Kathy LaVanier was born, raised and educated in Minnesota, which may explain her earnest and sincere Mid-western style. She married her husband Bill forty years ago when he was in his ninth year in the Navy. In addition to being one of the world’s foremost candle and fragrance experts, Kathy enjoys art and photography, and is a featured artist at Hayley Gallery in New Albany, Ohio. With an appreciation for fragrance, she spends her free time tending to her ever-expanding gardens — when she’s not riding her motorcycle or playing with her dog.
Candle making may seem simple – it’s not! We assumed we just needed to find someone who knew how to pour a sweet-smelling wax into a glass container – we were wrong!
Thank goodness a friend introduced us to Kathy. She has dedicated the last three decades of her life to the art of candle making and has developed candles for such companies as the Limited, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. She served as Vice President of Wicks ‘n’ Sticks and General Manager of Illuminations before starting her own company in 2011. She serves on the board and is the Vice President of the National Candle Association, which is recognized as the leading authority on candle manufacturing. Kathy is the expert in her field.
We learned from Kathy that there is a large variation in technique and a huge spectrum of quality in the candle-making industry. We also learned that a hot throw (the scent of a candle as it burns) should be just as good as the cold throw (its scent on the shelf.) We learned that there is a difference in the way soy and paraffin burn; that some candles are marketed as environmentally-friendly when they are not; that many candles discolor and emit black soot; and that selecting the correct wick is extremely important. Kathy spent countless hours with us, ensuring that we created appropriate fragrances for each of our symbols – a soft rain flower scent for our Harmony candle; an invigorating basil and mint scent for our Energy candle, etc. We are so grateful to this amazing artist and are captivated with the final results. We are certain that you will be, too!