I made a candle for a bride-to-be who’s mother had recently passed away; the bride sent me a letter thanking me for the candle and letting me know how much it meant to her and the difference it made feeling like her mum was still part of her day.
We had a great interview this week with Sarah Lowther founder of Mourne Mountain Candles. Sarah provides a bespoke service of beautiful hand blended and poured candles for brides-to-be. Having been a bride herself she knows the level of commitment that goes into making your day appear effortless. Sarah recently relocated from Australia to Northern Ireland and will relaunch her Etsy shop. Her new website will launch early October. Read the interview to find out more.
How did you got inspired to start Mourne Mountain Candles?
For many years I had a high stress career within the logistics industry, candle making was something I did to unwind and indulge my creative side. When we found out I was expecting our first child, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to working in such a high stress environment following his arrival; so I decided to open a little shop on Etsy and see how it went. I soon found I have a passion for both the science and creativity that go into candle making and I absolutely love that I get the opportunity to design customised labels for most of the brides-to-be that I work with.
You moved from Australia to Northern Ireland what was it like?
Professionally, it’s been refreshing. Moving half way across the world has meant having to find new suppliers which has meant lots of testing of new scents; it’s been fun trying them all out and I’m excited about the ones I’ll be offering. Personally, I love that we’ve finally achieved our goal of living in the countryside. Until recently cows and sheep were things our toddler only saw in books, now he gets to see them every day. I love watching the wonder on his face as he explores our new home. I’ve also learnt very quickly the value of a sunny day, it was something I took for granted living in Australia whereas now if the sun’s out; we’re outside and enjoying it.
Do you have any advice for newly weds?
Always make time for the little things that keep you connected as a couple. I found when our son arrived this became more important than ever, your whole relationship changes and if you don’t put the effort in; it’s really easy to loose that connection.
What is your most memorable moment?
Occasionally I’m asked to make memorial candles of loved ones who have passed away. A little while ago I made a candle for a bride-to-be who’s mother had recently passed away; the bride sent me a letter thanking me for the candle and letting me know how much it meant to her and the difference it made feeling like her mum was still part of her day even though she couldn’t be there in person. It really touched me how something that I’ve created could have such a significant meaning to someone else. That moment has really stuck with me and I felt honoured to have been able to help.
Can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you?
Busy! Juggling a toddler and running a small business means I’m on the go from sunup to sundown. I try to wake early each day to respond to client emails, update my social media platforms and write up the new orders for the day; all before my son wakes up. Once he’s up, we spend time together and he likes to try and help me with my candles, I have a little workbench set up for him in the studio where he “makes” his candles while I work on designs for current orders and finish off the candles poured the day prior. After lunch he goes for his nap and it’s time for me to pour all of the orders for the day, I pour my candles to order which means they are always fresh and smell great when they reach my clients.
In the afternoon I package up all of my orders for shipping and then we head to the post office together to send them on their way. Then it’s back home to let my clients know their order has shipped, do a quick stocktake to see if I need to order any supplies and tidy up ready for tomorrow. Working from home it’s really easy to get caught up in your job and just keep going so I try to have a set time that I finish each day and to make sure I take time out to spend with my family. I’ve found putting my phone away of an evening really helps to set boundaries and keep a good work/life balance.
What future plans do you have for Mourne Mountain Candles?
I’ve recently taken the leap to start my own website, which is super exciting and super scary all at the same time; obviously I’d like to see that grow and be successful. I receive a lot of comments from brides-to-be that they’d love to keep a candle for themselves to remind them of their special day, so I’m in the process of launching a home-wares range to allow them to do just that. Beyond that I’m in talks with a couple of other creatives to collaborate on some limited run designs and I’m hoping to have my candles stocked in a few of the local stores early next year.