For Rolanda Leonardo, store-bought candles just weren’t doing the trick.
They were giving her children headaches, her husband didn’t like the black soot and the candles just didn’t last as long as she’d like. So she did some research and started making her own. Her candles were such a hit with her family and friends that she made some more. “I was thinking of doing fairs and craft shows, but this space opened up and it was just so conveniently located,” she said. “I wanted to be in Lewes, close to home.”
Mulberry Street Candles opened recently behind the Lewes Barber Shop on W. Third Street. The shop features traditional 16-ounce candles, but also tea lights, terrariums, wreaths and a tea cup candle collection. “I put together a store I always wanted to walk into myself,” she said. “It has all the things that I love.”
What sets Leonardo’s candles apart from others is her approach. She uses all natural soy wax that is non-toxic and completely free of carcinogens. Wicks are made with cotton and free of any metals.
Her candles burn clean and will not leave any soot on the walls or furniture. They also burn evenly and do not leave wax along the sides of the container. If spilled, the wax is easy to clean.
With the all-natural ingredients, Leonardo’s candles typically last twice as long as other store-bought candles, with a 16-ounce candle lasting for 90 to 100 hours. Small tea lights can burn for up to six hours. “They’ll last your whole dinner party,” she said. “They won’t go out and you have to replace them in the middle.”
Leonardo has also incorporated her love of sea shell collecting into the business. Most of her lanterns, terrariums and other products feature shells she’s collected with her family while walking the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park in the off season.
The tea cup candle collection is also a window into Leonardo’s life. She enjoys collecting tea cups – vintage and otherwise. She’s repurposed the tea cups as candles, each unique. “People just don’t drink tea in tea cups anymore, but they’re so pretty,” she said.
She also repurposes old telephone pole insulators and uses them as tea light holders, perfect for patios, she said.
As for fragrances, Leonardo is currently selling her summer collection, which includes popular scents sea mist, juniper breeze, orange blossom and coconut lime. Lavender, vanilla and lemon verbena coming soon.
She will also have seasonal fall and winter scents, such as pumpkin soufflé, cranberry marmalade, blue spruce, mistletoe and peppermint bark. Leonardo will offer handmade wreaths for every season, designed to complement her seasonal candles.
Mulberry Street Candles, 124B W. Third St., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, go to www.mulberrystreetcandles.com or search for the store on Facebook.