The Art of Making Scents

 

Written by Chloe Shelby in the March 2016 Issue

John David, owner of JD Home CandlesThe irony is not lost on John David that he ended up in the candle business, after he infamously burned down his childhood home when he forgot to blow out a candle. “I have told others that I just burned the house down in order to get a bigger closet,” jokes David.

Born in Sulphur, David is a proud Okie. Creativity runs in his blood, his mother being an artist and his father a carpenter. As a child, David got the opportunity to help both his father and mother in their differing creative businesses, which formed a solid understanding of quality craftsmanship and beauty which David utilized in his own endeavors.

David moved to Oklahoma City in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself as a design expert. He got his start working at a design company that has since closed, but in turn inspired him to open his own business, Stinson Design Group.

While at market one year, David enjoyed some adult beverages and happened upon a candle vendor. A man came over to ask David his thoughts about the scents, and David was blunt in his assessment, saying he detested the scent and the entire product line. Unbeknownst to David, he was speaking with the owner. While the exchange was embarrassing, the awkward encounter led to a continued discussion about what David preferred. The owner was impressed with David’s knowledge and taste, and asked him to make a new line of candles for his business.

David started working with the owner while still running Stinson Design Group. As his interest in the candle business developed, and his candles increasingly became the top seller, David made the decision to close his store and focus solely on candles. He wanted to continue in making candle lines for others, but also dreamed of creating his own collection. “As an entrepreneur, it’s important to know when to leave something good, so that you can move on to something better,” says David.

David is completely hands-on—he does his own manufacturing so that he can make all decisions when it comes to the end product. From the wick, to the container, to the packaging, he is involved every step of the way.

Solstice line candleDavid has found a huge passion in the candle business and is just getting started. His partner, Al, family and friends have on occasion told him to pace himself, but that’s just not who David is. He has been an entrepreneur from the very beginning and is dedicated to his career. His drive pushes him to work long hours—his work schedule is anything but regular. No day looks the same. It can consist of endless conversations with manufacturers, reps, fragrance houses and responses to an unending stream of emails.

John David worked on his scents for more than three years before he launched six lines in his very own collection. Today, the John David candle collection includes Lux, Signature, Gourmet, Solstice, Lume, Woodral and Vastye.

John David candles are of the best quality. Most candles have a ratio of 4 percent scent-to-wax ratio while all of his candles have 30 percent scent-to-wax ratio. This means that the candles’ scent won’t fade with each use, but will remain strong until the last burn. He uses 100 percent cotton wick in lieu of metal, also featuring a wood wick in his Signature line.

Each candle has three fragrance notes—base, high and middle. His dedication and expertise makes him hyper aware of the time needed to get each scent right and he never rushes the process. When he works on a scent, it takes him an entire day to get the base note perfected. It typically takes 2-3 weeks to get a finished fragrance.

Vastye Candle LineSomething that is special about his products, is the meaning and significance he puts behind each collection. Every female in his family has the name Vastye, and the logo for the line is the signature from his mother’s artworks. In addition, the products are in beautiful containers that can be used for other purposes once the candle has run its course. The Solstice line candles are in a beautiful glass container reminiscent of his grandmother’s candy dishes.

Although he says it’s hard to choose, his favorite candles are from his Signature line. The candles are titled “88” and “83,” named for his and his sister’s birth year. They are the only candles with a wood wick and colored wax. Anything apart from the norm, like colored wax or different wicks, can take years to perfect. Getting it to work is a challenge, but makes the end product even more rewarding. 

David aims to be completely immersed in the candle market nationally and has plans for many lines to come out later this year. He has received acclaim for his efforts through connections made both locally and nationally through market. At least one store in each state has one of his collections.

Learn more about John David and his line of candles at www.JDhome.co.

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