Linda Olive

Firstly, could you briefly introduce yourself:
I am a Kyogle local based at Homeleigh. I call my market stall Linda’s Homemade Soy Candles and Bath Bombs.

About 5 years ago I started making bath bombs, mostly for myself and as gifts. The recipe uses all natural ingredients including bicarb, citric acid, epsom salts food dye and fragrance moistened with sweet almond oil.

My candles are made from pure soy wax poured into pretty glass vessels from op shops. Getting the low melting temperature of pure soy wax is critical and much trickier than with blended waxes.

Have you always been a maker?
I’ve always been arty and creative. I like craft in general. But what got me started with market production is my love of pretty things and sharing with others. I started the candles purely for fun but amassed too many and so took them off to a farmers’ market.

What draws you to this?
Both the bath bombs and candles are pretty colours, and smell lovely making them very therapeutic, relaxing indulgent products. I have clients who pair them up in the bathroom along with a glass of wine for pure indulgence.

How would you describe your product in three words?
Vibrant, colourful and aromatic. A fourth word is pretty. At the market the fragrance just wafts from my stall.

How did you develop your style?
I saw a candle made in a pretty ice cream sundae bowl. I was intrigued and hooked. I watched a Facebook video about how to make candles and investigated some YouTube footage as well.

I started sourcing glassware with nice shapes and a little ‘out of the box’. Once I had a $10 price tag on a candle I had poured into a piece of carnival glass. It took a customer to alert me to the special nature of that glassware and needless to say the price was soon upped.

What inspires your work?
I am a sucker for making pretty things, but also something affordable. I love that a little girl can come to my stall and buy her mum a nice birthday present for $6.

How long does it take you to make a piece?
I make eight bath bombs at once and in a couple of hours have generally moulded 32 of them.

The candles are more fiddly. I layer colours and each layer has to set before pouring the next. My Hundreds and Thousands candles are 6 layers and it takes me all day to make 4.

Can you describe your workspace? Where is it? Whats in it?
I don’t have a special space. The bath bombs get mixed up on my dining table and the candles are made in the kitchen with the wax melted in an aluminium jug on the stove.

Is there anything in it that you couldnt live without?
My thermometer!

Whats the best thing for you about being creative for a living?
I do love making things and being able to share with and give to others.

How does it feel to be part of the Rotary Kyogle Bazaar community?
I do sell at other markets but I love the Kyogle Bazaar. It seems to have a special atmosphere. It’s very friendly, and well attended by Kyogle locals, many of whom I know. The venue itself is so pretty; like a little fairyland. There is a nice flow.

Do you have any comments about your work and sustainability?
I use all natural ingredients, and reuse pre-loved glassware. There is no waste in my production methods. There’s always a little bit of extra wax after a pouring and I have a giant Moccona jar, with two wicks, into which I tip the extra. Eventually I have an enormous colourful candle for myself.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
Simple. Go for it!

What have been your biggest challenges and achievements?
Working with pure soy is challenging. The temperature has to be spot on at all stages of melting and pouring. I love achieving a perfect smooth too to my candles.

Do you have any exciting plans?
I aim to try a bigger and busier market like the one at Lennox Head.