TA-DA. Today on the blog we have Annabelle from TAJA Collection.
If you’ve been reading The Skinny Confidential for a while now, you know that TAJA is one of my favorite candle brands because of their customization. They’re out of control with how gnarly they customize. They have so many options, their scents are delicious & they’re just a dream to work with.
TAJA candles make the best gifts, I have them all around my house, & we recently had tons of custom pineapple candles lit at Zaza’s birthday party, & we gave them to our guests as party favors. We decided to do a pineapple etched square base in kind of a frosted white. The scent was so good too – Pina Princess.
Anyway, let’s get right to it with Annabelle. In this post you’ll learn all about the safe ingredients TAJA uses, what ingredients you should stay away from, our favorite TAJA scents, & how to care for your candle to make it burn better & last longer.
Let’s welcome Annabelle from TAJA Collection.
TAJA Collection on Custom Non-Toxic Candles, Plus Tips To Make Them Burn Better & Last Longer
♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience. How did you get into the candle business?
Annabelle Torgman: In 2017, I was working as an associate at a big law firm. It was, what I thought, my dream job. During the holiday season, I was looking for the perfect gift for my secretary. I wanted to give her something thoughtful & beautiful to express my gratitude. ( I always loved coming up with thoughtful gifts for family & friends growing up! ) She loved luxury candles & she adored her cat, so I wanted to get something that married the two. After searching for it unsuccessfully, the idea of TAJA was born.
♡ I want to talk about toxic candles. What makes a candle toxic or non-toxic?
AT: There are many things that can make a candle toxic. Some common culprits are: paraffin wax, phthalates, parabens, synthetic dyes, lead wicks, & stearic acid. We do not use any of these – our candles are made out of 100% premium soy wax, our wicks are made of organic cotton, none of our fragrances contain phthalates or parabens, & we never use synthetic dyes. In addition to our non-toxic fragrances, we also offer essential oil candles – which are derived directly from the plant, flower or fruit it is made out of.
The candle industry is unfortunately not as regulated as cosmetics because candles do not touch the skin. However, I believe that it should be, because you are inhaling what the candle burns. Before I started TAJA, I had no idea that candles could be toxic, so now we do our best to educate our consumers.
♡ What’s the deal with soy wax? Is it better? Does the candle burn differently?
AT: Not only is soy wax a slower burn, it’s cleaner, it’s vegan & it’s not tested on animals. Our premium soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil, making it a sustainable choice that burns cleanly. Soy wax burns up to 50% longer than paraffin wax because soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax, which means it melts at a cooler temperature & doesn’t burn as fast.
♡ What ingredients should we absolutely avoid?
AT: The short list is: paraffin wax, phthalates, parabens, synthetic dyes, lead wicks, & stearic acid.
♡ How do you take care of your candles? Is there a specific cutter, snuffer or technique you use?
AT: Candle care is a whole ritual, we even did a blog on it & dubbed it The Candle Bible. Taking proper care of your candle can add hours to your candle & help your candle burn more beautifully & evenly. You can get your candle snuffer & wick trimmer as a set here.
Why snuff? The candle snuffer helps put out your candle in style ( & without splattering ). The wick trimmer helps keep your candles clean & soot-free. You want to make sure to trim your wick 1/4” prior to each lighting, which will ensure that you get an even flame & that it doesn’t produce black smoke or soot.
♡ What is the process of making a candle & why is yours unique?
AT: Our candles are hand poured in small batches & we source all of the ingredients domestically. It’s so important to know what is going into the candles & where the ingredients are coming from.
Our candles are also made with love ( cliché, but true ). We’re all about energy – what you put into a product when you’re making it becomes part of the product. Our candle makers are not only hardworking, but they’re kind & passionate about what they do. We take the job of making others happy seriously!
♡ You’ve done custom candles a lot for me in the past. They make wonderful gifts. What are some of your favorite ideas for custom candles?
AT: I am always impressed with the creativity of the TAJA community. There are so many ways to use the candles, some of my favorites are:
+ Sympathy candle
+ Engagement candle
+ Welcome Baby candle
+ Event Guest place card candle
♡ Let’s talk about candle safety. What are some tips & tricks to being safe with candles, especially if you have children in the home?
AT: Always keep your candle(s) away from drafts & air conditioners. Do not light near children or pets, or anywhere that is accessible to them. Do not place candle(s) on unsteady surfaces. And do not burn your candle(s) when the wax is less than ½” from the bottom.
And never leave a candle burning unattended! A good tip is to set an alarm for four hours to remind yourself to blow out your candle(s).
♡ What is your favorite candle scent & why?
AT: My favorite scent changes daily depending on my mood. LOL. Recently I’ve been loving In the Mood & Fresh Eucalyptus. Scent is so personal & depends on the ambiance you’re trying to cultivate ( i.e. Limoni di Capri is perfect when I’m cooking & I love to light Members Only when getting ready for a night out). We love to introduce seasonal fragrances & switch them out as often as possible to always keep things fresh!
Lauryn’s fave fragrance is Vanilla Bourbon, which happens to be one of our best sellers. You can find a list of our fragrances here.
♡ What are your gifting ideas when including a custom candle? For instance, what would you add to if it were for a housewarming gift or a baby shower gift?
AT: The more custom the candle, the better. Just a candle is thoughtful & beautiful enough to stand on its own, especially the jumbo ( bigger is better, right?! ). But if you want to add a little extra something, pair it with fancy matches & a smudge kit. I love to pair our candles with The Skinny Confidential’s HOT MESS ICE ROLLER (my fave!) for the perfect self-care package.
♡ We’ve worked together for baby showers, birthdays & a number of other events in the past. What are some occasions that people can use a custom candle for? (The Santa cookie one was really cute!)
AT: Any occasion!! From a baptism to birthday parties, we actually just added an “Occasions” tab on our website to help navigate through every event in your life that you could use our products for. We also offer a design concierge service, where we walk you through & help you with the design of the candle(s)!
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
You guys know that I love to set a vibe, especially for my morning & nighttime routines & candles are a BIG part of setting that vibe. If you’re looking for non-toxic candles that you can customize as gifts, for a special party, or just for yourself in your home, TAJA is the move.
+ stalk this post on how to care for your candles.
++ if you need some other gift ideas, stalk these ones from TSC team.