Claire Barnes, General Manager of ECOYA spends 5 minutes with She Does This talking about career progression, choosing the right candles for your home and how to burn them like an expert!
SDT. You're General Manager at ECOYA, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the candle business in Australia! What do you love most about your job?
CB: Being an innovative company, we're constantly exploring product development ideas, I love creating new stuff! Our product range is constantly evolving which keeps things interesting and exciting.
But the people are what really make me get out of bed in the morning. Our team is made up of energetic, strong and passionate women who inspire me every day and provide a fun and supportive environment to work in.
We're very lucky in that sense.
SDT: What have been some of the challenges you faced in your career?
CB: Having been with ECOYA for nearly ten years, I've really grown up with the company – this has it’s challenges in that I find it hard to let go of managing parts of the business that are second nature to me.
Travel can pose a few challenges, I'm between New Zealand and Australia every other week, on one hand I love it as it gives me an opportunity to be out and about in the market which is my true passion – I love our customers! On the other hand, I find it hard being away from my family for long periods of time, I really have to make the most of the weekends and the time I'm at home. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
SDT: What tips do you have for burning ECOYA candles like an expert?
CB: ECOYA candles use natural soy wax and the highest quality cotton wicks which make for a clean burn, however to ensure you get the cleanest burn possible, we recommend trimming your wick before every lighting. The wick only needs to be approximately 6mm in length, keeping it this length will avoid mushrooming which can result in unnecessary soot. This also controls the size of the flame allowing you to get the most time out of your candle
We also recommend only burning your candle for three hours at a time to ensure the ideal fragrance throw and this allows the candle to burn right out to the edge of the vessel. If the burn pool doesn’t reach the very edges on your first burn that’s okay, by the second or third burn it will reach the edges and continue to burn down in that way. Soy wax burns 30% cooler than paraffin or paraffin blends, meaning that your soy wax candle will always last longer. Our favourite motto is cleaner, cooler, longer! Soy wax and beautifully trimmed cotton wicks are the secret. SDT: Which ECOYA scents do you burn in your home to create a sense of comfort during the cooler months?
CB: Cooler temperatures call for warming fragrances, in winter people naturally tend to prefer more complex, woody and oriental blends such as our new Limited Edition fragrance, Caramelised Walnut & Amber.
Other warming oriental or woody fragrances from our Core Collection include Spiced Ginger & Musk and Cedarwood & Leather.
SDT: How can fragrance improve your home office space or work desk space?
CB: Fragrance has proven abilities to provide mental clarity, so dressing your workspace up with a candle not only provides a stylish addition, but also a tool for greater productivity. We recommend sticking to neutral fragrances (as not to offend any workmates with differing preferences to you) and opting for something uplifting such as Coconut & Elderflower, an invigorating scent that is sure to inspire and get the creative juices flowing. SDT: How do you select a scent that suits the room?
CB: Although we believe there are no rules in fragrance, it does ultimately come down to personal preference, we can suggest some of our fragrances that lend themselves to some rooms over others. - For living spaces, we suggest burning neutral and comforting fragrances such as French Pear which is non-invasive and welcoming for guests. - In the kitchen, we like to burn fragrances that balance out less pleasant cooking odours such as Vanilla Bean, a rich fragrance which tends to neutralise overpowering smells. - Floral fragrances are often well suited for the bathroom, our Sweet Pea & Jasmine fragrance provides an uplifting elegance perfect for this space. - For the bedroom, stick with fragrances which have calming properties such as our iconic, Lotus Flower, which is sensual and promotes relaxation. When choosing between candle or diffuser, remember candles need space to ‘breathe’ so aren't always appropriate for small, enclosed spaces. Diffusers can be more appropriate for areas where there is airflow such as an entrance way, diffusers are also suited for bathrooms so you can enjoy a consistent fragranced air.
SDT: What common mistakes do people make when burning candles in their home?
CB: Not trimming the wick! We can’t express the importance of maintaining a short wick to get the most out of your candle.
It's also really important candles are not burnt when there is 10mm of wax or less remaining in the jar. Although it is tempting to continue burning your candle until the wax is gone, we strongly advise against this as the flame needs a solid base of wax to avoid overheating the glass jar.
The most important thing to remember is that candles involve a naked flame and they do need to be treated with caution.