Maker Spotlight: Pride Month Edition at The Wooden Wick Co.

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH, MAKERS!

It’s June, which means it’s time to SHOW YOUR PRIDE + CELEBRATE ALL KINDS OF LOVE!

Before we spotlight our Pride Makers and their amazing candle making businesses, let’s highlight what the colors of the Pride flag mean. Although there are several versions out there, let’s look at the most common flag that has six stripes:

Red stands for life.

Orange means healing.

Yellow represents sunlight.

Green signifies nature.

Blue demonstrates harmony.

Violet symbolizes spirit

At The Wooden Wick Co., we value global inclusivity, community, compassion, and creative expression. To show our support for the colorful month of Pride and our lovely Makers who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, we asked five Makers to answer this one pressing question:

HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH?

Danny from Danny Crafts (@dannycraftsofficial)
Based in Canada

“To me, Pride Month is much more than just rainbows and dancing at parties. I like to celebrate Pride by showing my appreciation to those that have come before me, and by giving back to others in the LGBTQ+ community. While not all queer people feel the freedom and security to express their true selves, I feel very fortunate to be an openly gay man with little to no repercussions in my social, professional, or familial life. 

It is not easy to grow up being different. I grew up playing hockey and experienced a lot of homophobia, and it was really scary to come out, but I'm so glad I did it because I feel like I finally was able to be myself! Despite my fears of being mistreated for my sexuality, I was surprisingly celebrated and accepted by my closest friends and family.

In order to celebrate my experience and give back to struggling members of the LGBTQ+ community, I try to bring a sense of purpose to candle making and to my small business.” 

 

How they give back:
Danny created a Pride Candle Collection that pays homage to various queer identities, while also donating a portion of proceeds to numerous human rights and LGBTQ+ organizations and charities. He noted, “While this may not be a huge amount of money, I think that every little thing counts and if I continue to work at it, I can make a difference in someone's life and I think that's what Pride is all about.”

Dominic from Casa dell’Unknown (@casadellunknown)
Based in Chicago, IL

“Pride definitely looks different for my husband and I since we are now parents. In the past, we would go to Pride parties with friends and go to the Pride parade in either Chicago or San Francisco, depending on where we were living at the time. In the past, we have also done fundraising for the AIDS Walk/Run in Chicago and ran the 5k through the city. Now that we are parents it's a little slower pace. We go to the Pride parade with our daughter Naya, spend time with friends and family, and reflect on the progress that has been made in the LGBTQ+ community over the course of our relationship. 

We have spent a lot of time talking with our daughter about our family and the fact that although we are a different type of family, there is nothing wrong with that. We want her to understand that being different is good and show her how to celebrate everyone's differences - we truly feel that it's our differences that make us a stronger community.” 


How they give back: 
This year, Casa dell'Unknown made a Pace Candle (“pace” means “peace” in Italian) and they are donating a portion of sales to an organization they really believe in, Center on Halsted, which is committed to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the LGBTQ community in Chicago.

Tyra from Virago Candle Studio (@viragocandlestudio)
Based in St. Louis, MO

“I celebrate Pride Month by going to spaces for the queer community. Last year was different because of Covid, but usually my favorite day of the year is when I get to go to the Pride parade! I love being able to be myself around others in my community, having fun with my wife, and being able to just be US without worrying about getting stares or comments made.”


How they give back:
This year, Virago Candle Studio launched an entire Pride Collection - one that will be a permanent part of the business because it’s always going to be an integral part of who Tyra is.

Charlie from Essentially Charlie (@essentiallycharliecandles)
Based in Brooklyn, NY

“At Essentially Charlie, we celebrate Pride by leveraging our privilege to uplift and support local LGBTQ and BIPOC-led organizations and artists. During the pandemic, we had the opportunity to collaborate with creators like Plant Kween (@plantkween) and Junior Mintt (@juniormintt) to create candles that benefit and support LGBTQ organizations such as G.L.I.T.S. and the Audre Lorde Project. We launched altar candles with queer and Latinx-owned restaurant, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, which were featured in a Bon Appétit Gift Guide, focusing on supporting local restaurants during the pandemic. 

Our collaborations are unique opportunities to build community and support our LGBTQ friends and neighbors. This year, we are amplifying the work of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, as they fight for the collective liberation of queer and TGNC Latinx people. Our Queer collection is a way for us to unapologetically share a piece of who we are with our customers and tell our story as a queer-owned business.”


How they give back:
Every year, at least 25% of proceeds from their Queer line of candles benefit local LGBTQ organizations.

Pinky Swear & Co. (@pinkyswearcandleco):
Based in Canada

“We are celebrating Pride mostly virtually again this year here in Canada, but our focus is on creating awareness of other local LGBTQ+ businesses like ours, community outreach, and charities. We’re just doing our part in spreading the love.

