The power of smell is such a personal aspect of someone’s aesthetic. And even more, how their home, office, or personal space smells. Sofia Svensk of Svensk Candles has made the switch from daytime hobby to now her full-time passion. We got to walk through her process from heating wax to the finished product.
Raised with a Swedish heritage and nurtured by the Californian Spirit, Sofia Svensk’s candle making hobby soon turned out to be a very lucrative concept. Everything from her 5 staples scents, you can catch the candle maven in basically every chic boutique this side of the Peninsula. “I initially started Svensk as a hobby, something creative and something different than my desk job. Pretty quickly I realized that I had a pretty awesome concept on my hands when I noticed that no brands were doing the same thing. It is very difficult to find a candle that ONLY uses essential oils and no fragrance oils. It took a while for me to realize that this is something that I could actually do full time, and now I am so happy I do!” As proud owners of Sofia’s creations, we see the craftsmanship pours out of her so naturally. Everyone from Seldom Seen to Alana Oates either stock or own her candles and for good reason.
Each candle is hand poured and not outsourced to be made. Everything you see in these photographs legitimately shows off her technique.
One would think that Sofia would have an arsenal of favorable scents to try but this mixologist sticks to her staple 5, “5 was a tangible and reachable goal for me at the time. I did not want to rush off and create a bunch of scents,
but instead wanted to put love into each one that I created.
I chose my scents very carefully, always keeping the benefits and effects each essential oil has, in mind. As an emerging brand, I also want to make sure that my customers could pinpoint my brand and not get distracted by too many options.“
A quality over quantity factor plays into Sofia’s creations which her customers really identify with. And this babe isn’t just pouring a candle or two, she’s making about 60 lbs of wax worth. “(Making candles is) definitely a lot of labor of love. I will melt about 60 lbs of wax at a time that takes about 1 hour. A batch of candles (8 candles), take about 15 minutes of prep work, about an hour for cooling and hardening and then another 20 minutes to add stickers, put in in our muslin I like the fact that I am able to touch each product leaving my studio. From prep work to pouring all the way to branding and eventually shipping it, I do everything.”
And what’s her proudest moment throughout her entire journey? “Quitting my full-time job! I am now officially a full-time business owner, I never thought that day would come. It’s such an amazing feeling make your dream a reality. I never want waiting to become a habit ever again. I want to continue living my life and make dreams happen, this is just the beginning.”
To describe Sofia’s candles is like having a warm campfire around a beautifully green mossy forest. The aromatic charms of woodlands mixed with her potent and light use of essential oils. “I spent the majority of my childhood i n Sweden outdoors, always playing in a creek, making snowmen or swimming in the baltic sea. As children we are very free to explore and it created a great appreciation for the outdoors.
I knew when I started my own business that I only wanted to use natural ingredients because it is what I have used myself most of my life and what I loved to surround myself with.
The other side to this is that Swedes spend a lot of time indoors because of harsher weather. The winters are long and dark and we are forced to stay indoors. This has influenced the Swedes to carefully choose what goes into their homes and what doesn’t. We are known to love simple yet elegant design and that is exactly what I try to embody in my candles.”
And as a Swedish girl living in San Francisco, we had to ask Sofia her fave places to go, how do we become more like Sofia, “I just found this super funky place called “Delightful!” on Polk street. It is a reflexology massage place with super cheap one-hour massages. Tell them to go light! I also love sticking around my Cole Valley hood, Zazie, Padrecito and all that good stuff. Just ate at Chubby Noodle for the first time in the Marina (Maybe everyone already knows that place is delicious), Sushi Bistro!”
Sidewalk Hotdog or Mission Burrito - I want to say sidewalk hotdog but that’s so nasty haha! Only because I don’t love burritos, don’t judge me.
Muni or Metro - Metro by far
Dolores Park or Alamo Square - Dolores Park
Valencia Street Shopping or Haight Ashbury Shopping - Valencia Street Shopping
Your favorite tourist trap? - I love me a good Alcatraz trip. Everyone visiting always wants to go there so I feel like I’ve been at least 5-6 times.
// Find more of Sofia’s candles on her website. Don’t hesitate because they all smell fabulous!