THE PLACE: What was only supposed to be a summer job turned into a lifelong passion for Wes Fletcher. The owner of Wick’d Wax Creationswas 14 when he started working for a master chandler and began dabbling in candlemaking on his own. He loved it, spending the next 11 years as a protégé whose imagination was set alight by the possibilities of this art form. “I like to create and see the end result,” Wes says. “I can do whatever I want with the wax and it will have a cool outcome.” About five years ago, Wes set up a table at a craft show on James Street and sales were brisk. Soon after, he opened a small shop on Ottawa Street North. Today, Wick’d Wax includes a storefront selling Wes’s diverse creations and a workshop where he creates and teaches others the art of turning hot wax into something beautiful. His candles are available in 40 stores throughout Canada.
THE STYLE: Wes mostly uses soy wax for his creations, but he leaves out any unnecessary fillers. That means no two candles are ever exactly alike. “Any imperfections in the wax are there because that’s how I want it to look,” he says. Wes describes his creations as “cottage-y, rustic, sustainable home décor.” He also uses beeswax and cedar wood wicks, which add a crackling sound when burning. He scents his candles with essential oils and premium quality fragrance oils made to his specifications. And the concrete and terracotta bowls and shapes in which his candles come are also refillable once their contents have been enjoyed.
THE TREND:“We focus on our own style and that’s what makes us unique,” Wes says. “I don’t like to follow trends.” His knack for trailblazing has made his store a destination for one of the most unique items in the city: the Hamilton Brick candle inspired by a brick Wes found in his basement two years ago. The three-wick candle is a nod to Hamilton history and the brick factory that used to operate near his storefront. Wes was commissioned to make his Hamilton Bricks for the 2015 Pan Am games but they were such a hit, they’ve become a cornerstone at Wick’d Wax.
NEWS:With the expansion of the store last February, Wes started offering candlemaking classes for four to six people. Workshops are listed on the store’s website. Private bookings are also available for small groups.