When The Candle Pour opened this past spring, Hyde Park Village added yet another reason to love the neighborhood more. The custom candle shop joins many wonderful tenants where you can shop, eat, drink. Now you can add getting creative to that list. 

After making your way to the second story and opening the candle shop door, you’re instantly greeted with a light and lovely array of fragrances. You’ll also be welcomed by the friendly staff; ready to attend to any questions you have.

Amidst the warm, modern, and minimalistic surroundings, your custom candle-making journey begins. Customers are supplied a clipboard with a scent card that includes more than 100 conveniently alphabetized fragrances from which to choose. Classics range from cinnamon spice and coconut to the less common cake batter, whipped cream, and tomato leaf.

Time spent in The Candle Pour is solely dependent on the individual; the more decisive with your fragrances, the quicker the process. Explained Misty Akers, who founded The Candle Pour with her husband, Dennis, “The longest part depends on the person. Some will literally smell every candle, and there’s over 100. Others know the kind of direction they want to go; they have their board, and they’re looking for fresh and maybe floral. Those are the ones they’ll focus on. So, it’ll take them less time.”

Each candle is all-natural soy made from premium oils and uses a cotton wick. For those who want to go sans flame, there are a handful of great non-allergenic options from reed diffusers, linen, room and body sprays, wax melts, and essential oils to use in diffusers. Going the flameless route is terrific for dorm rooms or people with kids and pets that might be apt to knock a candle over. And the best part is, it’s ready in a jiffy! You mix your oil, pour it, shake it, and take it home.

Never feeling rushed, you’re free to take as much or as little time as you need browsing and breathing in all the amazingness located along the scent wall. Circle 10-15 of the scents you like and star the ones that really catch your nose – it’s that simple. No need to get particular at this point; have fun with it.

Once your card is complete, have a seat at the scent bar (matchsticks inspired its façade) and get ready to dig into your selections. The bar is elegantly set with everything you need to begin your custom creation; a tray, a double jigger, a spoon (for stirring the oils and smelling the mix), and a wick trimmer.

After reviewing your card, your personal pourtender gets to work helping to blend a concoction that delightfully tickles the nose hairs and awakens your senses. “We custom-create for you with your favorites in mind,” said Akers.

Just as a bartender mixes cocktails to get that perfect taste you’re craving, The Candle Pour staff accomplishes with oils to achieve that ideal scent. Their knowledge will guide you to the best smell you’ve ever had waft through your home. Hence, a customer coined staff as the “pourtenders”.

The crew at The Candle Pour strives to make sure every customer’s experience and the product they take home is memorable and perfect. “If they love it, we’ll build on those scents. If you have one that you love, but you’re not feeling the other, let’s put it back,” Akers said.

“We want you to love it. We don’t want you to settle; we want you to be completely wowed by what you create. Once they find it, they’re like, ‘This is it!’”

Said Akers of the plethora of fragrances, “It’s fun to get people to think outside their comfort zone a little bit. We have some cool, different scents that you might not necessarily think of. There’s one called ‘old books’”.

The name says it all; it’s literally reminiscent of an old library. Close your eyes and think back to libraries, the shelves full of books with worn covers and musty pages that have been checked out by thousands of readers over the years. Your imagination conjures up a scent, and that’s precisely what’s in the aromatics of that oil. Put that in a bottle and call it old books. “It’s not a scent that people are necessarily familiar with, but it’s really unique and makes a great pairing.”

The staff takes care of all the boring stuff. Pouring the wax into your chosen vessel, they will make sure the candles are wicked and that it sets and smooths properly.

“Our team is our pride; we treat them as family,” said Akers. “They’re an amazing, cohesive group who go above and beyond to really wow our customers. When we hear, ‘Amanda was great, or Claire helped us again’; that’s what keeps us going. Our whole purpose is interacting, guiding, and working with our customers. Our team wants to provide an exceptional and memorable experience.”

