Cre­ative col­lec­tion Jas­min Kechel shares her pas­sion for can­dles

Home Beautiful - - CONTENTS - STORY & STYLING KYLIE JACKES PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN DOWNS

WHEN JAS­MIN KECHEL COULDN’T FIND THE CAN­DLE SHE WANTED, SHE TAUGHT HER­SELF TO MAKE HER OWN

“ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT MAK­ING FRA­GRANCES IS THE POWER IT HAS TO EVOKE MEM­O­RIES AND EMO­TIONS” ~ Jas­min Kechel

EV­ERY DAY, WHEN Jas­min Kechel opens the door to her stu­dio on Queens­land’s Gold Coast, she gets but­ter­flies in her stom­ach. “I just love com­ing here and get­ting my hands dirty mak­ing can­dles and blend­ing oils,” says the owner of ar­ti­san can­dle­maker Le­mon Ca­nary. The space is filled with the de­li­cious aroma of co­conut, honey, lime and mango, which lingers af­ter a batch of ‘Sum­mer Sol­stice’ can­dles has just been poured. With two young boys at home – Sunny, eight, and five-year-old Jon – Jas­min has made the stu­dio “very girly”. “There’s lots of pink around, and there’s al­ways choco­late and cham­pagne in the fridge,” she says. “It’s my happy place!”

Each morn­ing, Jas­min lights a can­dle and some in­cense, puts on a pot of her­bal tea and med­i­tates for 10 min­utes “to start the day right”. Then it’s full steam ahead. Sur­rounded by wall-to-wall shelves of aro­matic good­ness, she spends the morn­ings pack­ing and dis­patch­ing prod­ucts, while the af­ter­noons are de­voted to her cre­ative play, pour­ing in­fused soy can­dles, blend­ing es­sen­tial oils and mix­ing her­bal teas.

Eight years ago, it was her com­bined pas­sion for yoga, med­i­ta­tion and aro­mather­apy that in­spired Jas­min to dab­ble in can­dle mak­ing. Un­able to find an or­ganic, es­sen­tial-oil can­dle specif­i­cally suited to med­i­ta­tion, she de­cided to try hand-craft­ing her own. “At the time, there weren’t any can­dle-mak­ing cour­ses, so I did some ex­per­i­ment­ing and drew on my knowl­edge of aro­mather­apy,” she says. “I came up with a blend of oils which deep­ened breath­ing and re­lax­ation.”

From that first cre­ation, can­dle mak­ing be­came a hobby Jas­min pur­sued in her garage in the down­time from her job as a flight at­ten­dant, grad­u­ally de­vel­op­ing a core range of soy can­dles, along with es­sen­tial oil blends and her­bal teas, that she started sell­ing to friends. With glowing word-of-mouth en­dorse­ments, de­mand for the prod­ucts grew, so much so that in 2014, she de­cided to make Le­mon Ca­nary her full-time pas­sion and ca­reer. “As the busi­ness got too big for the garage, my hus­band Scott gave me the push along and said it was time to move out!” she says. Thus mo­ti­vated, she re­lo­cated to a work­ing stu­dio in South­port, took on three mem­bers of staff and opened the door to cus­tomers. “My work days are far more so­cial, which I love,” she says. “Now I get to hear peo­ple’s sto­ries. Peo­ple will smell laven­der and say, ‘Oh, that re­minds me of my grandma’, while other scents like short­bread will trig­ger mem­o­ries of cer­tain places.”

The vin­tage glass jars the can­dles are poured in also have nos­tal­gic ap­peal, with their ori­gins sto­ries in them­selves. Sourced from around Aus­tralia, some are bought from a wo­man in coun­try Vic­to­ria who col­lects them from her town and do­nates the money raised to a lo­cal school.

To­day, Jas­min still makes time to med­i­tate and en­joy the fra­grances she first blended years ago, yet it’s shar­ing their feel-good ben­e­fits which gives her the most joy. “There’s some­thing deeply sat­is­fy­ing in mak­ing qual­ity prod­ucts I be­lieve in and know­ing that each hand-poured can­dle will go to a home where it is loved,” she says.

THIS PAGE: The lat­est of­fer­ings from Lemon Ca­nary creative Jas­min Kechel are in­ten­tion bowls. Team­ing up with lo­cal ce­ram­i­cist and friend Caro­line Conochie of Caro­line C, who makes beau­ti­ful ce­ramic ves­sels, Jas­min fills the bowls with a cus­tom...

TOP & LEFT: Wall-to-wall shelves are filled with Jas­min’s range of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing or­ganic body oils, per­fumes, clas­sic vo­tives, melts and vin­tage jar soy can­dles. OP­PO­SITE: Her core range of can­dles is named af­ter birds, in­spired by the emo­tion...

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