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Sa­man­tha McKee founded Half Oak Can­dles in 2015 be­cause she was in­spired to make nov­elty can­dles through which to chan­nel her love for all things geeky. The char­ac­ters, sights and sounds that are found in her fa­vorite books are all trans­lated into her cus­tom-crafted can­dles.

“When I start out on de­sign­ing a can­dle, I al­ways ask my­self, ‘What would a Hob­bit’s gar­den smell like?’ and chan­nel it into ac­tual scents,” she tells us. “There are so many scenes in the worlds of Tolkien, Lucas, and Martin that I would love to recre­ate.”

How­ever, it was not al­ways a walk in a park for Sa­man­tha. Get­ting her name into the mar­ket was a chal­lenge, but she re­mains un­daunted. “A flower does not think of com­pet­ing with the flower next to it, it just blooms,” Sa­man­tha says. “I be­lieve that with enough hard work, the day of recog­ni­tion for Half Oak Can­dles will come.”

Tak­ing joy in the en­tire process of de­sign­ing a hand-crafted can­dle, Sa­man­tha en­joys com­ing up with new scents and ideas the most. Her lat­est work is her Cof­fee at Luke’s can­dle, which is a blend of hazel­nut, cof­fee, and sugar.

ABOVE Sa­man­tha is in­spired by books, geek­ery and TV and makes scented can­dles ac­cord­ing to how she sees her fa­vorite things. BOT­TOM Although she strug­gles to put Half Oak Can­dles on the map, she be­lieves that her hard work will be re­warded in the fu­ture.


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