As a queer-owned business that started during a pandemic, the voices and community involvement of our brand and our associated charities are at the forefront of our values. We ensure at all times that we are an active part of our community, which is proud to be queer and proud to be building a brand alongside other amazing LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.”


How they give back:
For every Pride candle sold, they raise money for Rainbow Railroad, a charity dedicated to helping LGBTQI+ victims escape violence around the world.

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GET MAKING. GET PROUD. CELEBRATE PRIDE.

MAKE THIS: ALL NATURAL DIY RAINBOW PRIDE SOAP

We have a super fun COLORFUL project you can make to celebrate Pride Month. Keep reading to learn how to make our exclusive layered Rainbow Pride Soap! Not only is it filled with vibrant rainbow colors, but also all-natural + beneficial ingredients. We used our Coco Clear Melt + Pour Base, which is perfect for soaps you want to add color to AND has a formula meant to soften and protect the skin. Each natural powder used in this project also contains incredible benefits that you’ll love!

Here's What You’ll Need:

2 blocks Coco Clear Melt + Pour Base
1 16 oz bottle Organic Sugarcane Alcohol
1 Spray Bottle
1 Loaf Mold
6 Ramkins or small dishes to mix dyes
2 Glass Pouring Pitchers
8 oz Blue Matcha Natural Powder - rich in polyphenols (which can help stop the harmful effects of free radicals that damage and degrade the skin), and increases collagen + elasticity in skin cells.
8 oz Turmeric Natural Powder - known for its ability to help with scarring, skin conditions, and promotes healing + glowing skin.
8 oz Spirulina Natural Powder - benefits include Tyrosine, which is popular in anti-aging skin products.
8 oz Copper Mica Natural Powder - adds a perfect glow for reflected light and is all-natural, paraben-free, toxin-free, gluten-free, and skin safe.

Step 1: Create an alcohol spray to prime your mold. You'll use this between the layers you pour for your fun rainbow effect. Pour some Sugarcane Alcohol into a small spray bottle and set aside. We also suggest putting on a Linen Apron and covering your workspace with a drop cloth or paper towels to protect you and your clothing from color stains! This is about to get COLORFUL!

Step 2: Prime your mold. Gently spritz the inside of your loaf mold with your Sugarcane Alcohol until each internal surface is lightly covered. This will stop any air bubbles from forming when you pour into the mold.

Step 3: Using your small cups or dishes, mix and prep your Natural Powders by combining them with small amounts of Sugarcane Alcohol in the ratios listed below. When working with Natural Powders, it's important to prep them with alcohol first to remove any clumps. Be sure to use a new stirring spoon or wash your measuring tools thoroughly between working with each color.

RED - 2 tsp Copper Mica + 2 tbl Sugarcane Alcohol

ORANGE - 2 tsp Turmeric Powder + 1/2 tsp Copper Mica + 2 tbl Sugarcane Alcohol

YELLOW -1 tsp Turmeric Dye + 1 tbl Sugarcane Alcohol

GREEN - 1 tsp Spirulina Dye + 1 tbl Sugarcane Alcohol

BLUE/VIOLET - 2 tsp Blue Matcha Powder + 2 tbl Sugarcane Alcohol

Step 4: Cut and melt your first block of Coco Clear Melt + Pour Base by cutting into 4-5 sections and microwaving in 30 second intervals in a glass pouring pitcher until completely melted.

Step 5: Measure your first layer. Since we are making 5 layers of color and your loaf mold holds approx. 4 cups or 32 fl oz of liquid soap, each layer will be approx. 6.4 fl oz of melted soap. Once you've measured out your melted soap for the first layer, now it's time to mix your color!

Step 6: Create the first color of your rainbow! Add your prepared Red (Copper Mica) into your measured 6.4 fl oz and stir until fully combined. Pour into the mold immediately.

Step 7: Once your first layer has been poured, gently spritz the top of the layer with your alcohol to remove any bubbles. Let sit until fully solidified! To speed up the process you can place it in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 8: Repeat steps 5-8 until all colors have been poured, making sure that each layer is fully solidified before pouring the next.

Step 9: Once your entire creation has cooled completely, gently pull away the sides of the mold to loosen the soap and turn upside down, applying gentle pressure with your thumb until the soap block is completely free of the mold.

Step 10: Cut and enjoy! After your soap has been removed from the mold, use a sharp knife or soap cutter to cut your soap into 1" rectangles. One loaf will yield approx. 10 bars.

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We aim to provide an inclusive community that supports Makers from all walks of life. Keep making, keep loving, keep being YOU!

Happy Pride Month, Makers!

Xo,

The Wooden Wick Co.