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Up close and personal with...

Candle creator...Laura Francis

When did you start in this business and what did you do before?

I started By Laura London in 2015 after it had been more of a hobby. I’d started making scented candles back in 2013 but only for friends and just selling them at small markets. Beforehand, and alongside ever since I’ve worked in advertising

How would you describe your style?

My style is very much about the scent and working with brides and grooms to create a unique collection of scented soy wax candles for them and their wedding or event. I am heavily influenced by flowers in a lot of my scents and love to work together with florists to create a scent to compliment the floral styling at an event (watch this space!)

What is your favourite flower?

Now this is a tricky one because I’m a big fan of flowers and their scents which have over the last few years become a real inspiration for me when creating new scent blends. Part of me wants to choose the Peony because their beauty and scent is totally undeniable, but there are just so many others like Lisianthus & Jasmine which I love for their subtle visual charm. But I am also an absolute sucker for the beautiful synergy of a brightly coloured Dahlia in a garden. OK if I must choose a favourite then actually, for its versatility and dominant scent, I’d have to choose the Rose. A classic, but I absolutely love the scent when you wander through a Rose garden like the one in Hampton Court near where I live

What sort of information do you need to know when meeting with a prospective client for the first time?

When I meet or speak to a client who’s interested in scented candles for their wedding there are a range of questions that I’ll ask them in order to get things moving. The first of these tends to be finding out about the general location and the clients’ vision for the event. This means I can then do some research into the spaces and think about where I would propose including scented candles. We then chat about what scents they love or are thinking they might like and quite often the flowers that they’re planning for their day. Flowers and scent can be a great compliment to each other so it’s really nice to be aware of this and I quite often work quite closely with florists to ensure we’re working collaboratively

How many weddings do you handle per year and would you do more than one per weekend?

That’s a hard one to answer as my services can range from a fully ‘scentscaped’ event to simply supplying a couple of scented candles for brides to give as thank you presents for their bridesmaids. Due to the majority of the candle creation all happening beforehand I can absolutely work on a number of events over one weekend, assuming that I don’t need to be present at more than one event and am linked in with a great wedding planner or a key member of the wedding party to ensure the candles are placed and lit as planned on the day

Do you have fixed prices for your candles or can you tailor the package for each client?

While I do have a range of signature scents available on my website the majority of my services are purely bespoke for the client and event. This is the part of my business which I’m particularly passionate about; creating a collection of uniquely scented candles which are specifically tailored to the client. From very initial conversations however I will always give my clients rough ballpark costs per candles to help them plan

Is there anyone in the wedding industry that you particular respect or admire or have been influenced by?

Over the last few years I have come across so many inspirational small businesses who are suppliers to the wedding industry. I have found the whole industry so welcoming and there’s a real sense of people wanting to work together to make their client’s wedding day the best it could possibly be. It would be all too predictable to mention Liz at this point as one of those wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with over the last couple of years (#blushing) but she really is one of the great ones and also I must shout out to the Wedding Breakfast Club run by Lex from Lex Fleming Photo, who helped inspire me and connect me to some wonderful suppliers from early on (#greatcall)

What is the most fun part of your job?

This has to be working with clients to plan even just a small part of their big day. It’s such an exciting time to speak to clients and I also love that apart from working with one client or maybe two, it’s then up to me to do all the rest of the work. Having always worked with lots of people and big teams in the past it’s exciting to do everything from initial chats to getting down to creating scents and the final product. Scent has the ability to make wonderful memories so it feels very special to be able to create something that my clients will light for years to come and be transported back to their wedding day

What is the most important part of your job?

This is absolutely the testing phase of scents. From day 1, I’ve been all about the scent in my candles so I want to be sure that each scent I’m proposing to someone, or posting out, is special and throws as it should (this is the term for how much a candle smells for those not in the know!)

Can people get hands on with your candles themselves?

Yes, I run workshops as often as I can, sometimes for hen parties, sometimes with a partner like a florist or venue... they are great fun and can be tailored to fit with a bride-to-be's wedding style or just be a fun outing for friends

What makes you laugh?

Google ‘people taking pictures of mirrors’ - I don’t need to say anymore but it totally tickles me (it is very funny!)

Laura’s nose and sense of what works together is extraordinary and I am the proud owner of several of her candles - my signature is Jasmine and Bergamot but there are so many gorgeous ones and she does a Candle of the Month xx

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