MADE in Lake County is part of a paid partnership.
Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Bex Anderson. Bex is the owner and founder of Happy Little Flame.
Everyone knows about the importance of eating healthy and being careful of what you put into your body. However, not many people know that something as simple as burning a candle could be toxic to you and your children.
Bex Anderson of Happy Little Flame discovered how toxic some candles can be after a chance encounter on Instagram. While scrolling through Instagram in September 2017 she became smitten with a handmade candle company and their products. That company inspired her to look into the candle making process. Bex learned that the most common wax used for candles today is paraffin. When burned, paraffin candles release toxic chemicals into the air. Bex frequently burned candles in her home and wanted to find a cleaner alternative for her family.
Bex immediately submerged herself into the candle making world, despite never having made a candle in her life. She joined a Facebook group that had over 60,000 active candle making members, as well as her own research and education. From there she learned the basics of candle making, but the rest had to be learned in her own kitchen.
Bex decided to create Happy Little Flame, a hand poured candle company that doesn’t contain additives, dyes or phthalates.But Bex had no idea how complicated the whole process to get to this point would be.
The most difficult part of the process was perfecting the recipe without the use of additives. Bex spent months of frustration, trial and error experimenting and testing every aspect of her candles. She was determined to make a cleaner burning candle that smells awesome. Bex take on the process:
“EVERYONE would tell me to just use them… that no one would notice or really care. But I DID!!! And I knew it could be done, I just had to keep trying. My thought was, if my products aren’t good enough to use around my kids, they aren’t good enough to sell.”
The integrity of her business is something she takes very seriously and she didn’t want to sacrifice that all just to make the recipe easier. Bex feels it’s harder and harder these days for consumers to find reliable resources for what they need and she promises to always be transparent in everything she does. That includes the way and ingredients she is using and why she is using them.
Finally, she discovered the perfect technique and Happy Little Flame was born. Her products don’t contain additives, dyes or phthalates. She uses a custom blend of 100% natural soy and coconut waxes combined with the highest of quality fragrances and essential oil blends to create a non-toxic, clean burning candle made in her very own kitchen.
“They are still FRAGRANT! From the start, I was determined to create a cleaner candle without sacrificing the scent. And we’ve successfully done that!”
Like many women becoming a mom made Bex start to think about everything differently, including what she is using in her home. As a parent she cares about what her family puts into their body and she realized through this encounter that it goes beyond food to what’s in their environment as well. If she can reduce toxins in her environment in anyway she wants to make it happen. She’s hoping that as she tells people about her candles and experience to inspire others to look at their environment in the same way.
Bex currently sells her candles in her online shop and hopes to further expand in the coming months by stocking her candles in businesses in and around Lake County. She is a strong supporter of local businesses and loves finding small local shops and trying their products. Some of you might even recognize her as the previous owner of a small intimate apparel shop in downtown Grayslake, Lola’s Fitting Room.
Besides running her own successful candle making business, Bex has a seemingly picture-perfect life. She is a stay-at-home mom to two little girls, Olivia and Eve, who are 2-1/2 and 15 months old and have fiery personalities. She is also married to the love of her life, Sean, who is a plumber and HVAC technician in the area.
Outside of making candles, Bex is completely fascinated with philosophy and psychology and enjoys drinking wine, listening to podcasts, and admitted that she has a horrible habit of letting the laundry pile up. She also loves when she gets a minute or two of free time, but then spends the whole time wondering what to do with her free time.
It was a pleasure getting to know Bex. Her dedication, integrity, and knowledge have completely changed my views on candles. I’ve seen many small shops online, and it was so neat to actually meet her and hear her back story. Bex is truly an inspiration to moms and small business owners.
Find them locally at:
- Maison Chic, 111 E. Cook Ave., Libertyville, IL 60048
- Midtown Home + Market, 217 Robert Parker Coffin Rd., Long Grove, Il 60047
- Rustic & Reclaimed, 927 Main Street, Antioch, IL 6002
Disclosure: Happy Little Flame is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.