Maker Spotlight: Meet the Chandlerie
Go big or go home, right? ;) Go big is exactly what Astleigh Hill of The Chandlerie did when it came to her biz. From stay-at-home-mom to boss business owner of a whole freakin’ brick & mortar store, Astleigh made it happen & worked to make her dream come true.
Ready to learn more about this rockstar owner based in the mountains of Christianburg, Virginia? We thought so…
the story of the chandlerie
I have been making candles for 6 years this August (2022). It started out as an extension of my lifestyle blog, Home On Oak, to curate something that engaged my love for home and could tangibly be shared with blog readers and others.
As a stay-at-home-mom, this outlet was such a wonderful way to begin to pour my creativity into something that I envisioned taking much bigger down the road. And by bigger, I imagined a brick and mortar store that not only offered my candles and candle-making workshops, but other home goods that would find their place in the homes of locals and those afar.
I could see candle workshops and seasonal workshops by other artisans; I could smell the fall fragrances cozy-ing up the shop and the stack of pumpkins by the door; and I could dream of the woven baskets I would help shop patrons to fill with unique pieces and my hand-poured candles as a way to gift a loved one.
It has never been hard to imagine the shop or all of the things it would be. So I honed my craft and solidified my brand.
In the last year I began to think going bigger might be possible. The first attempt gave way to nothing, but at the start of 2022, with a powerful sermon on living boldly and the insatiable desire to make my dream happen, I started to collect pieces of the puzzle that would make this dream come to life.
And what I thought was just preparation for opening a store in a year or so turned into me closing on a property at the end of April.
Every door opened, every light was green. The people that came into my life to move the process along were so supportive and respectful of my ambition.
And it is with so much joy that I can say I will be opening up shop late summer, once the renovations are complete and the space is transformed into the loveliest candle atelier and home boutique!
behind the name the chandlerie
A professional candle maker is known as a chandler. And historically, a chandler would operate a chandlery, or medieval office, responsible for making, storing, and selling wax, candles, and soaps. Because these were all items needed aboard ships, the chandlery became more of a general shop for everything required by shipmates.
Pulling from this inspiration, I used an 'ie' in place of a 'y' at the end of the original word to create a name unique to my business.
the brick & mortar store: when you knew you were ready
It was never really knowing when I was ready, but how I was going to make it happen. From the start, the online shop was the jumping off point, my starting place, and the foundation.
The brick and mortar was always the main objective. And for me the biggest part of making that happen was the timing - when to take the leap.
biggest wins & roadblocks
This was not my first attempt at opening a store. I have tried several times to move forward on a brick and mortar location, but each time nothing came to fruition. There has been a lot of waiting and patience needed - waiting can be a challenge when you feel like this is what you're meant to do.
But as a huge believer in God's timing, I forged ahead with my online shop and diligently waited until another opportunity arose. The biggest win wasn't just securing a property to open a storefront in, but was truly the process.
While it can certainly be overwhelming to undertake this kind of endeavor, everything was so seamless. No roadblocks that set me back and an amazing community of (now) friends - real estate agents; financiers; insurance agents; etc. - that worked with me to make it all happen.
It was super clear that this was the timing I had needed to wait for, and the wait was so very worth it.
favorite product from the chandlerie line
Oh goodness, how do I even pick?! Since fall is my favorite, I would have to say I am smitten with my October Alcove candle - a blend of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg with notes of sweet pumpkin and hints of vanilla and tonka bean. It is the pumpkin chai of your autumn dreams!
advice & tips for fellow makers
As cliche as it sounds, if you set your mind to it, you can do it. It might not happen right away, but that doesn't mean it won't. There is a time for every season, and yours will come. So in the meantime, build a strong and quality brand that brings in clientele that truly believe in your product. More than that, though, believe in yourself and the business you are building.
astleigh’s favorite makesy products
what’s next for the chandlerie?
The next big goal is to finish up renovations. There is quite a bit of work to do to get the property ready to open.
I am so excited to finish up with this portion of the preparations and start filling the space with my candles and setting up shop!
And with autumn being my very favorite season, I am beyond excited to have a storefront during that time of year where I can welcome people into a fall haven.
one last word
My very first introduction to makesy was years ago when the only thing available to purchase were the wooden wicks. I have been a client ever since, and it has been inspiring to watch another business grow.
We’re excited to see the growth that comes to Astleigh & The Chandlerie. It’s a joy to have such a talented, driven, incredible maker as a part of our makesy creative crew!
We love sharing your creations & maker stories! Don’t forget to share your magic with us & tag @makesy on Instagram or use the hashtags #letsmakesy & #makesymade for the chance to be featured!
Photo credit: The Chandlerie