I was born to a chemist and an artist. I remember days spent at home, painting, coloring, and just being creative with whatever materials were handy. I also remember the permeating scents of beeswax, oil paint and turpentine, since my mother was an avid painter and batik artist. My friends always used to tell me that I was an artist, too.
I graduated in 1989 with a BFA in drawing, painting and printmaking, and an almost-minor in music. During the summers off from school, I was the assistant director of the Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, Iowa, and also taught calligraphy classes and children’s marbling, papermaking and abstract painting. We lived in Seattle for six years, and returned to our families in Iowa, where I taught piano lessons for thirteen years.
In 2000, I became interested in making candles for Christmas gifts. I was then a piano teacher at home with my two children. Little did I know that my online search would lead me to all sorts of information about a new innovation in the candle industry- soy. I turned out some pretty nice candles for gifts, after exhaustive attempts and several duds. After many, "hey, you should make this into a business" comments, I thought I might just do that. I attended entrepreneurial classes, and tested hundreds of fragrances and soy blends. After 18 months of testing, I went 'public' with an open house in my home in 2002. I began wholesaling to stores in 2004, and continue to keep quite busy with candles. I moved my operations out of the home, and have had a shop for ten years where I can produce my candles for wholesale and retail sale, and for my online site. During the summers, I attend four weekly Farmer's Markets, where I have a growing following for my soaps and lotions, as well as seasonal candles. I found soap making eleven years ago, and that has become another addition (or addiction?) to my creative arsenal. Things keep evolving, and I find that I'm utilizing and combining many things that I have learned along the way.