Meet the Maker: Z CANDLES

Get to know our January Box Candle Maker! Q + A with Erica from Z CANDLES and how she blends together clean & practical, yet sleek candles.
january vellabox
January 12, 2024

Erica Zabudsky, Founder of Z CANDLES

Featured in the January 2024 Vellabox

Z CANDLES has a passion for creating comfortable cozy spaces with a high belief that candles are an important element in creating a desirable environment, not only in appearance but in aroma.

Use code VELLABOX20 for 20% off your Z CANDLES order!

How did Z CANDLES get started?

I started making candles when my obsession with candles grew and I began reviewing candle ingredients and discovered the candles that I was burning contained toxins. My pursuit of a healthier candle took off and I quickly discovered that there were not many 100% soy wax candles out on the market. Most candles contained a blend of paraffin and soy wax, colored dyes and phthalates. Being that healthier candles were hard to come by, I researched candle making using pure ingredients and began experimenting in my own kitchen and made my own candles galore!

I felt good about burning them in our home around my family and pets. I gifted them to friends and family. Stores began asking if they could buy them or carry them in their stores. At the time, I worked full time as a Marketing Director for a large physician office and then would fill candle orders at night after my kids were in bed. The demand continued to grow until I could no longer work 2 full time jobs and I retired my marketing day job and pursued the candle making business full time in 2019.

We released Cozy Cabin in 2022. I chose the name for this special candle prior to discovering the scent. I really wanted a scent that embodied all the cozy smells that you would experience at a mountain cabin. Strike a match and experience bergamot, olive, white lily, aloe blossom, sandalwood, amber, musk.

A couple years before Cozy Cabin’s launch, we released Birch + Pepper. A scent unlike any other in the Z collection. One that is described as earthy and peppery with cool spicy cardamon and black pepper, mandarin and sandalwood.

Last year we added Black Tea + Rosehip to the Z CANDLES lineup. The inspiration was to find a well balanced floral scent that includes warmth, earth, floral with notes of pink peppercorn, grapefruit, plum, black rose, cumin, vanilla, patchouli and labdanum.

These featured scents are available in the Vellabox candle shop!

What is your favorite candle that you’ve created?

My most creative candle we’ve created is the “Bubble Candle”. It’s scented art! You don’t have to necessarily burn it and it adds art, interest and scent into a home space. My favorite non-candle product is our “candle care kit” that includes all the tools to successfully care for your candle.

All of our candles are not overpowering with fragrance, but enough to create a pleasant aroma, allowing the candle to burn for 3-4 hours at a time without being offensive with intense fragrance. With a sleek style, Z CANDLES are practical “daily burners” to add a layer of warmth and sophistication to your space.

What values or pillars does your business take pride in?

CLEAN INGREDIENTS: We believe in using 100% soy wax, natural cotton wicks and clean ingredients, you know…the ones that don’t cause headaches and are safe to burn around people and pets.
COMFORT AND MODERN STYLE: In addition to adding style to your space, candles contribute to a vibe of a room, how you feel, and a sensory experience. We believe candles elevate a space in these ways.
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY: We believe in supporting community. Whether it’s popping in to teach a candle class or donating our candles to local organizations that focus on the health and children edu.

And when it comes to our Z CANDLES community, it’s always wonderful to hear back from customers on why they like a specific candle scent. Often times a scent will remind them of a past memory and hearing about their memory and how it relates to scent is fascinating!

What are you looking forward to in 2024?

Slow growth, patience, attention to detail, commitment and consistency have all helped my candle business get to where it is today. So I’m looking forward to a new year of opportunities, candles, candles, and more candles!

If I had to sum up my New Year’s Resolutions for my business, I’m focusing on getting the word out about the candle making process. People want to know! And outside of candle making, I will work to take a little more time to refresh and revive my soul to ensure a very balanced life.