Handmade: Hutwoods Candles
Our brand ambassador, Hayley introduces us to Hutwoods, a new but growing fragrance business based in Sydney, Australia. We talk turning a hobby into a business and our favourite perfumes in her beautiful studio space, overflowing with candles.
Can you please introduce yourself for our lovely Tree readers?
Hi everyone! Lovely to meet you all. My name is Becky and I'm the Founder of Hutwoods - a wood wick candle and home fragrance business located in Sydney. I'm originally from the UK but have lived in Australia for almost 9 years now and proud to call Oz home. I live with my husband, 2 cats and golden retriever and we run our business from our light filled studio in Miranda.
Hutwoods was born from a desire to do something that truly reflected my passion and interests. I’ve always lived by the mantra “do what makes you happy” and from an early age I had a huge interest in arts and crafts and generally making things! In the back of my mind, I had always dreamt that one day I would be creating and selling my own product and follow the entrepreneurial path of working for myself. The idea of a career I was truly passionate about filled me with excitement. After a number of years working in sales, I knew I wanted to act on my creative instincts and work on something I could put my heart and soul into.
Hutwoods began after I started making candles as a hobby at home back in 2013. I was hooked by the science around it, the intricacies that were involved and the results of filling my home with beautiful scents. After a couple of months, the house began to slowly fill with candles on every possible surface – I still laugh when I think about it now. I took some into my previous office job and they all sold within the first hour and I even took orders for more! We still had hundreds all over the house so my husband suggested I took them to our local market and start selling them there. He works in advertising so mentioned that ahead of our first market, we should create a brand with a logo and that’s how ‘Hutwoods’ came about. Not many people know but it’s a combination of our surnames ‘Hutley’ and ‘Lockwood’.
We did a few market stalls and each week we would completely sell out and have returning customers asking for more! It was around this time I got approached by a homewares shop asking if they could stock our range. From that moment, I knew that I could make Hutwoods a reality and there’s literally been no turning back. Just 8 months after first making candles as a hobby, I quit my sales job to work on Hutwoods full-time. Fast forward 3 years and I’m running the business with a team of staff, we’re stocked in shops across Australia and America and growing every day. I still have to pinch myself that this is my job and I find something new to love about it every single day.
3. What makes Hutwoods products so special?
Our real point of difference is that we were one of the first Australian brands to pioneer in making wood wick soy candles. Wood wicks provide a gentle crackling sound when they burn, reminiscent of a log fire, as well as offering a longer and cleaner burn. This is something we’re now renowned for and will always shine brightly through our name. We love that in addition to sight and smell, our candles provide an added sensory experience of sound and make any environment feel cosy and relaxed.
We put a huge emphasis in only using the highest quality materials, whether that is eco-friendly soy wax, sustainably sourced wood wicks or premium fragrance oils. This has resulted in a product that we’re truly proud of and having loyal, returning customers for 3 years is a testament to this.
We’re also constantly reviewing our business and brainstorming about how we can evolve and remain competitive. Some ideas are a bit wacky and others we know we’re onto a winner. One of these is our new luxury range due to launch in early November. These come in beautiful copper and stainless steel vessels with our logo engraved. We really wanted our customers to have a way they could re-use and maximise the life of these vessels. We came up with the idea to create a layer of protective herb seeded paper to go on the top of the candle. These are available in; Basil, Oregano, Parsley and Thyme, so customers simply plant the paper when they have finished their candle to create their very own herb garden!
Finally, our customers experience is extremely important to us so we regularly trial different products and fragrances and ask them for their feedback. We reward loyal customers and pride ourselves on making each one of our customers feel special. Our goal is to make their experience one that they would share with friends and family.
4. How do you come up with your beautiful scents!?
I know it sounds cliché but we’re constantly inspired by everything around us including nature, traveling, cooking and popular scents from all over the globe. We try to ensure our fragrances are broad but unique in their characteristics. A fragrance is such a personal thing and has the power to lift a mood and enhance your surroundings. Smell is the most sensitive of the five senses and it’s this reason why scent often evokes memories and can have a positive effect on energy and wellbeing.
Each new scent is extensively trialled and it takes about 30 rounds of testing to create and approve one new fragrance to add to our range. Customers always ask ‘what is your most popular scent’ but it’s very hard to answer as the sense of smell is so personal to everyone and we find all of our fragrances are very popular! We have a lot of fun coming up with new products and would love to hear from your readers if they have any specific scents they’d like to see added to our range!
5. Do you cater for events as well?
Yes - we offer customised candles for various weddings, events and special occasions. We create personalised stickers and love to develop something completely unique for someone’s special day.
It fills us with joy that our unique fragrances will always remind people of their special occasions.
6. When you aren't creating delicious scented candles, what are you doing?
Hutwoods takes up most of my days, evenings and weekends! However, when I do have a few hours spare I really enjoy going for long walks with my husband and dog and practicing meditation – a great way to stay calm from the stress of running your own business.
7. What would you say is your favourite scent? Would you say you’re a creamy/vanilla lover or a fresh fruit/citrus lover?
This is a tough question as I can honestly say I enjoy different scents depending how I’m feeling during a day. If I had to pick, I’d probably say my favourite go-to fragrance is “Wild Jasmine & Sandalwood”. There’s just something about this scent that reminds me of my childhood and playing in my parent’s garden.
8. How would you describe your personal style?
I have to admit, working from home means that my style is normally very casual! You can normally find me in comfortable clothes when working and when I’m out, I love feminine dresses and I’m a huge fan of pastel colours. This style is also very much replicated in the design and set up of our studio and I really do find it an inspirational place to work!
Thanks to Becky from Hutwoods for having us visit her studio. You can check out the beautiful range of products over on their website, or find out about up coming news and products by following them on Instagram and Facebook. Interview by Hayley Watkins. Clothing and silver by Tree of Life.