Interview with Candle Crafter Brittany Gibson

Mimosa has recently added a new line of natural votives, made by local crafter Brittany Gibson. To give our customers a better idea of what makes these candles so special, we decided to interview Brittany about her work and about her new business, Magick and Malarkey. Enjoy!

What’s the story behind Magick and Malarkey, and where do you see your new company going? So I was rolling out to California to bum around Venice and Santa Monica. I was in the middle of the desert, thinking about how cool it would be to open a metaphysical store AND a tavern. All of a sudden, it hit me: Magick and Malarkey, a partnership between two completely different businesses!  I can’t guarantee the tavern will ever happen, but I’m very glad the magick pulled through! I am eventually wanting a brick and mortar store, though I still plan to sell in other shops. While I may expand through Wisconsin, I’m glad I get to call it home, and would like to stay local.

Are votive candles the only thing you make? Thankfully, no. As far as candles go, I make pillars, tall tapers, votives, and small tapers for altar use (approximately a few hours of burn time.) When I get my order of tealight molds in, we will be in business for that, too! Soaps are also available. When I find a reliable source of materials, I will add in lotions and cosmetics as well. I’m even getting busy with some bone knives crafting wands for those looking for a quick start.

Where can someone go to buy your soaps? Do you do custom orders? I do custom orders on candles and soaps! Since the online store has run into a few hold-ups, the best way to order is to email me at [email protected], or order through our Facebook page via personal message. Soon, we will have an online store and downloadable order form available on Facebook. I ship flat rate when available, US only (at least temporarily!) All fragrances are available in candles or soaps. Because they are made from essential oils, the oils can be used for both!

What kinds of ingredients do you use, and where do they come from? I’m really into trying to keep things as natural as possible. I love working with beeswax and goat milk as bases for my products, as well as essential oils. Goat milk is strictly purchased locally, but beeswax is harder to get my hands on. I source locally whenever possible, but I have had to import some from some nice beekeepers in Pennsylvania. With bees dying off, wax is getting pricier and harder to come by. Essential oils are also purchased at The Soap Opera when available, though I have had to source in a blend from Ohio. I plan to be 100% locally sourced by Samhain of this year! I am already scouting farmers.

How do you craft a candle to work with a particular intention? I have always done it the same as putting intention into my work. I go through the whole process meditating and keeping the candles and room charged with energy. I focus on what I want the candle to do and call to a deity and ask for his or her blessing. Sometimes I take the candle turn out as an indication on how pleased with my offerings they are (if my beeswax sticks too much, it’s time to put more mead in the offering bowl!) Crafting with intention varies per craftsperson. I allow the energy to flow through me and into my work. I would say I channel the energy rather than pull it out of nowhere!

What are some ways people can use a blessing votive? Specialized spells are excellent options! I would also recommend the votives for work with particular deities. Even if someone isn’t working with Aphrodite, the intention and blessings of the candle can greatly assist in working with a deity of similar function or association. Generic ritual use, especially on high days. You can never have too many candles on high days! Let’s not forget meditation and hypnosis. Maybe you’re a practicing hypnotherapist trying to inspire an active drive in an otherwise submissive person. Strength or Energy blessing votives could definitely add to your practice!

Do you follow any particular spiritual path? If I picked up a label, it would be neo-Druid. I am a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin, currently doing work on my dedicant path. While I believe in all deities from all religions and believe they all have equal power, my rituals tend to lean toward Welsh tradition. I’ve even had several dreams where Arianrhod revealed herself as my matron.

What can you tell us about working with beeswax? It’s very hot and super sticky! But my house always smells a bit of honey. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the mead or the beeswax! It is very fun to play with though, and very versatile. I’m going to start playing with it to see what cosmetic purposes it has. I’m betting I can find some things. But craftspeople beware: Beeswax is sticky in the extreme. Stock up on mold release, or use some oil, unless you want your candle to stay in the mold forever!