Meet The Maker: Hannah From Pepper Loves
It’s nice when good things come from shit situations and @pepperlovescandles are just that. Launched during Lockdown 2, Hannah is creating a candle empire from a dining room table just outside of London. Our limited collaboration candles are available now and you can read up on her journey below.
Hannah! We’re so excited to be collaborating with you – can you introduce yourself to everyone here at Oaf?
Hey! I’m SO excited to unleash these candles and to be working with you guys! I’m Hannah, I run Pepper Loves from my home in a small town just outside of London. My dining table does a good job of doubling up as my studio space atm! I create conversation starter candles for all spaces of the home from the bathroom to the dinner table. I chisel and contour the slogan wax lettering to ensure a tailored fit on to the candle, often remelting different coloured surplus wax shavings to create one off zero waste collections. The wax I have used in this collection has been remelted and reused.
Before we carry on, who is Pepper, and do they really love candles as much as us?
Pepper is my little rescue cat! Unbeknownst to her she has become my muse and features on all of my branding and packaging. She seems to come alive and get her head in whenever I try and take photos for insta or the website.
Your candles have taken Insta by storm, but you only started the business in lockdown last year…. How did it all come about?
I lost my job in Events due to Covid back in April last year – I knew it would take a while to get another role especially in my sector, so I decided to take up a couple of creative outlets. I started a calligraphy course online, and tried to become a calligrapher, which didn’t really work out! I then decided to do something creative with candles, having been inspired by the candle trend online. I decided to merge some of the calligraphy elements and wording featured on menus I was writing for weddings on to the candles to create a functional statement piece, these included ‘Bon Appetit’ ‘Let’s Eat, Let’s Drink’ and it kind of went from there!
Where did you even begin to learn how to make candles like yours, is it a long process?
There was a lot of trial and error! I started really small and just experimented with different wax, dyes and adhesives to see what worked best. There is also a lot of really good candle making videos online so this was definitely a good starting point. I make all the wax lettering in very small batches at my home, before the process of chiseling and contouring each letter to ensure a tailored fit on to the candle. I always have a candle by my side to test the lettering at all stages of the contour process. This can be quite long winded as the letters are very delicate, sometimes I can contour them too much and they will break, so I have to be patient with the process.
Where do you go when you’re looking for inspiration?
I am always on the lookout for new colour combinations for my candles, so I tend to check out Instagram, in particular soft furnishing accounts. I am loving orange and lilac at the moment. Also, Pinterest, flowers and cakes!
How do you come up with the signature slogans for your candles?
‘Nice Bum’ came about when I was in the shower, I thought it would be funny to have a pair next to the bath, or the loo. There is a lot of stress in daily life so the idea to bring a little smile to someone’s day makes me so happy. A few of the other slogans came about from my calligraphy work, a couple are song titles from my favourite music. Sometimes I will ask my followers for their favourite slogans too.
What does a typical day in your life look like now?
Well firstly, I start the day off with a coffee before I do anything! I then check and respond to emails in the morning before settling down at the dining table to work on a collection for a stockist or for my latest candle drop. I tend to have the TV on in the background or will listen to a Podcast. I try and finish the day around 6pm if I can but likely I will work until 8pm if I have a deadline.
What advice would you give to anyone reading this and wishing they could turn their hobby into a business?
Just put your product/service out there! Instagram is so exciting right now and a great platform for new brands to launch and connect with an engaged audience.