Ashton Kelly Candles
Different aromas spark up different memories or thoughts. For some the smell of cinnamon brings remnants of Christmas or perhaps the smell of pumpkin creates the warm feeling of Fall. Whatever the fragrance, everyone has a favorite smell they associate with their favorite moment or memory.
Sometimes it’s difficult to revisit a past time, but that’s what one local business helps Edmond residents do. They help them relive special memories and create precious moments through the fragrances of their candles.
Ashton Kelly Candles located in Edmond is owned and run by Duane and Becky Ermey. They create and sell a variety of candles. Each candle is made with delicacy and care. “We begin by pouring water into the boiler,” started Becky. “Then we add a slab of wax to the boiler.” “We then bring the wax to a perfect temperature,” stated Duane.
Once the wax is completely melted they put it into a mixing pot. This is where the artistry begins. “We add colors and oils [to the wax]. Each fragrance requires a different amount of additives,” said Duane. It’s in the mixing pots where they create the color and fragrance of the candles. After mixing in all the additives, the wax is poured into the candle holders or jars.
Their work environment is not always comfortable. The Ermeys must keep their building above 80 degrees at all times. “The glass [or candle holders] can not be cool, it has to be warm otherwise it will effect the wax when you pour it in,” Duane said. But they enjoy their work. “It is a real creative and fun business,” said Becky. “I’m a candle fanatic.”
In fact, that’s how the Ermeys got started in the candle business. “We bought Ashton Kelly Candles in May 2004. It was established by the previous owner who had named the business after her daughter,” said Becky. The business actually began in 2000 in the basement of a Stillwater bank.
Becky learned about Ashton Kelly’s when the business moved to Edmond in 2003. “I bought a votive from Ashton Kelly’s then I started to help decorate the front of the building.” The Ermeys bought the store only months later.
Despite Becky’s interest in candles she had never made one before so the previous owner gave the Ermeys a crash course. “From there we learned on our own,” stated Becky. They have since developed ten new fragrances themselves, giving them a total of 72 selections in their collection.
This first year has been quite successful for the Ermeys. Ashton Kelly’s is a registered “Made in Oklahoma” business. They attend a lot of festivals and fairs. “We meet a lot of nice people doing these shows,” said Becky. “It’s amazing. Most people don’t know we’re here, but once they discover us they always come back. Anyone who comes in to buy a candle always returns,” Becky stated.
The Ermeys are well-known for their hyacinth and heather candles. Closely following the popular fragrance are spicy pumpkin, candy cane, and in the summer, strawberry kiwi. Their candles are sold in many different types of containers. Votives, 6 ounce triangular shaped candles, 11 ounce cubes and rectangles and 16 ounce jarred candles with lids are available everyday at Ashton Kelly Candles. They also accept special orders and can create specialty labels, and containers for the candles.
They’re business isn’t solely dependent upon retail though, as a matter of fact; most of their business is wholesale. “We ship our products throughout the United States,” said Becky. “We have the retail shop here because our business is here.” The two biggest resellers they sell to are Heavensent in Stillwater and Ron’s Partridge in a Pear Tree in Salina, Kansas.
The business has created a strong partnership between Duane and Becky. They’re not only husband and wife, and business partners. They’re also mother and father to three grown siblings, one of which, Jennifer, helps them run the store.
Their business has also given them a new sense of pride for where they reside. They lived in Moore until they bought the shop. “We moved to Edmond and we love it,” said Becky.
For more information or to shop for your favorite candle, visit Ashton Kelly Candles located at 1401 E. Ayers, at the intersection of Ayers and Bryant or give them a call at 340-1950.