When asked how the South inspires her, Debbie DeJean offers one of the most smile-inducing responses we’ve ever received. “I love our Southern hospitality and manners, storytellers, hydrangeas, old things, and the way we gave directions before GPS,” she explains before adding, “ I am inspired by iced tea.” The delightful specificity of Debbie’s answer encapsulates why we love her business, Ekko Candle Company. Debbie does more than candle-making. She marries memories of dewy Southern summers, long drives down country roads, the prized burst of perfectly ripe tomatoes, and the sound of ice clinking in a glass of Kentucky bourbon — then fills our homes with nostalgia by the strike of a match. Today we’re sharing the story of Ekko Candle Company: How it began, where it’s going, and a few of the special moments that lit the way.
The Ekko Candle Company name is a play on the “echoes” of Debbie’s past. “I learned so much of what Ekko Candle is about from my great family upbringing, going back for generations,” she explains. “The creative storytelling, the laughter, the small-town values, the lessons about hard work and making things by hand all played a role in the heart of Ekko Candle.” She started the business with the goal to offer fragrances and vessels made with the finest ingredients and materials that bring back the magic that mass production has stolen from the candle-making process.
From start to finish, the Ekko Candle Company team is hands-on. Debbie and her team rely on instincts, intuition, and input when it comes to scents. After brainstorming ideas that invoke treasured memories of a place or feeling, each fragrance is mixed and offered to friends, family, and the community for an honest evaluation. Scents that pass the test are then hand-mixed with soy wax, hand-poured into micro 4-pound batches for quality and consistency, hand-finished and hand-labeled. Debbie and her team only select vessels that are repurposable. As a gardener herself, Debbie considers how each container will look with fresh cut flowers atop a coffee table or tucked into a reading nook.
Inside each beautiful vessel, you’ll find 100% soy wax. This is important to the Ekko Candle Company team because soy wax is an environmentally friendly, renewable resource. “Soy wax burns cleaner and has a lower melting point, which means it burns slower,” Debbie tells us. “Along with the domestically grown soy wax, our candle fragrances are skin safe and 100% phthalate-free.”
Debbie even shares some insider tricks on how to make the most out of each Ekko Candle. There are three key steps to keep in mind: Liquefy, dip, trim.
- Liquefy: Let your candle liquefy to the edges each time you burn. This may take 1 to 1.5 hours on the first burn.
- Dip: Submerge the flame under the wax pool when extinguishing the flame. This prevents smoke.
- Trim: Before relighting your candle, trim the wick to a quarter of an inch. Ekko Candle Company uses self-trimming wicks, which mean they have a slight bend that you will notice as the candle burns — but still always trim the wick before relighting
We are delighted to offer a selection of Ekko Candle Company’s bespoke items on SB Shop. Current best-sellers include the 3-Hole and 5-Hole Sugar Molds, and staff favorites include the ‘Mosaic’ candle and the ‘Gracey Jo’ candle. Each of these vessels comes with your choice of candle insert fragrance including options like Rainwater, Bourbon Barrel, Sweetgrass & Dandelion, and Tomato Leaf. Debbie’s personal favorites are the Lemon Lavender Stripes and Verbena and Lemon Dots, which complement each other beautifully.
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In the coming weeks, Ekko Candle Company will make the transition into their favorite season and introduce the 2021 fall and winter collections, which will also be available on SB Shop. Last year’s best-sellers Appalachian Fir, Cozy Nights, Apple Harvest, and Frosted Pinecone will kick off the fall season, with Christmas Wreath and New Year joining the lineup as the holidays draw closer. Look out for decorative red mercury glass vessels and gold and silver containers that bring each seasonal scent to life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed walking Ekko Candle Company’s path and feel as inspired as we do to seek out the quintessential Southern scents that make all the difference in our homes. After all, there’s nothing quite like the soft flickering of warm flames in your coziest of spaces.
All images courtesy of Debbie DeJean.
Shop the Ekko Candle Company collection on SB Shop, HERE.
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