Name of business: Belle’s Candles
Type of business: Scented goods
Location: Instagram - @bellescandles; Deliveries to Turlock and surrounding area
Contact information: 209-202-7370
Specialty: Handmade soy candles
History of business:
As a mom of three, Turlock resident Aerielle Gutierrez spends a lot of time at home. She often makes the most of that time by spending it with her children, but about eight months ago while searching for family-friendly crafts on the Internet, a business was born.
“I had stopped working and wanted a hobby to do, so one day when I was ‘Pinterest-ing,’ I saw how to make candles and thought it sounded fun,” said Gutierrez. “I’ve seen people who make soap and lotions in town, but I hadn’t seen any candles. I’m glad I started because it’s been pretty fun, and it’s definitely good to have something to do.”
The name of her business, Belle’s Candles, came from the nickname her mother gave her as a child, she said. Gutierrez specializes in handcrafting scented candles from soy wax, which she says can be healthier than other candles typically created with paraffin wax.
“Soy wax is all natural from a soy plant, and the other wax has more chemicals which makes it harsher for you to breathe,” she said.
Soy candles don’t emit the same dark smoke that most candles do, she added, meaning no black rings around the inside of your candle jars.
“I would definitely rather burn soy candles in my house,” said Gutierrez.
The candle-making process only took Gutierrez about a month to master. She first melts down her wax, then adds scented oils to give candles their desired fragrance. During the fall and winter, her most popular scents were pumpkin spice and apple, she said, and in preparation for spring, Gutierrez is preparing to unveil floral and fruity scents.
“I usually make between 12 and 24 candles a week,” she said. “They’re usually a lighter scent than something with paraffin wax, but the soy candles are better for smaller spaces.”
Gutierrez takes candle orders through her Instagram account, and hand delivers candles twice per week. She also sells them during the Central Park Evening Market, which runs in the spring through late summer, and also in Lipstick and Grit Salon and Boutique, located in downtown Turlock.
It’s been just eight months since she began her business endeavor, but it has already given her renewed purpose in life, she said.
“Of course I love mothering, but you can get to wondering, ‘Is this all that I’m good at, just being a parent inside all day?’” said Gutierrez. “A lot of my customers are women and moms too, but I just like connecting with my customers and feeling like I haven’t lost my identity in being a parent.”