Tag Archives: candles

Meet the Maker: North Mountain Candle Company

Callie Altman, owner of North Mountain Candle Company, has been making candles for twelve years. Her journey began one Christmas while trying to come up with a way to make gifts for the holiday budget-friendly. She decided to take her love of candles to the next level and make a few herself. They were a hit with her friends and family, and over the next year she transformed the experiment into a business that continues to reflect her love of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

North Mountain Candle Company takes its name from an actual mountain in a small former mining community called Longdale, where Callie grew up.

Photo Credit: Brittany Smejkal, Eccentric Photography

“Almost all of my childhood memories involve the outdoors in some way, shape or form,” Callie recalls. “From hiking along the Appalachian Trail to camping at Douthat State Park, or fishing on the Cowpasture River. The main driving force behind my business is to share my love of the Blue Ridge Mountains around the world. It’s a wonderful place to live, grow up, and raise a family. Our scents are inspired by this area.”

With scents like Mill Mountain Magnolia, Hotel Roanoke Spoonbread, and Smith Mountain Lake House, just lighting one of these unique creations is enough to take anyone back to their best memories of Southwest Virginia. Every candle is 100% handmade. Callie and her family try to get everything they use for the candles locally to support local sustainable businesses. They don’t mass produce anything, and there are no machines. Every inch of the process from making the candles to printing off labels is done by hand.

When she isn’t making candles, Callie can be found throughout the community teaching classes at the Omni Homestead or set up anywhere from small school fundraising events to large vintage or antique shows.

This summer, North Mountain Candle Company can be found on and off at the Grandin Village Farmers Market. Currently, they are a fill-in when other vendors are unavailable, but it is a placement that Callie hopes will become permanent in the future. Customers can also find her products in The Hodge Podge across from Lord Botetourt High School, in the Local Artisans section at Natural Bridge State Parks, and The Flower Center in Clifton Forge. Of course, if you cannot make it to any of these locations, you can always check out her selection and order online at www.northmountaincandles.com.

All photos in this post courtesy of Brittany Smejkal, Eccentric Photography. 

Sydney Hale Company

Candles are a staple in almost every household. It is easy to go the grocery store and purchase a big name brand, but once the pleasant smell has dissipated (most often, very quickly), you are restocking on your next trip, and your investment no longer seems worthy of its price.
If you haven’t already, it is time to consider investing in candles that support local businesses, are made with soy, and last longer than the cheap candles to which you are accustomed.
Sydney_Hale_Co._Soy_Candle_Bergamot_Black_Tea_largeSydney Hale Company’s candles are handmade in small batches right here in Virginia. Their premium soy wax blend, double cotton wick, and 50 hour burn time makes them stand out among any competition. Traditionally crafted and tastefully fragrant, they will quickly become a household staple.
Purchasing just one candle from Sydney Hale Company helps support the Purcellville, Virginia business, which is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, Meghan and Chris Cook. They have two employees and three shop dogs. Their more than 26 signature fragrance products are available in over 150 boutique retail locations across the USA and Canada.
Everything is handmade in a small 700 square foot studio lending to a truly ‘small batch’ operation. And, if you needed any additional reasons to try their products, 10% of their profits are donated to dog rescue— a cause very important to them.
Not only can you purchase their products on their website, but you can also see snap shots of dogs they have sponsored every month for The Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. Visit www.sydneyhaleco.com for more information on this local company doing great things for our area.

Hosting a Dinner Party

Some might call the dinner party a lost art, but gathering family and friends around the table to eat great food, drink fantastic wine and enjoy each other’s company is the perfect way to celebrate. Creating an elegant, effortless evening to remember is easier than one might think.

Perfecting the dinner party is about putting people at ease and creating an environment that encourages conversation and laughter – the two most important elements of a successful dinner party. So, instead of trying to impress guests with fancy culinary skills or decorating prowess, focus on five simple tips:

1. Light can be the life of the party

From glowing centerpieces to sparkling votive candles, elegant party lighting is always a bright idea. Candles set the mood and create ambiance – and allow your guests to truly shine.

2. Let the wine flow

The right wine can perfect the moment and no dinner party would be complete without it. Greet guests with a bright and beautiful sparkling rose and keep it flowing during the cocktail hour. During dinner, offer one red and one white wine.

3. Of course dessert is a food group!

Dessert is the perfect way to end an amazing meal. Leave your guests floating on air with angel food cake topped with a Prosecco-infused frosting.

4. Don’t let guests leave empty-handed

Giving guests a little something to take home when they leave extends the good vibes. Say goodnight in a unique way by sending guests home with a bottle of wine or votive candle to re-create the magic in their own home.

New Image365. Remember to breathe

If you’re having fun, your guests will too. Take a deep breath and, while you’re at it, give your red wine a little air, too. Aerators open up the aromas and flavors, making every sip better.

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Your bridesmaids have been there through thick and thin. Every time you were stressed. Every time you needed to vent about bad service, your slow-growing hair, or (gasp!) your almost in-laws– they have let you have your say and assured you that in the end, it will all work out. Let them know how much you appreciate them by putting some thought in to their gifts. In addition to individual personalization (check out our Pinterest for ideas), consider splurging a little for your best friends. Here are some ideas for a gift they will enjoy and remember for years to come:

Put together a gift basket: 

VAN_CANDLE__02220_1391360474_451_416MSC Skin Care + Home has a variety of gifts for everyone in your wedding party. We love their soy candles. In addition to the benefits of using 100% pure soy wax, they offer many unique scent combinations like Bourbon Vanilla and Oak, Ginger and Vanilla, Agave Nectar and Green Tea and more! Their impressive skin care line includes moisturizers, exfoliating scrubs, lip creams, herbal spa soaks– everything you need to gift the gift of a DIY spa experience. They also offer products for men– just in case you end up buying gifts for the groomsmen as well!

tuberose_body_creme_copy_web_1Your girls will love Kat Burki’s Signature Body Creme. The packaging is beautiful on its own, so you will not need to waste any time wrapping it. Additionally, the quick absorbing, ultra-rich creme offers long-lasting hydration with Tamanu and Jojoba Oils while a proprietry organic herb blend works to calm and soothe skin. It is available in four signature fragrances: Tuberose, Freesia & Pink Grapefruit, White Orchid & Poppy, and Lilac & Rosemary. Go to Kat’s website for more information and to purchase a few for your friends!

Day or Weekend Trips:

Take a spur of the moment adventure together to a place that is an easy driving distance from your home. The distance gives you a little flexibility for those that cannot spend the whole weekend away. The Floyd Artisan Tour, from June 14-16, is perfect for those who desire the option for many different activities but do not want to travel out of state. The three day tour features over 50 locations across Floyd County with activities at artisan home studios, galleiries and shops, wineries, farms and farm markets, restaurants, and lodging sites. Some of these stops will offer specials, discounts, or complimentary items to tour visitors. Check out their website for more information.

Pick up our June { celebrations!! } issue of Bella Magazine for more gift ideas for your wedding party and the newlyweds!