Meet The Makers: Pott Candles

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Ailis Topley, founder and CEO of sustainable candle brand, Pott Candles. With a focus on lowering household waste Pott Candles comes up with creative solutions to create reusable products.

What inspired you to create a sustainable candle brand?

I started to question why candle jars couldn’t be reused during lockdown when I started candle making as a hobby. Months and months of testing then followed to create the perfect refillable candle!

Can you talk us through a typical day at Pott Candles?

One of the best things about having a small business is that every day is different. We have just launched our Christmas collection so my days recently have been filled with Christmas prep. We are now starting to prepare for 2023 and have lots of exciting things in the pipeline.

From the refillable factor to using 100% vegan & cruelty-free ingredients/ can you explain why incorporating sustainability is important to you?

Sustainability is one of our core values at Pott as eliminating the waste of empty candle jars was at the centre of why we started. To further emulate this, our candle refills are vegan, our packaging and diffuser refill bottles are recyclable and even our packaging peanuts can be dissolved with no trace as they are made from starch. I think it is important for any business to be more sustainable in their choices whether that is the centre of their product or service or not.

If you could only burn one candle from your range for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Tonka. A customer once described it as ‘if cashmere had a scent, it would smell like Tonka’. I love that I can burn it year round and it is also one of our customer favourites! I do also absolutely love our Christmas scents, Fir is my winter go to and i find it very nostalgic.

 

Can you give us some insight into the making process of your products?

Our candle refill and Potts are handmade in the UK. We love collaborating with independent artisans: we have Potters across the UK who hand make our Potts and we work with artists on special releases. We recently collaborated with Em from The Mossy Hill to create the beautiful artwork for our Christmas bags and the amazing Bianca from Bable Candles to create hand painted candles for our Christmas range.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who is trying to shop more sustainably?

I would say to try to make small attainable changes because they add up! I think something as small as switching to a refillable candle can help make a difference, I once read a stat that said 360 million candles were burned every year in the UK – all those candle jars get thrown away. We hope that we have created a candle that whilst refillable, does not mean the customer has to compromise on choice, whether that be colour or scent.

Can you tell us a bit more about designing and creating the ceramic element of your product?

Pottery is such an amazing skill and the actual creation of our Potts is down to our talented Potters across the UK. When it comes to colour, I get inspiration from a number of places whether that be nature, scents or seasons. We work with a stoneware clay, which is quite earthy and allows us to be creative with our gazing choices. Pottery takes a lot of testing to get right and working with pottery also doesn’t always turn out how you think it will – it is part of the beauty of the product. We have tried to highlight this with some of our collections this year, such as The Lac, where every Pott looked different and we didn’t know what they would look like until we opened the kiln.

What has been the biggest highlight since starting the Pott Candles brand?

My biggest highlight has been how our amazing customers have gotten behind the refill. Refilling is at the heart of Pott, it is the reason why I started the brand, and it has been incredible to see how well it has been received. I often get asked what my favourite order to receive is and it is refills, as it shows that the concept of Pott is working!

How do you think we can encourage people to make more sustainable choices and invest in ethical products?

I think it is easier for people to buy into sustainability when they do not have to compromise too much on choice. For instance, all our products are refillable but we still have a range of colours and scents to accommodate people’s varying tastes.

What’s next for Pott Candles? Is there anything coming up in the future that we should keep an eye out for?

We have lots of exciting developments happening behind the scenes at Pott at the moment! We are continuing to develop our range, you can expect new colours, scents, collaborations and we also hope to make Pott easier to shop in person.

Want to know more? Check their brand page out on our website and follow them on socials for behind the scenes action.