Have you ever wanted to capture the unique scent blend of your favourite place ? To bottle up that essence of the sea, the spices, the woods, the flora? My guest this week is Maria Hallas, founder of Sussex Special Candles, and she has made some highly scented candles inspired by the English county of Sussex and also her personal experiences of her travels around the world….from Brighton beach to the smells of the Orient. I was sent the Brighton Essence and the Dark Nights candles to review (read my thoughts later in the post) and needless to say I was looking forward to chatting to Maria about her delightful products. Hi Maria….
Hello 😊 My name is Maria Hallas. I’m the founder and the owner of Sussex Special Candles, an entrepreneur and pastry chef by profession.
What inspired the founding of your company, Sussex Special Candles?
The company was inspired by my family, as a stay-at-home mother with a young toddler I wanted to do something to support my family, that at the same time allows me to continue to be creative and artsy.
You have 5 distinct collections: Sussex Special; Boutique; Limited Edition;Treasures; Charisma. What are the main characteristics that set each collection apart from each other?
Sussex Special collection is inspired by iconic places around Sussex with the desire to experience the spirit and to bring this great outdoors inside in the comfort of our homes.
Boutique collection is a collection with our first signature bestsellers with scents which are mirroring emotions and occasions.
Limited Edition collection is for experimental and seasonal candles. For limited time we release some of the candles, in this collection you might also find our holiday themed candles.
Treasures is a collection inspired by personal journeys around the world.
Charisma is a collection created with the idea to bring charm and beauty through the fragrance of the candles.
What is currently the most popular candle fragrance and/or collection?
The most popular collection naturally is The Sussex Special collection as the most purchased candles are the Brighton Essence and Enchanted Forest candles.
What’s your most favourite candle fragrance or collection?
My most favourite collection is the Sussex Special collection, this is the collection that so far is the result of our longest labour and is the most intertwined with memories, emotions and experiences. As my most favourite candle fragrances are the floral River Adur, the citrusy Elegant Touch, the fruity Lucious Gem and the musky Golden Rush.
When deciding fragrances to add to your soy wax candle collections, do you select by what has proved popular with other candle makers, current trends, customer requests, personal preferences or all of those things?
I believe that a successful candle business is original and unique and must craft products that are different from what’s already available on the market. That been said Sussex Special is a customer orientated company and we do listen to our customers, for instance the Hurst Meadow candle is inspired from a customer who was looking for a freshly cut grass candle.
What do you like most about using soy wax for your candles? Do you find candle making therapeutic?
As a consumer I do enjoy the clean and the long burn of a soy candle and as a candle maker I appreciate the lack of any odour in the soy wax that might eventually interfere with the fragrance oil and affect the finished product. Candle making as a hobby might be therapeutic, but as a business owner, the therapy of making candles is somewhere lost along the lines.
As Sussex Special is based in the UK, are your products on the website available to purchase & ship worldwide?
Our online shop is hosted on Shopify, we do also have Etsy and Amazon shops and our candles are available for purchase worldwide.
Hypothetically speaking, if you could travel to any place to inspire a new candle collection, where would you go and why?
I loved this question, thank you for asking! As a matter of fact, I have already been inspired and I’m currently working on a new collection that will be ready in the next couple of months. So if I were to be newly inspired, I would love to travel to Asia to experience a burst of spices, flavours, smells, colours, and textures. I’m absolutely fascinated by the Asian culture and so far, we have 2 Asian influenced candles Oriental Delight and Dragon Heart.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Normally I wear smart-casual with outweigh on jeans, t-shirts, and trainers.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
In our family we mainly shop online, from a variety of online stores. My latest obsessions are the home décor items, which I’m using for props, since at the moment I’m the photographer and the content creator of Sussex Special. We also do quite a bit of Amazon and eBay shopping purely because of the convenience.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Dresses and jackets are always on my wish list, I just love a nice, feminine, and elegant dress combined with a chic jacket.
Boots or Shoes?
To be honest, before I dived into the motherhood, I had a shoe addiction, I was the type of woman who bought shoes for the sake of buying shoes, as most of them has never been worn and were still packed in their boxes. But since motherhood creates substantial lifestyle changes, I would now answer boots to this question, mostly because of the weather in the UK.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Sussex Special Candles
Our website is: https://www.sussexspecial.co.uk/
As you might also follow us on the social media:
DISCLAIMER ALERT: The candles have been supplied by Sussex Special Candles for the purpose of this review however all opinions expressed are 100% mine.
Hmmm…. Candles! These are certainly one of a kind. Smartly presented in glass jars – I particularly liked the fragrance notes that come with each fragrance. A bit like a wine connoisseur- you can read the fragrance notes, take a good sniff, light the wick and then take your bath luxuriating in your bubbles and the heady aroma. Out of the two candles I tried, Brighton Essence was a favourite with both myself and my daughter. You can definitely smell the jasmine, sea salt, and other fruity aromas …. I just love the smell of jasmine! I can’t decide which fragrance to try next … possibly the Mountain Dream limited edition 😊. Thanks to Sussex Special Candles.
All photographs (apart from the featured /header/Pinterest photo of Brighton Essence/Dark Skies – that was taken by Linda Hobden) have been published with kind permission of Sussex Special Candles.