Sunday, March 1, 2015

Q & A: Carol Wolstencroft from Candles From The Keeping Room

Carol, the owner and candlemaker at Candles From The Keeping Room, is a lady who knows how to stay busy. She could give bees a lesson or two. Carol's wit and kindness can be witnessed after only a few minutes spent among her and her customers on CFTKR Facebook page. She was also kind to participate in this little interview with me. I hope you enjoy learning more about this gem of a vendor.

1. Your quality wax creations have stood the test of time. When did you first start working in wax?
I started working with wax in 1998... and I started selling in 1999 on eBay... a mix of candles and primitives... I loved it then and still do.

2. What are some of your favorite scents that you pour?
I think I like most scents that I pour... some might be a little spicy or floral for me as far as melting myself... but on the whole I think most are very nice. Do I have favorites? Yes I do... love the soft designers, realistic fruits, and comfort scents and some of the mint blends.

3. What inspires you when it comes to creating new tarts and candles?
On the candles, I love to find interesting old containers, granite-ware, tin and pottery by flea marketing, which I love to do. That gives me my base or container to work with... then I come up with fun embeds and scent ideas to fit the container. I really love to blend oils to see what new aromas can be made... I also, in the past few years, have been offering just straight scents that my customers can blend themselves and my customers have given me many ideas which I can run with.

4. What do you love most about your job?
There are quite a few things that I love about my job. My candle factory is right here on the farm, so if I like I can come out in my pj's if I wish ... >grins<... I love to create candles and new scents... but having this business is not like having a job. It is really fun and I enjoy coming out here in the morning... it is actually play time for me. I also love all the wonderful people that I have met through emails and messages though the years... some have become like family... but the biggest joy of all is to hear how much my friends and customers are enjoying their tarts and candles.

5. What is the least favorite part of your job?
I like pretty much all that I do. I find that explaining to a customer that I am sorry but we had a website glitch and that a scent or a candle has been oversold... that is the worst part for me. Thankfully, I do not have that often. I am finding that websites are not glitch proof, which I do not like.

6. Your business plan has grown and evolved in many different ways since you first started; do you foresee any more changes in the future?
Yes, there will be changes coming in 2015. I will be taking some time off this summer to do some family things... would like to visit my mother in Arizona and children in California... and, pretty excited... my husband David, a retired firefighter, is going to take me up to New England to show me where he was born and plan to do some sight-seeing.

7.How do you splurge on yourself?
I don't really splurge on myself, but I never go without. If I really like something, I usually buy it for myself... but I do love to be taken to lunch or dinner by my hubby David. In the winter it is very hard because of the weather, so every so often I will buy something yummy online and treat ourselves at home... like a shore dinner.

8.What are your Top 3 books, movies or TV shows?
I am not a movie person but I do enjoy watching TV. I love the Hallmark Channel. I guess I like fairy tale type movies, boy meets girl and they live happily ever after. I also like a show called "How It's Made"... I find that so interesting... when you walk away and say, "Gee I didn't know that was how it was made." As far as books... I love them all... but I especially like to read business magazines. I love to read about how certain businesses evolve and how they are doing. I guess the best way to answer this, I love to learn new things and I am very lucky... I seem to do this daily.

9. Garfield has to be the cutest wax tart mascot ever; how did he come into your life and what are some of your fondest memories with him?
Garfield was a rescue kitty, I rescued him and his brother, Fatboy, when they were about 6 weeks old on a cold September day... and hid them in the upper barn, in my hub's workshop for the first winter. The lady up the road did not feed them and they had no shelter of any kind, so one day when she went to work, I drove in my car and stole them off her front porch... she didn't even know they were missing. After the first winter, hubby said I would have to do something with them because they were climbing on his antique car... so I trained them to come into the lower barn with me to the candle factory... that was 16 years ago. This is home now and he loves it here... he has a lot of company in and out, three or four different places he can sleep... and lots of love. The drawback to this now is that he won't leave the barn... we have tried to take him inside the house when it is snowing and very cold but he won't stay... he just cries to go back to his barn rooms. It has been a challenge for me this year to keep him nice and warm at night, but we have, and because he is now blind, we cannot change a thing. He does wonderful getting around but I cannot move much because he would be too lost. My fondest memory of Garfield is every day with him... he has such a great sense of humor and is so lovey...

10. Tell us your favorite joke :-)
I really don't have a favorite joke... but I do love to laugh... and I do daily... just from reading my newsfeeds on Facebook. I don't know how these people find them but you see the funniest jokes and pictures there... and of course Mr. Garfield makes me laugh daily... he is such a funny cat... he has the Keeping Room humor...

Thank you so much Julie for allowing me to share a little about our business and ourselves.

Thank you, Carol, for sharing! 

If you are interested in catching a CFTKR opening, have a fellow wax friend add you to their Facebook group, where Carol announces openings of her website.  Carol's wax is mostly paraffin, with a great shelf life. Some of my favorite scents from her include: Fresh Picked Strawberry, Sugared Strawberry Spruce, serendipity blends, cookie blends, Rose Jelly, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, Primitive Wishes, Baked Apple, Celtic Moonspice, Chocolate Orchid, Cedar Sage & Blackberry, Wood Vanilla, and Rosemary Mint Aveda to name a few. 


  1. She's so lovely! Great interview Julie <3

  2. This is a great interview! I have a terrible time getting in on her openings, but from what I have been able to get - she definitely knows what she is doing. Love getting to know her a bit better and putting a face w/ the name!

    1. Hi Choseck! I hope you can get in on the next opening. I will be right there with you, stalking and watching. You are absolutely right, Carol's experience can be seen in her tarts. Thank you for stopping by and chatting with me!

  3. Such a cool interview. I love that, even years later, she still loves tinkering with wax and pouring and finding cool new containers for candles! Her Garfield pictures and cat memes are great! That picture of her and her husband is adorable, it is so nice that she's going to take the summer to go visit her kids and where her hubby was born! Great interview, J!

    1. Thank you Lauren! <3

      I love that she still likes making them too! I hope she has a great summer full of family and love! I am looking forward to some family vacation myself this summer. Any plans for you?