Candles are versatile: they can be used to embellish birthday cakes, cast a gentle light in a dark room or fill the air with a pleasant fragrance.
Like so many others, Yezenia Tejeda sees the beauty in candles and loves to incorporate them into her everyday life.
But a couple of years ago, after years of struggling to find candles made with all-natural products and distinctive, organic scents, the Brookfield resident took matters into her own hands — literally.
“I was so used to purchasing candles at big-box and retail stores, and I never found what I wanted,” she said. “I got tired, so one day, I just ordered a candle kit and started making candles.”
After months of experimenting with a variety of sizes, fragrances and styles, she turned her passion project into a small business, Warm Wick, which launched in November 2021.
Blending a dream of creating an all-natural product brand with an affinity for her ethnic roots, Warm Wick candles are created and designed with sustainable and eco-friendly ingredients and a mission of sharing Tejeda’s Latina upbringing.
“Along with wanting to make ‘clean’ candles, I wanted to make candles based on my heritage,” she said.
Tejeda first thought she’d focus on selling candles at local popup markets and online, but after realizing that there are no candle-centric shops in the area, she shifted gears and in July decided to lease a space for Warm Wick in downtown Brookfield.
“Once I saw the place, I knew I had to have it,” she said. “It’s the perfect location. I want to be that go-to candle person, especially since there’s nothing like this in the area.”
Just over two months from first seeing the space, Tejeda will host a grand opening for Warm Wick at 3732 Prairie Ave. on Sept. 24.
With candles featuring flavor-inspired names like “Sangria,” “Piña” and “Tamalitoz” (a Mexican candy) to “La Playa” (the beach), “Dulce Sueños” (sweet dreams), “Abuelita Concha” (grandma’s Mexican sweet bread) and “Un Montón de Amor” (a lot of love), Tejeda ensures each product reflects the strong influence of Mexican culture in her life, brought about from growing up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
Under the description of each candle online, Tejeda also includes a section called “Our Memory,” sharing anecdotes behind the inspiration behind the candle’s creation. Stories include reminiscing on her childhood, working from home during the pandemic, family influences and tidbits about Chicago life.
Using recycled amber jars, each candle is crafted in Tejeda’s Brookfield home with nontoxic fragrance oils, natural soy wax, and either 100-percent cotton wicks or FSC-certified wood wicks. Products used for candle making are all sourced in the U.S., including the oils used to give each candle its distinct scent. The oils come from Midwest Fragrance Company of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Aside from candles, Warm Wick sells wax melts, room sprays, reed diffusers and candle care kits, complete with snuffers, trimmers and pickers needed to keep candles in tip-top shape.
For Tejeda, who has a background as a graphic designer and digital content manager, having each product be homemade from start to finish — from the pouring and cooling to the logo and branding — is a point of pride.
“I try to maintain the natural feel with all my products — even into my packing materials,” she said. “Essentially, every product is the same, yet different.”
While Tejeda makes products in her home, she’s hoping to make room for a candle-making workshop in her new store.
“Every candle that’s made is made with love and hand-poured in small batches,” she said. “Each candle has a story, so I want people to connect and know that we offer a high-quality collection.”
Warm Wick’s hours will be Tues.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit the company’s website at WarmWickCo.com or find them on Instagram at WarmWickCompany or on Facebook at Facebook.com/WarmWickCompany.