Maker Story: Colina Bruce, Noir Lux Candle Co.
Colina Bruce wasn’t planning to launch a company from her kitchen, especially not one unrelated to food.
But global pandemics have a way of redirecting our best-laid plans, and Noir Lux Candle Co. was born in the heart of Colina’s Seattle home in 2020.
After working in non-profits and education for over fifteen years, Colina was used to “being in direct contact and service with people,” she said. That included weekly coffee dates and happy hours. So, when her former routine was no longer an option, and she began spending most of her time at home, Colina “started trying to find ways to practice self-care.”
Colina took the money she was used to spending at Starbucks and after-work get-togethers to build a small budget for candle research and development.
“It was just kind of a passion project,” Colina told us.
Until it wasn’t.
Colina started selling her candles to friends and family. Word spread quickly beyond her loved ones, so she decided to look for—and reach out to—like-minded, local companies where she could wholesale. One of those companies happened to be Made In Washington.
Connecting with Made In Washington
Made In Washington is built on synergies between makers and customers. Our greatest joy comes from connecting the right products to the right people, products that remind them why they (and we) love Washington as much as we do.
Impressed with Colina’s eco-friendly, clean burning candles, we quickly got her set up to sell, collaborating, as she noted, “to take a temperature on things that are working and not working.” As a team, she and our buyer work closely to assess bestsellers, listen to customer feedback, and make the occasional pivot.
For example, Colina mentioned her customers were hoping to pick up their candles the same day. Because she lives so close to our stores and is so nimble, Colina’s been able to bring customer orders directly to each Made In Washington store. We often see her at one of our Seattle-area locations, dropping off boxes of orders. Not all makers can do this, but because Noir Lux is headquartered minutes from our Pike Place Market location and not much further from the Bellevue and Alderwood Malls, we are able to offer many of Colina’s customers day-of pickups at their preferred location.
Additionally, stopping into the stores has taught Colina about other Made In Washington small businesses. “I’m learning a lot about other makers in the community,” Colina says. When Noir Lux joined Made In Washington, we sent an email to our customers announcing the new partnership. We have found our makers to be wonderfully supportive of each other, and we’re glad Colina’s enjoyed that experience.
Noir Lux Co.’s All Natural Soy Wax Candles
One of Colina’s mottos—and one of Noir Lux’s, too—is: “I like my candles how I like my people: non-toxic.”
Several things set Noir Lux Candle Co. apart: The 100% natural soy wax candles are eco-friendly, scented with high-quality 100% phthalate-free fragrance oils, created in small batches, hand-poured in reusable jars, and use 100% natural clean burning wood wicks.
Whew! Not many candle companies can say as much. Plus, Colina’s local pride shines through in each collection she launches. She often adds Washington scents like spruce, sea salt, and apple to her candles.
A Little More About Those Crackling Wood Wicks
Colina tested other wick types while developing Noir Lux and quickly landed on what we think are some of the best crackling candles we’ve ever met (or smelled).
“They crackle and they burn, which is very Washington,” Colina told us, and her research showed something even more critical. The horizontal wick in every eco-friendly candle burns closely to the wax, allowing it to melt more slowly and across the jar, which helps each candle last longer. “You also don’t get the tunneling,” Colina affirmed.
Each 11-ounce jar boasts 60+ hours of delightful, cozy burn time. It’s little details like these that really set our makers apart.
It’s All About Local Love
Because everything we do is rooted in our love of our state, we had to ask Colina the question we ask all of our makers—her favorite thing about Washington.
“Seattle summers,” she told us. “I named a candle after Seattle summers!” she exclaimed.
“Seattle Summer” was one of the candles that launched Noir Lux, taking its place in a collection Colina dreamed up while at home and waxing (pun-intended) poetic on the nostalgia of iconic Seattle warm-weather events: Bumbershoot, Bite of Seattle, Seafair, and the Blue Angels.
If you’re looking for candles with names that make you smile, like “Big Lit Energy,” non-toxic fall candles, natural Christmas candles, or clean burn, locally-made waxy flames, keep checking our website for the latest from Noir Lux.
Noir Lux Candle Co., a woman and Black-owned candle company committed to self-care, good vibes, and nostalgia, is designed, crafted, and made in Seattle, WA.