It was during the banana bread boom of lockdown 1.0 when D8 Design Co founder Lydia Ging first sketched out the design for D8 Candles. Within four months, the hallway of her home in Dublin 8 was impassable thanks to towers of wax, boxes and other materials.
The distinct look of a D8 Candle, coupled with an offering of scents inspired by the Irish landscape, captured the attention of consumers. Here, Lydia explains her philosophy behind the brand, the design process and her plans for the future.
Is your candle making process unique? What is unique about your philosophy?
In terms of process, candle makers don’t differ too much. The difference comes in the raw input mixes, fragrance preferences and overall aesthetic. I think it is our fragrance ranges and aesthetic that make us stand out.
When first developing the brand, I wanted to make candles that were distinctive looking but still understated so that they could blend in and compliment a range of home interiors. The design had to be distinctive, timeless and allow for the containers to be refillable.
Our fragrances and candle names speak to the Irish roots of the brand and the container design has been led by the desire to craft something sustainable. We wanted to avoid the standard glass and ceramic containers which are generally sourced from mass producers and instead design and hand cast all of the containers ourselves in Dublin. This meant we could design our refills specifically for our candles whilst controlling every element of the candle’s overall aesthetic.
How do you source your different ingredients, such as waxes, fragrances and dyes?
All of our inputs are sources mainly from Ireland or else Europe where certain products are not available from here. Nearly 100% of our purchases are from small / medium independent businesses, that aspect is important to us.
Can you walk us through the process of developing a new candle?
It very much depends if it is a candle that is going to be included in our own range or a candle developed for a client. When it comes to our own candle range there are many sources of inspiration. We generally just act when that inspiration strikes, there might be a colour candle we’d like to create, a particular fragrance profile we want to work on or feedback from our customers.
Once we have a general concept, we perfect the colour we want to achieve for the container and begin blending our fragrances. Once happy we conduct burn and safety testing and finalise a name before launching.
What is the process for understating a brand’s vision and translating it into a custom candle?
Firstly we have a discovery call with the brand to fully understand their vision. During this process we give them all the options available with customisation i.e. labelling, colour palette, debossed / engraved containers and the fragrance profiles. Where we are required to make a custom container, we send on CAD drawings for sign off and then we start on developing sample candles for fragrance sign off.
Once everything is moved from development to production, we make the moulds for the new custom containers ready for the individual candles to be hand cast with custom logos debossed into the vessel. We have completed a lot of bespoke projects at this stage with requests varying in nature, this is the best part – developing something new and exciting with another Irish brand!
Can you share any long-term goals or visions you have for your candle business?
We are currently developing homeware items which we are very excited to launch, these include reed diffusers, room sprays and soaps. We also plan to continue to grow our sales in personalisation candles, we have been getting more and more enquires for bulk personalisation orders, particularly for events and weddings – for favours or table decoration with a personal touch.
Of course a primary focus is to work with more Irish brands to help them create both collaboration and private label candles to enhance their own offerings.