Meet the Maker: CarteHaus

Say hello to our April Box Candle Maker! Q + A with Megan of CarteHaus who blends her love of science, art and candles into one.
April 1, 2024

Megan Carte, candle maker and CarteHaus founder

Featured in the April 2024 Vellabox

CarteHaus is a scent-forward lifestyle brand that offers aromatic experiences for those who carry scent as an extension of their personality, mood and vibe. Through our candles, we help you elevate everyday moments, so they feel more like you.

Use code VELLABOX10 for 10% off your CarteHaus order!

How did CarteHaus get started?

I’m a multi-passionate serial entrepreneur with a background in esthetics, nutrition, the arts and chemistry. In 2020, I launched my first product-based business, a skincare line. Soon after, I launched my second business, candle making. After growing two businesses side by side, I took the best from both and merged them to create CarteHaus — a fragrance-forward lifestyle company. My ongoing curiosity to try new things inspired me to experiment with unexpected blends of scents that you can smell in every CarteHaus product.

Originally from Florida, I seek to bring the oceanic element of calmness and bliss to everything I create. You can find CarteHaus in local makers markets in my new home, Northern Virginia. My story is not a traditional entrepreneurship journey, but my obsession with all things beauty, fragrance, and home design has helped contributed to what CarteHaus is today.

Blossom Festival was first released in the Spring of 2022 and it smells like the epitome of spring. It’s fresh, a little floral, a little sweet and not too overpowering. Cherry blossoms, ozone, figs and musk create an airy balance that makes you feel like you’re walking among the cherry blossom trees in the Tidal Basin of Washington D.C. I had moved from Florida to the DC area in late 2021 and was so excited to experience the cherry blossoms blooming. I knew I had to memorialize that experience into a candle.

Black Pearl was the very first scent I created back in 2020 while I was still in the testing phase for CarteHaus. I instantly knew it was going to be my best selling candle being so fresh and luxurious. It became the standard to which I held all other scent creations I concocted. Sea salt, crisp green leaves and airy tonka beans pay a beautiful tribute to my coastal hometown of Destin, Flordia. It’s coastal, but not tropical – perfect for anyone who wants to evoke the feeling of their last beach vacay in a more sophisticated way.

Winchester was a late addition in my testing phase in 2020 with a lot of work and patience to create this scent. It took around 6 months of tweaking and 5 iterations of this blend until I was happy with the results. Sexy, smoky and woodsy (with just a hint of booze). I wanted a luxurious and masculine scent that would remind me of two famous brothers who fight Supernatural creators.

These featured scents are available in the Vellabox candle shop!

What is your favorite product that you’ve created?

It’s tough to pick a favorite candle! Though I’d have to say Yellow House might be my overall favorite. It’s a niche and divisive scent. You either hate it or love it, no in-between. But, I love the story behind how Yellow House came to fruition.

One day my husband, Cory, was helping me with scent blends for our spring and summer collection. He wanted to blend something special for me that would remind me of Van Gogh, my favorite artist of all time. So he pulled scents reminiscent of the artist’s sunflower paintings and leather bound sketch books while living in the Yellow House. It was such a sweet gesture that I cherish deeply. I love that scent so much that I moved it to my Essentials Collection because it deserved to be enjoyed year-round.

What values or pillars does your business take pride in?

We believe that every action we take has an impact beyond ourselves. This is why we only use sustainable materials (no endangered or rare ingredients), produce in small batches and avoid plastics wherever possible. It’s all about cultivating an aromatic experience to relax and unwind that’s also safe for the environment (and your lungs).

All CarteHaus products are free of phthalates, parabens, mineral oils, paraffin wax and formaldehyde.

We’re avid animal lovers here at CarteHaus, so none of our products or ingredients are tested on animals. As we grow our business and expand beyond candles, it’s important to us that we remain cruelty-free and continue pursuing opportunities to give back to the Earth and our community.

We’re also reclaiming the word selfish because it isn’t a dirty word. CarteHaus’ mission is to add a touch of self-care to your daily life (no matter how busy you get) with custom fragrances that bring positivity, inspiration and relaxation into your home. We all deserve to put ourselves first, even if it’s just for a moment. Sometimes, it can be as simple as lighting a nice candle, just for you to enjoy.

What has surprised you about candle making and running a business?

When I started making candles, I thought it was as simple as melting wax and adding the fragrance oil – a nice, relaxing hobby to do on the weekends to save money on my home fragrance habit. I couldn’t have been more wrong (and I’m so happy about that!). Creating candles is a perfect marriage between science and art – two of my biggest passions. It was love at first pour. I never expected to feel so creatively and intellectually fulfilled creating candles, and I feel so blessed that I get to follow my passion with CarteHaus.

Do you participate in spring cleaning? Any tips to make it fun?

I absolutely love participating in spring cleaning! I usually start as soon as my Christmas decorations get put up for the year. The fresh and rejuvenated feeling of a clean, tidy home is the best. My best tips to make it more fun would be:
1. Blast your favorite music that hypes you up and energizes you
2. Prepare your favorite drink, so you have something fun to sip on while you clean
3. Don’t start on an empty stomach, or you’ll get distracted quickly!
4. Have an activity you plan to do afterwards for an extra reward and incentive (like watching your favorite movie)
And start slow… it doesn’t have to be done all at once. If you start with one dresser, or room, at a time it feels way less daunting and becomes an easier task to tackle.