All images by Floating Home Films.
“It all started with our love for wine and candles.” Over their years together, the appropriately-named Tricia and Micah Burns would often finish a bottle of wine together and hold onto it. They grew quite the collection and one day, looking to repurpose what had become a large range of glass crenellations, they had an idea: to make candles from the bases of their bottles.
Their candle-making became a hobby, an outlet, something they could do together and then give as gifts to family and friends. It also provided them with a project to combine their different talents and backgrounds. Micah is an arborist and handles the production side of the operation, hand-cutting the bottles and pouring the wax. And as an artist, Tricia designed and created all of the branding and carefully does the finishing work.
Their interest in their hobby grew and grew. Eventually, they saw in their joint pastime the promise of a business. After a few years of testing and researching, they settled on the candle wax they wanted to use. It is made of 100% soy that is grown in the U.S. and is free of any additives. Soy wax burns more cleanly that the more common paraffin wax which gives off 11 known carcinogens. Soy wax also has a much higher melting point, which means it burns for a longer period of time and makes for a longer lasting candle.
When they were ready, in the Fall of 2015, they opened Trim Candles for business. Today, they still do everything themselves. The couple enjoys this intimacy to their business, “we enjoy the simplicity of being a smaller, tight knit operation.” What makes their candles special is this attention to detail, this close involvement with their product. Describing the process, they say “every step is done by hand, from cutting the wine bottles, to pouring the wax, to labeling the candles, and stamping the dust covers with each scent name.”
The care they took in choosing the candle wax extends to all aspects of their candles. They test and choose a variety of scents for a wide range of candle lovers. They use only phthalate-free fragrance oils that are infused with essential oils, and the wicks are all natural, cotton wicks with no lead or other chemicals introduced, to ensure cleaner burning candles.
Running a business together has brought with it its own challenges, however. They say working together, as a married couple, “definitely has it pros and cons like any partnership.” In time, they realized part of working together involved delegating between them certain tasks of the business that aligned with their individual strengths. But, ultimately, they are certain they “can count on one another to get the job done and rest assured that things will be done right, no matter what.”
The demand for their candles having long since outpaced their ability to drink and reuse bottles of wine, Tricia and Micah now source all of their bottles locally from within the Finger Lakes area, a major and highly-respected wine making region in the state. They themselves live in Rochester, New York, calling it “a great city to call home” and praising the creative, small business community as “very supportive of one another here.” They find being surrounded by so many other like-minded makers inspiring and innervating.
Tricia and Micah look forward to perhaps one day having a storefront and a larger studio space outside of the home to provide a more tactile opportunity for others to experience their candles. Whatever the future may hold, “what began as just a simple idea is now a passion that grows each day.”
Their New York State of Mind is “Warm.”
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