Creative collection Jasmin Kechel shares her passion for candles
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...