When Erin Patterson began experimenting with making candles in her Seattle apartment, little did she know that seven years later she would find herself in Tulsa starting a candle company.
She moved to Tulsa with her boyfriend in September 2020 and left her corporate job at Amazon a few months later to start Tulsa Candle Co., a small-batch operation creating seasonal, soy-based candles.
“The heart and soul of this business is a transparent and clean philosophy,” says Patterson, who uses American-sourced soy wax that is all natural and burns cleaner and longer than other wax types. “There’s not a lot of heavy regulation in the industry regarding what can and can’t be used.”
She uses fragrance oils guaranteed not to contain parabens, carcinogens, reproductive toxins or other potentially hazardous chemicals.
She created her debut fall and winter collections by sampling different combinations of fragrance oils. “I try to come up with something totally original,” she says, adding that she conducts numerous tests and sniff assessments to perfect the scent.
So far, best sellers include Oakmoss and Amber, an earthy base complemented by amber, grapefruit, orange and sage; Log Cabin, inspired by the great outdoors with notes of evergreen, cedar, fir, cypress and moss with patchouli and smoke; and Fresh Snow, a fresh winter scent highlighted with juniper, pear, mint, eucalyptus and birch.
“Candles are very personal,” Patterson says. “Scents are tied to memories.”
Along with sustainability — like encouraging and instructing candle purchasers on how to recycle or upcycle the candle’s glass jars — Patterson strives to make her products affordable. “Candles should feel luxurious but be for everyone,” she says.
Right now the Made in Oklahoma member company has three sizes of candles — 4 ounce, 9 ounce and 18 ounce — and can be found at Ziegler’s Art and Frame and Midtown Hardware. Tulsa Candle Co. participates in shopping events such as the upcoming OKGO Market in March. Products also can be purchased at tulsacandlecompany.com.