Wirral candle creator with a host of celebrity fans is set to make £1million in his first year
A Wirral businessman who started his own candle-making company is set to make £1million in his first year.
Owen Drew, 31, from Wallasey, began creating his luxury candle range as a hobby just 12 months ago – and he’s already got a celebrity following including socialite and reality TV star Paris Hilton.
Owen said: “Paris has been following me on Twitter and has said how much she loves my candles.
“She has had the White Linen and English Lavender and the Chanel No 5 candle from my Inspired By designer range – of course Marilyn Monroe’s favourite fragrance and Paris is a big fan.”
And he added: “My aim is to design candles for all tastes and pockets, but to have an endorsement from someone like Paris who clearly enjoys the finer things in life is a great bonus and really encouraging.”
A former financial services worker and German graduate, Owen began creating Owen Drew Candles 12 months ago.
He explained: “I have always loved candles but I realised the damage some of them were causing to my home. I moved into my current house three years ago and the kitchen walls which were painted brilliant white became stained grey.
“It’s caused by burning petroleum-based paraffin wax candles which give off a soot and smoke when they burn. It leaves black deposits on the jar and also on the walls and ceilings of your home.”
Owen researched the candles and was horrified to discover that not only did they cause discolouring, he says many studies show a link between burning paraffin wax and the rise of asthma in the UK, and some even point to cancer-causing effects of the fumes given off by the wax.
“I decided that home fragrance could, and should, be better. While my former career might not suggest it, I have always been creative so I started making my own candles, learning how-to from my research and YouTube videos, and giving them to friends and family as gifts.
“Some of the first ones were not that great but, eventually, it all started to gel and now I have a range of candles from my Inspired By collection, those emulating favourite fragrances, and classic scents. I am also working on a new luxurious range which comes in lovely rose-gold and copper containers, a draw-string pouch and a beautiful gift box.
“All of my candles are made using natural soy wax and blended with essential oils and fine perfumes which are free from parabens and other unpleasant ingredients – so when they burn they do so evenly, with a clean flame and a fantastic scent! And I use a wooden wick which makes a lovely, gentle crackling sound.”
Prices range from around £22 to £42 depending on the range and size – though Owen has a larger luxury candle priced at £175! At the moment Owen makes and sells around 800 candles every month, via his own website and six boutique stores, and is about to turn over £1 million in his first 12 months.
“My goal is to be selling in stores like John Lewis or Harvey Nichols by Christmas next year,” he smiled. “Fingers crossed, the candles are doing so well and people seem to love them.
“As well as Paris Hilton, they have been praised by the founder of top skincare range Rodial, Maria Hatzistefanis, and many of the Cheshire Housewives like Dawn Ward and Lauren Simon love them too. But I sell them to a wide variety of people – the White Linen and English Lavender is a particular favourite of new mums who find it de-stresses them in the evening and helps to soothes the baby off to sleep.
“And, as austerity hits everyone, more and more people are focusing on their homes and how to better enjoy the time they spend in them. So they’re happy to invest in a little luxury, to make them smell beautiful, or to create a perfect atmosphere for a cosy night in.”