Maybe you don’t know it, but there are a ton of bookish stores out on the interwebs. Erin and I have been trying to think of a way to bring them to you your attention for quite some time… we know not all of you are on instagram and twitter… so we’re trying a new feature!
This week we’re talking with Brittany from Novelly Yours. We’re lucky enough to know Brittany personally as we’ve been to quite a few bookish events with her. We first met her through her book blog The Book Addict’s Guide, and when she started her candle store we were so excited! If you’re reading this blog, then you love books and if you love books, you’re also going to love her candles. They are gorgeous and bookish related and well… I’ll let you check out some more details for yourself! Check out our interview with Brittany below!
What is the story behind Novelly Yours Candles? Where did the name come from? I started Novelly Yours in November 2015 and had no idea what I wanted to name my candle company at first (now I’m stuck with my username on Etsy because they won’t let you change it haha!) but I eventually came back around to Novelly Yours. Before I started making candles, I had almost tried to start working as an author’s assistant and even created a little business profile for myself, naming my business “Novelly Yours”. Novelly because it’s a bookish business and Yours because I was offering services and once hired, I’d be “yours”! After ditching the author’s assistant idea (it was too scary and I didn’t know the business well enough to feel like I could really commit to it), I took that name and applied it to the candle company because it was still so fitting!
How long has Novelly Yours been open? It’ll be two years in November!
Why bookish candles? I love candles and I loved the concept of bookish candles! I knew of a couple bookish candle shops (there weren’t nearly as many companies when I opened my shop and I only knew of three at the time) but they didn’t seem to have a strong YA focus. A couple shops made a Harry Potter candle here, a YA book there, but a lot of them were based off classics, which aren’t my jam. So after playing around with making my own candles and making some bookish ones, I decided to actually open a shop and share the fun concept with my friends! I never expected it to be a legit business — I was just doing it for fun — but it turned into what you see today and I’m SO incredibly honored and fortunate to have been able to really turn it into something!
Can you tell us about your process in coming up with the concept for a new candle? It happens in a few different ways! Sometimes I’ll pull a passage straight from a book that I’m reading that has a great scent description. I’ll add a scent here or there to make a more complex scent profile but I try to really stick to an author’s description of a character/place/etc.
Other times I’ll brainstorm something for a season or holiday, so I pick the book (or TV show or movie, but usually books) and then go searching for some good scents there! At times I’ll go look for a quote for something to work off of and other times I’ll just use a general concept and come up with my own fragrance combo! Some of my favorites are the “generally bookish” candles (ones relating to reading/books but not based off of a specific book) because I get to really have fun with unique scents and combinations!
After doing this for a few years, I usually know what works well together so I come up with a concept and then test it to make sure the blend is what I’m going for. Sometimes I scrap some ideas and rework them and other times I’m pleasantly surprised with how very different scents come together for a cool concept!
What does a typical day of candlemaking look like for you? Well, as of today I’m still working a full-time job so a day of candle-making for me is… intense haha. If it’s a weekday, I wake up at 5:30am and get ready for work, work from 7:30 – 5 (it takes me an hour to get to work — thank goodness for audiobooks!), head home at 5, get home at 6, make dinner, eat, and then head off to my candle shop. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford a space where I can go work and make candles because it was just taking over my house!! So I drive there, make candles/label/package/ship until about 10:30 or 11, come home, relax, go to bed around midnight, and then do it all over again!
The weekends are my big candle-making days usually, since I can get a lot done at once! I’m kind of all over the place when I work because I try to get all the things done all at the same time. It’s a lot of work but it’s SO rewarding and I absolutely love it! I’m hoping to go full-time with candles soon so hopefully I can ease some of that work level and get some spare time back! And sleep. I can’t wait for sleep!
How long does it take to create a new candle and scent? For me, it doesn’t take too long to come up with a scent. My brain is full of my fragrance oil inventory so if I know what concept I’m going for, I can pick some scents out of what I know I have, or think about what I might want to order. I’m usually pretty decisive on that!
Actually making the candle is the long part! I have to melt wax, wait for wax to fully melt, pour it, add fragrance/dye, let it cool to the proper temp, pour into the jars, and wait for it to cool! Then I have to label everything. It’s kind of spread out over time and I do other things during the “waiting” parts so I try to make my work time as efficient as possible!
What are some of your favorite bookstagram accounts? I absolutely adore my #repsquad, @_livelaughread, @bibliotrix.lestrange, @bookswrotemystory, @acciobooksncoffee, and @meganthemeganerd! They’re my brain trust, amazing photographers, and all around amazing people. I also love @katyslibrary, @ladyofthelibrary, @edenlovesbooks, @myfriendsarefiction, @gameofpotterbooks, @carafoshizzle, @rheya_reads, @bookiemoji… gah just so many more. There are so many talented people out there!!
What is the most memorable thing that’s happened with your store since you opened? Oh gosh, probably being a part of an Owlcrate box! That’s like, the ultimate dream, right!? I had a trio of Rainbow Rowell candles in Owlcrate’s April box and it was such an amazing experience! I’m truly honored that Korrina asked to work with me and it was such a fun collaboration!
I know you’re a reader… can you tell us which book you’re dying to make a candle for next? And give away my secrets!? Haha just kidding! I do have some new releases coming up (or depending on when this is published, just announced — you can adjust based on when it gets posted!) and I’m hoping to make some for more fall releases! Obviously once I get my hands on RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer, making the candle is going to be the first thing I do haha! I’m a huuuge Marissa Meyer fan!
Can you give us some spoilers on anything new we can expect in your store? Sure!! New candles are coming in the beginning of September and I’m so excited for this release of candles! I’ve been planning some of them for a LONG time! Anoshe (from the Shades of Magic Trilogy), Audrey Rose and Thomas (two different candles, from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series), and TBR are coming out soon and I couldn’t be more excited for them! It’s always so much fun releasing new candles! And as always I’ll have new Candles of the Month on sale for September!
Would you like to learn more about Novelly Yours? Make sure you check out her website – there are monthly special candles and she recently updated her jars and I can’t wait to order new versions of my favorites!
Do you have a store that you would like featured here? Just let us know by filling out this quick form and we’ll be in touch!