One thing I've noticed about our maritime makers is how much the region's natural and colourful landscape shapes and presents itself in their products. Whether they feature the faint scent of pine, the perfectly imperfect cut of a stone, or the wild and free-spirited nature of the sea, the items brought to life by our maritime vendors are unique and true to the land, the lifestyle, and the people.
One such maker-duo and its products is Kelsey Wier and Ben Brush of Foxhound Collection, a small-batch candle company in Truro, N.S. Kelsey (owner and creator) and Ben (brand director and graphic designer) run their multidisciplinary studio out of their love of minimalist design and classic feel. While they focus mostly on candle-making, the collection extends to and includes such items as slingshots and dream catchers.
The Foxhound Collection candles are hand-poured with pure soy wax and feature fine fragrance oils and cotton wicks. Their current candle collection launched in early 2015 was created with nostalgia in mind, and inspired by peaceful adventures and seasonal wonders.
This week, Kelsey was kind enough to share their company's inspiring story.
When and why did you start Foxhound Collection? Did you always have an interest in candle-making and turning it into a business?
The idea for Foxhound Collection started in 2012 by my boyfriend Ben Brush. We created it together as an experimental Etsy shop; a place where we could dabble in our creative interests and have fun. Screen-printed tshirts, macrame, paintings, prints, dream catchers and sling shots are some of the items we've created. This eventually brought us to candle-making late last year, and in January 2015 I re-imagined Foxhound as a business I wanted to grow, and for now our focus is solely candles.
I had no idea I would do anything like this! Back in 2012 I had no confidence and did not believe in myself. I had a constant struggle of wanting to create and wanting to quit because of this lack of self-support in my life. I don't want to get too sappy here, but truly every day I am thankful that Foxhound exists. It has helped me to overcome and now it helps me to grow.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Our scents are inspired by nostalgia, whether it be a road-trip exploring Nova Scotia's beautiful landscape or something as simple as sipping a homemade cocktail and lounging in the backyard. Everything is beautiful and worthy of being remembered!
What is your creative process?
Our real need for creativity now is when we want to bring in a new fragrance. It always starts with an idea. Something we enjoy and think people can relate to.
Example: Ben knew he wanted a Bourbon scent - we love creating classic cocktails at home! So we got down to business and gathered about 50 fragrance samples we thought might help us get there. With a lot of patience, tests, and a little luck, we found three separate fragrances that when combined in the perfect ratio gave us what we wanted - and that is our Apple Bourbon candle.
What materials do you use?
Our jars we source locally right here in Nova Scotia by a Canadian owned and operated manufacturer/distributor. We use 100% pure soy wax from a family owned farm in Iowa; cotton wicks and high quality phthalate-free fragrance oils made in the US. These oils are often used in soap making so they are skin-safe and follow strict global guidelines. There are no dyes or additives in our candles and our ingredients are not tested on animals.
What does creating your products mean to you?
Bringing an idea like this into reality is a very personal thing, and when you get the support from your community, fellow makers and customers, there is no greater reward or feeling of accomplishment!
I respect all of these people and I know that candles are not a necessity of life. I wanted ours to be the perfect accessory and to be really worth it! I wanted them to be simple and sophisticated so they could double as home decor, and also be delicate in scent so people could enjoy them often.
On top of that we encourage people to reuse their empty jars! Plant a little cactus or succulent in them, or use them to hold pens. I keep a candle for myself now and then and it's been fun trying to find new uses to share!
What's the story behind "Foxhound Collection"?
Foxhound Collection originally started as Fox & Hound Collection! It was a fun way to represent myself and Ben and we wanted something that left it open to make and sell a variety of things - our collection! It kind of merged itself together naturally, we found ourselves calling it Foxhound as a shortcut and decided to go with it. Since then, I've taken on Foxhound as my own while Ben has his own freelance design business! He was the direction behind our minimal label and helps to pour when we can.
What's been your greatest challenge and success so far?
My biggest challenge right now is time! Ben and I both work full time jobs, we both come home and work on our separate small businesses, AND we're building a house! Our candles are getting the most attention ever right now and I'm trying to say yes to every opportunity that comes along to keep that momentum going!
I approach every aspect of this as a great success! Every sale, retail opportunity, new follower, repeat buyer - all of it gets celebrated!
What are your goals for Foxhound Collection in the future?
My ultimate goal is to make this my only source of income. To live on a nice piece of land in our tiny house with a large garden and maybe some chickens for fresh eggs. With an on-site studio for Foxhound Collection, of course! :)
Thanks for sharing, Kelsey. We're so happy to have this beautiful collection at LQ! Shop Foxhound Collection in-store or online.
*Most photos by Foxhound Collection.