Bangor woman invokes memories with hand-poured candles
For Natasha Everson, a Bangor native, the scents of her handmade candles can almost always invoke some pleasant memory or another.
One of her favorite scents, Apple Cider Donut, takes her back to a time when she was a little girl, sitting in the kitchen of her grandpa’s farmhouse snacking on donut holes while listening to his old Camel radio as he reminisced about his younger years.
Everson and her grandpa would go for rides with the windows down in his single-cab manual Ford with the radio turned up. She can remember vividly how he’d throw his head back laughing at their silly conversations.
“When The Judds would come on the local station, he’d say, ‘Well, little honey, now this is a good song,’ and crank it up; expressing how they were good looking women and fiery redheads with a twinkle in his eye,” she said. “We’d listen to that song driving back while checking out the corn field to see how they were growing.”
Everson, owner of Velvet Couch Candle Co., knew she wanted to name all of her candles after songs. Once she got a whiff of the scent mentioned earlier, she knew it would be named after the song Grandpa, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days by The Judds.
“People connect with music and when they smell certain candles, a lot of times it brings them back to something,” she said. “I’m an old soul and I like recalling feel-good memories and flashbacks. That is the fire that keeps me doing this.”
Her candle adventure started back in May of 2019, when her daughter started spending more time away with her dad. Everson began to feel lost and didn’t know what to do with her spare time.
“I always wanted to do something of my own, I just didn’t really know what that was. I wanted to find something I could do to earn some extra money and maybe save up to buy a house someday,” Everson said. “I’ve always been obsessed with candles and things that smell good.”
She decided to order herself a candle-making starter kit. Following the directions closely, she successfully made a few candles and brought them to the bar where she worked for her coworkers to try them out.
Right away she began to get questions about selling her candles. “There are a lot of candle makers in the world, so I wasn’t quite ready to jump in,” Everson said.
She began experimenting with the chemistry and different scents until she found what she liked best. Everson’s candles are hand-poured in small batches, 100 percent soy with lead free wicks and phthalate free fragrance oils.
Eventually, she got to the point where she was ready to dive in.
Her first craft show was in Coon Valley and throughout the year she had a show of some sort nearly every weekend until March of 2020 when the whole world was disrupted by the pandemic.
Everson couldn’t bartend and the dental office she works at full-time was temporarily closed as well. Like everyone else at the time, she was having trouble receiving unemployment.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do. Luckily, I had been saving the money I made from selling candles, so I had something to fall back on,” she said. “But I couldn’t just sit around. I love people. I love to make people feel good about themselves and make them feel important.”
She decided that while everyone was shut in and quarantined away from one another, she was going to find a way to continue to make people happy.
“I thought maybe bringing people candles would maybe make them feel better to have something cozy that might bring a little brightness and solitude at the end of their day,” Everson said, adding she decided to start selling her candles from her Facebook page.
She had no idea what she was doing, but she had to at least try. During her first online sale, she made 72 candles and sold out in an hour.
She delivered all 72 candles right to her customers’ doorsteps with no contact. Every week she would do another sale and every week she would sell out of everything within hours.
“It was crazy and completely unexpected,” she said. “People would thank me and tell me that my candles were bringing something a little brighter into their lives.”
To make all of her deliveries, she was driving 200 miles in a day spending over eight hours in her car and gaining new customers every day.
“I had been doing well and that was just an explosion,” she said.
When she first returned to work full time, she was concerned that she may not be able to keep up with her orders, but she found a way that works best for her.
“I make it work and I love it,” Everson said. “For me, the passion comes from seeing people’s faces light up and hearing their stories. I just love making them happy and helping make a difference in their day even if it is a simple thing like a candle they might light up.”
For more information and updates on upcoming shows and availability, please visit Velvet Couch Candle Co. on Facebook.