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Black-owned candle company creates bliss

Photo courtesy of Choose Your Bliss

Jason Stewart, the CEO of Choose Your Bliss candle company, discloses what sets his products apart and why he wants to empower his customers in this candid interview.

Where did you get the name from for your candle company?

The original name of the company was Pure Bliss. Our attention is focused more on the ideal customer and how we want them to experience our brand. Bliss, like happiness, is a choice. Amazing aromas and fragrances arouse the senses and help create those feelings and moments; people have the power to choose their emotions and more importantly to Choose Your Bliss.

Why did you start selling candles?

We started this venture as a result of our collective love of candles, and the need to have fresh, potent, all-natural fragrances. My wife Alesha has allergies and most retail candles are irritants. After taking the time to make candles we were able to test the products out to make sure they were hypoallergenic and created a true sense of aromatherapy.

What is your best smelling scent?

Our best-selling and smelling scent right now is ALLUZA. Its composition consists of sweet fruits, and jasmine, permeating exotic woodsy base notes of teakwood, sandalwood, ferns and oakmoss, which creates a fresh scent of a voluptuous spring morning air.

Why use soy to make your candles?

Soy candles are natural since they’re made from vegetable oil [soybeans]. As a result, soy wax candles do not increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere like paraffin candles do, and do not require chemicals to scent them.

Soy candles burn 50 percent longer than regular candles. Even though soy wax candles are sometimes more expensive than paraffin wax candles to buy, they are still more cost-effective in the long run. The soy wax burns evenly, leaving almost no excess wax on the sides of the jar.

Soy wax burns cleaner than regular paraffin candles don’t produce much black soot. Candle soot is more of a nuisance than you might realize. If you burn a lot of candles, over time it can discolor your walls and furniture and stain the edges of your carpet.

Soy wax is non-toxic since they are made of vegetable oil, and are much healthier for humans, pets, and the environment. Plus, they clean up easier — with the use of soap and water — when the wax is spilled.

The scent from soy candles is much stronger and more pleasant than the scent from paraffin wax candles. Because of the lower melting point of soy wax, there is a larger amount of the liquid wax [that] pools around the candle wick itself. It is from this liquid wax pool and the wick itself that the essential oils evaporate into the atmosphere.

How long have you been in business?

Three years.

How long do your candles last?

A continuous burn time is really the only true test of candle longevity. If you were to light our candle and let it burn continuously, the average burn time is 50-60 hours. We recommend [that] you burn our candles in two-hour increments.

What makes your candles different from all of the other candle companies?

We are committed to making healthy products. Most candles you see in the market include synthetic fragrances which can cause real health issues. The Environmental Protection Agency released a report stating scented candles made with paraffin, contaminated oils, synthetic fragrance, and lead wicks are big time sources of indoor air pollution. When you burn those candles, you see black soot in the walls, black particles floating in the air, and the candle only melts wax in the center — the burn is uneven.

Choose Your Bliss candles do not contain any chemicals; we use 100 percent natural soy, plus pure, natural essential oils. Also, each candle contains a crackling, wooden wick that creates a smooth even melt pool. Our customers often tell us they can smell the fragrances through the packaging. The expressions on their faces at retailers, shows, etc is priceless when they actually smell and experience the scent. At the end of the day, it’s all about a healthy, all-natural product with a smooth burn and amazing fragrance.

How did you learn how to make candles?

We started off by taking candle classes in Chicago. The process itself is very simple. It’s the fine tuning and testing of different scent combinations that takes a lot of trial and error. Some oils that smell good in the vial do not always translate well when mixed with the soy wax.

Why do you typically use your candles?

To create a mood or give character to our living space.

Where can people find your candles?

We are online at and locally in Chicago at The Silver Room in Hyde Park.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Freysinger on September 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    The National Candle Association would like to clear up some
    misinformation about scented candles, particularly regarding health implications
    of soy wax. Internationally sponsored studies have been conducted on candles
    consisting of either soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax or other commonly used
    waxes. These studies have definitively shown that the combustion products of
    all common waxes are virtually identical. Therefore, the combustion products of
    soy wax are no different than that of paraffin wax. The levels of these
    combustion products emitted by all candles are well within safety standards
    when burning candles in the home under normal conditions. For more information,
    please refer to a summary of the study here:

    Additionally, the article recommends soy candles due to
    their increased longevity in comparison to “regular” candles. In actuality, a
    candle’s total burn time is completely dependent on the interaction of the
    candle and the wick. Any candle, no matter what it is made of, can burn longer
    or shorter, based on the wick used. Soy wax does not have any characteristics
    that will guarantee it will burn longer than any other type of wax.

    Finally, the article links synthetic fragrances to serious
    health issues. Although there are no known health hazards associated with the
    use of scented candles, unfounded concerns about the safety of man-made
    fragrances vs. “natural” fragrance materials and essential oils continue
    to pepper popular media and the internet.
    The fragrances approved for candle usage do not release chemicals anywhere near
    levels that would be harmful to humans.

    In the future, if you have any questions regarding candles or the US candle industry, the National Candle Association would be happy to serve as a resource. Additional information can
    also be found at
    Carol Freysinger, Executive VP, National Candle Assn.