Thursday 28 September 2023

Small Business Spotlight - From Friendship To Flames: Smoke + Matches

handmade soy candles, hand poured soy candles, concrete trays, concrete candles, mikhila mcdaid candles,
image taken from smoke + matches website

Welcome back

In a world filled with mass-produced products, there's something special that comes with buying handcrafted items. Imagine relaxing at home with the soft flicker of candlelight and the smell of a stunning fragrance filling the room, while supporting a small business. That's precisely what my friend, Khila, and her friend Karen have brought to life by launching their new business, Smoke + Matches.

When Smoke + Matches launched, I purchased 3 of the products and will be sharing my honest opinions of those products in this post, but first I want to tell you all about Smoke + Matches because simply put, I'm really proud of my friend Khila.

About Smoke + Matches & The creators

My lovely friend Khila met Karen when they both worked together in the railway industry and after a while, they realised they had a lot in common. This is what they said about how Smoke + Matches came to be:

"It's hard to pinpoint exactly where this idea took root but both being somewhat creative 'seekers', it was only a matter of time until we did something together... It was just a matter of what. The idea of a candle business was discussed in mid 2022 but knowing the time and dedication it required, we decided to work to Autumn 2023 as a launch date. In hindsight, this presented itself at a time when we were each looking to escape some mental health struggles and throw ourselves into an all-consuming pastime. For the past 6 months, we have lived and breathed wax and fragrance. The volume of messages exchanged would lead you to believe we were engaging in a sordid affair. From deciding on the colour of our tissue paper at 3 a.m. to those first test sales, it has already been such a journey and we can only hope that you enjoy what we have laboured over enough that we get to keep doing it."

Smoke + Matches - The Products

There are some beautiful products available from the Smoke + Matches website and because the products are so reasonably priced for such amazing quality, you'll be 100% spoilt for choice. On each item page, there are details of allergens, ingredients and any warnings with a description of each item, I have never seen such detailed listings on a website, it's something many others could take note of and follow suit.

The Products:

Travel Candle: These are 50g and their burn time is around 15 hours, although I would say mine burned for longer. Travel Tins are available in several different scents, and some new ones coming soon so lots to choose from, they are tins with a screw lid which is easy to open and are a great way of trying scents if you're undecided. 

You can find the Travel Candles HERE priced at £6.00 each. 

Wax Melt Snap Bar: These are 50g and their burn time depends on how much of the bar you use at each time. These are available in several different scents, they are such a great price for a handmade soy product and with recyclable and biodegradable packaging too, so, run don't walk to pick some up. 

You can find the Wax Melt Bars HERE priced at £4.50 per bar.


Glass Jar Candle: These are 160g in a 20cl glass jar and the burn time is 40 hours, they are made from coconut soy wax with a 100% cotton wick and come in several scents. I really like the look of these, they have such a classic look and would look great in any home.

You can find the Glass Jar Candles HERE priced at £11.00.

Concrete Candle: These are 220g and the burn time is 40 hours, they are made from coconut soy wax with a 100% cotton wick and are available in different scents which all sound insanely nice. The concrete jars are handmade which blows my mind, they look incredible! Because each candle is handmade, they may vary slightly in the way they look and in texture, but it does not affect the burn time. The candles come with either cork or rubber feet on the base, this is to protect your surfaces and increase stability.

You can find the Concrete Candle HERE priced at £16.00

Concrete Match Pot: These are lovely and such a great idea, plus they are also handmade, there are 4 different variations to choose from, but like the concrete candles, because they are handmade, they may differ in colour and texture. The pots cannot be shipped with matches included and come with a striker strip and either rubber or cork feet, these are for stability and to protect your surfaces. I love these, I haven't seen anything like these before and think they are such a great idea, the fact they are handmade makes them even more special.

You can find the Concrete Match Pot HERE priced at £9.00.

Concrete Tray: These are stunning, each tray is handcrafted and because of this, completely unique, there are 8 different designs to choose from ( 3 are coming soon). Each tray is waxed with a 100% natural sealant to create a water-resistant finish, which is ideal for use in the kitchen or bathroom. They come with either rubber or cork feet for stability and protection of your surfaces.

You can find the Concrete Trays HERE priced at £10.00.

Minimalist Wax Burner: This wax burner is lovely, it has a metal stand with a removable ceramic dish that makes it easy to clean and looks simple but classy.

You can find the Wax Burner HERE priced at £12.00

My Purchases:

I really wanted to support Khila and Karen with their new business by purchasing some things from their website, unfortunately, due to a horrific accident my partner Simon had some years ago resulting in him being set on fire in a gas explosion at work, we don't have candles at home. As well as the physical injuries Simon suffered, he was badly psychologically affected by the accident too, and even years later, he is just about okay with having a birthday cake with candles in the house, but actual candles burning, freaks him out. 

I totally get it and wouldn't want him to feel uncomfortable, so after having a chat with him, I decided to go for 3 of the Travel Tins. The plan was, that I'd burn them whilst he was at work and he was fine with that. 

small business, new small business, smoke and matches, candles, soy candles, cotton wax

small business, candles, soy candles, cotton wick, hand poured candles

The parcel arrived well packaged with the Smoke + Matches logo on the front of the box and inside the Travel Tins were carefully and securely packaged using packing nuggets. There was a thank you card with details of social media accounts and instruction/care details on the reverse, I thought this was a nice touch and also really helpful. 

The 3 Travel Tins I bought were Coffee Shop, Beach House and Good Morning. I love the packaging of the tins, and the labelling too, they look classy and sleek. The lids unscrewed easily, which can sometimes be an issue with my silly hands,  but I was fine. 

When we burned the first candle, we popped the tin on a coaster on our sideboard. Almost as soon as my daughter lit the candle, we could smell it, and I was sat across the other side of the room. We burned Beach House first, followed by Good Morning and lastly, Coffee Shop. The burn time is advised at 15 hours per tin, but I found mine burned longer, and they all smelled lovely, I thought I would have a clear favourite scent but I didn't, they were all really nice. The tins are brilliant if you're unsure of which scent to choose, or if you don't burn candles regularly enough to get a bigger one. 

The photograph above shows how big the tins are, they are a brilliant size and were perfect for us. I am so proud of Khila, the amount of items on the website is incredible, these are hand poured and the concrete items hand made. The amount of work and dedication that goes into this business is unreal, and it shows in the quality of the products, how many products are on the website and how professional the website looks. 

I loved all 3 of the tins I purchased, they were ideal for us and all smelled beautiful. I love the concrete trays too, the colours and metallics in them are so pretty, they look incredible and would make lovely gifts, and not just for candle lovers, I think they'd make a nice jewellery tray too. 

Overall I was really happy with my purchases and love the whole website too, it is easy to navigate and has lots of information on each item, and everything is a great price, especially for handmade items. The products would make lovely gifts and since the C word is upon us, definitely check them out. Plus the wax melt bars are on a 3 for 2 deal until Sunday so a perfect time to buy, to treat yourself or to do some early Christmas gift shopping, or any gift shopping.

If you would like to check out Smoke + Matches, and I highly recommend you do, you can find their website HERE

Good Luck to Khila and Karen as they continue with Smoke + Matches, it's an amazing business with stunning products and I wish you both love and luck as you smash the business world, one wax melt at a time. 

Thank you for reading

Zoƫ x

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