Meet the Maker: Soy Much Brighter
Katie Upchurch, Soy Much Brighter Founder.
Featured in the October 2023 Vellabox
Since 2014, the goal of Soy Much Brighter is to make great smelling candles that lift moods and create memories.
Use code VELLAXSMB for 10% off your Soy Much Brighter order!
How did Soy Much Brighter get started?
Nine years ago, there weren’t many nontoxic and vegan candle options to choose from. So, I started making candles because, like yourself, I wanted a clean and adorable alternative to burn in my home. From the start, I knew these candles had to be environmentally sustainable and clean burning.
My goal was for you to get the most out of your wallet from what I made and feel good about it’s low environmental impact. All the while, having something pretty to look at that provides conscious self-care. Our mission here at Soy Much Brighter is to illicit joy, peace, comfort, and nostalgia while keeping sustainability and affordability at the top of the priority list.
Can you describe the candles featured in this month’s Vellabox?
Pumpkin Coffee was created in 2016 as a mainstay in our fall collection. With notes of pumpkin, black coffee and vanilla, it was meant to go alongside the PSL craze, which still holds strong today.
Three years later, I launched Haunted Haus because I was looking for a spooky scent to release in October. Black wearing, witch-identifying folks will love the clove & smoke in this.
Finally, Indigo Prism was remade last year with a blend of black amber, orange peel and plum. I wanted to sustain the essence of its original scent while bringing in something brighter and more fresh.
These featured scents are available in the Vellabox candle shop!
What is your favorite candle that you’ve created?
We released our Zodiac Collection this year! So far, Leo has been one of my favorite creations. The blend is strawberry cake, lemon and champagne. It’s just sweet enough and fancy enough to be a fun pick me up at the end of the day.
I also love Into the Woods since it’s one of the first scents I ever made and a cult classic among our customers. Its fresh, woody notes are nostalgic and comforting in the winter months. A favorite non-candle product would have to be our fancy, new match jars. Plus the tips of the matches are pink and they are long enough to light up the deeper candles. Definitely a staple accessory.
What values or pillars does your business take pride in?
We lead with transparency and a strong value system. We want to offer the community a great smelling product that doesn’t come at the expense of animals, people, or the environment. Our candles are made with intention, a little bit of magic and tons of love. I take pride in the fact that environmental sustainability and social justice awareness come first in all decisions we make.
At our retail shop in Beverly, MA, we sell products outside of the candles we make to support women and minority-owned small businesses in the US. We also offer a refillable program with certain jars and have built quite the community base of folks who come back again and again to get their jars refilled with new candles.
What has surprised you about being a candle maker and running your business?
The biggest surprise in having my own business is everything that running a business entails. When you start a business, you wear all the hats and you have to learn every single facet of business. It’s a lot of work and a lot of pressure. It’s given me a lot of awareness and empathy towards all the other small businesses owners out there who have the endurance it takes.
A surprising thing related to candles is that it’s not just a set it and forget it trade. You have to keep up with educating yourself in the industry and also continuously test your supplies for accuracy.
With Halloween around the corner, what’s your favorite spooky movie to binge this time of year?
My favorite Halloween movie is hands down Practical Magic. I aspire to one day have a home like their witch house. I can only hope I grow old to be the weird, old lady neighbor at the end of the street with the great garden.
Any exciting launches or events coming up that we can look forward to?
We have a Fall Folklore Aura collection. It features 3 new fall scents: Poison Apple, Smokey Quartz, and Ritual Offering.