That experience is something you can’t find online. “We wanted something that was an experience, and it couldn’t be taken out by Amazon or something,” explained Akers. “And you get to walk away with something.”

The hands-on component can’t be replicated in an online setting, but The Candle Pour is in the process of including the option to create your own candle via their web site. However, the experience of using your nose to attract you to the scents, obviously, isn’t possible.

“People come up with blends that you wouldn’t think paired well and once you try it, it’s like, Wow. And there are literally over a million different combinations that you could do with everything we have. That’s what neat, too. There’s typically not a candle that’s the same as another one we’ve made. It’s that unique; somebody walks out with a candle that’s the only one of its kind.”

It takes up to two hours for your candle to set. If you’d like to take your candle creation home the same day, you’re invited to go grab a bite to eat or do some shopping around Hyde Park Village. When your candle is ready, it’s placed in a beautiful decorative bag and with a matchbook.

Candles are powerful. The aroma they emit has the ability to transport a person to a favorite place or evoke happy memories.

Their candles and sprays make wonderful gifts for birthdays, holidays, or even something more unique. “Say you and I have been friends for a while, said Akers, and we took a trip to Costa Rica or done something together. For your birthday, I could come in and browse the fragrances for something that reminds me of our trip together.”

Akers did the same for herself. “I grew up in Ruskin, and my dad grew tomatoes as a business for years. I created one candle of greenhouse, earth, and tomato leaf, and it reminds me of home and walking through the field with him, going up to the greenhouse. All the smells bring me back to my time with him.”

“People can make their own gift out of those memories. It’s not that expensive, but it adds a lot of value to be able to do that, and it’s really sentimental. Some have come in on anniversaries; a couple who were just married that day came in and created their own special candle.”

Recently, a grandfather and uncle of a newborn came into The Candle Pour, seeking a unique gift for their granddaughter/niece. They decided to make a new candle for her each year. “The first year will have sunflower and each year they’ll blend sunflower with one new fragrance oil choice,” Akers said. “The next year will have those two scents plus another, and they’ll build on the chosen scents from the candle before it.”

“It’ll be really neat for her when she’s old enough to appreciate what they did. And it was two guys. A lot of people think candles and candle-making are just for women.”

Dennis Akers added, “We had a group of flight attendants come into the shop one day. One said, ‘I sprayed the fragrance in my hotel room because it reminds me of home.’” The spray bottles fit the permitted carry-on size.

“It’s kind of like music; it’s just a different sense,” Akers observed. “With music, you hear a song; it reminds you of where you were when you heard it. Candle fragrances do the same thing, which is really cool.”

“I like being able to do that; it’s neat. And it’s rewarding for us. We put in a lot of hours and a lot of time away from our kids; sweat equity. It’s a lot of sacrificing that we’ve done. Watching people get excited; it makes it worth it.”

An item you personally created can be treasured for months. And when the candle has been entirely burned, you can always go back for more scent-creating fun with the crew at The Candle Pour. Every purchase comes with a candle care card. For the candle to last and produce the best results possible, there is a very particular process on how to properly burn a candle.

Snuffers and wick trimmers, which can add life to your creation, are available for purchase at The Candle Pour. You can also gift the experience to a loved one with a gift card

All the sacrifices Misty and Dennis Akers are making have helped turn The Candle Pour into the hit of Hyde Park Village. “It makes you feel good that you’re doing something right.”

Whether it’s girl’s night, date night, a group event, or a team outing with your company; whether you want to custom make a scent that recreates a memory or create a new memory, The Candle Pour is the perfect interactive destination.

Stop in The Candle Pour for an unforgettable experience discovering your personal scent combination. It may not even be what you think!

Candle range from $25-$55

Flameless options range from $15-$35

If properly cared for, a candle will burn at the following:

8 ounce: 60 hours
12 ounce: 80-90 hours

Photo courtesy of The Candle Pour Facebook and Author