life’s simple pleasures.     

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