Meet the Maker: Olive + Pine Candle Co.
Ashley Alese, Owner + Candle Maker Featured in the December 2022 Vellabox
Poured from Ashley’s home in New York, Olive + Pine’s small batch, all-natural, 100% soy wax candle collections and complementary goods are an invitation into the depths of your retreat — instilling a sense of calm into your atmosphere, even through the busy seasons of life.
Use code VELLABOX20 for 20% off your Olive + Pine order! (until 12/31/22)
How did Olive + Pine Candle Co. get started?
A: My love for candle making began as a hobby in the summer of 2015. When I wasn’t working my day job as a medical laboratory scientist, I was making candles out of recycled wine bottles — cutting and sanding each by hand. A couple years later, I found myself fulfilling candle orders for weddings and bridal showers.
But it wasn’t until I entered motherhood during the whirlwind year of 2020 that the idea of turning this passion project into an actual candle brand of my own came to light. I officially traded in my medical lab coat to blend together scents that enliven you to spruce up the home we share together – planet Earth.
Today, I am proud to say that Olive + Pine is my full-time job. It offers space to relax, get creative, and experiment with my right-hand man: my toddler son (he gets a kick out of smelling the scents and watching me pour blends into tumblers).
Can you describe the scents featured in this month’s Vellabox?
A: This collection embodies warmth, family, memories, and tradition. My inspiration was to bring the magic of the holidays — home.
Peace and Joy is a bright and lively blend I’ve been pouring up since the beginning. Notes of crisp currant, fresh watermint, and patchouli are reminiscent of gatherings with family and friends — revisiting treasured memories, all while creating new ones along the way.
Gingerbread House ignites warmth, with sweet and spicy notes of ginger, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg that linger throughout one’s home (in the best way). Baking throughout the winter season is one of my favorite family traditions. And this exclusive blend for Vellabox truly infuses a cookie in a candle.
Merry and Bright is a blend that has also been with Olive + Pine from the start, and it’s a favorite among many. Citrusy, sweet, and spicy — this festive fragrance has notes of orange, ginger, and clove intermingled with cypress and pine to embody the magic and wonder of a season we all know and love.
Winter Wonderland is a woodsy evergreen blend exclusive to Vellabox. With notes of green ivy, juniper, vetiver, and oakmoss — once lit, it will transport you to a snow-covered forest.
These featured scents are available in the Vellabox candle shop!
What is your favorite candle that you’ve created?
A: Oooh, great question. I may be biased, but there’s something to love about each of the blends I pour up. If I had to choose, Arizona would probably be my favorite candle that I’ve created. This blend pays homage to my late uncle who lived in the beautiful Grand Canyon State for more than 20 years.
During the holiday season, he would send Christmas cards with photos of him standing next to ginormous cacti, and I was always in awe of the land. With bright notes of aloe, green floral, and patchouli — it has helped keep beloved memories of my uncle fresh in my mind.
What has been the most rewarding part of running your own business?
A: As a mom to an energetic toddler, I love that I have complete control over my schedule. I have also had the pleasure of connecting with other small women-owned businesses, forming meaningful friendships along the way. And as always, I’m so grateful to the customers who have been with me since my early days of candle making. This dream of mine wouldn’t be possible without their support.
What has been the most challenging part of running your own business?
A: When it comes to running a business as a solo female entrepreneur, every day presents itself differently. I gently remind myself that there’s only so much I can accomplish in 24 hours.
What has surprised you most about candle making?
A: I took up candle making to help unwind after working long hours in the laboratory. What I didn’t fully recognize at the time — is that candle making is truly a science of its own.
Combining my love for chemistry, experimentation, and art has been so much fun throughout these past 8 years! I’m always looking to improve my technique — learning new tips + tricks along the way.
A fun fact about Olive + Pine?
A: Olive + Pine is rooted in family, and there’s a special meaning behind our name. My Grandma grew up on Olive Street, while my Pop lived across town on Pine Street – both in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The two met in 1957 during a blind date set up by my grandmother’s best friend, and the rest is – as they say – history.
Any exciting launches coming up that we can look forward to?
A: I have lots in store for the new year! First up: the addition of a few new blends that are a combination of earthy, warm, and fresh – perfect for burning year-round.
Stay up-to-date on these new products by hitting the buttons below (plus 15% off your first order when you join their mailing list)!