The inspiration behind 'Pet Celebration' custom candles

A conversation with Jen, the founder of J.Lilienne Custom Candles

It all started with a lifelong love for animals, and too many years to count of actively rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing both dogs & cats. Those of us that share our homes & lives with pets can wholly relate to this unexplainable and almost magical connection that we have with them. There is an unspoken understanding that is the key to our mutually beneficial relationships…I truly believe that our pets are the key to our hearts, which is why this symbol became our company logo. It’s almost assumed now, but pets really do love us unconditionally… to their credit, they just get us. They instinctively read our moods, knowing when we’re happy, when we’re sad, and when we really need that unspoken support that they just willingly give us without question. Their communications are physical and tactile, and with that comes a sort of healing power that reaches into your soul. The fact that they can’t “speak” forces us to rely on our other senses, and prompts us to deal with our surroundings and situations on a much deeper, quieter level. And, in turn, we have developed a fierce kind of love for them that makes us want to protect them even more. I really believe the more we connect with our pets, and all animals for that matter, the more we learn about ourselves, our relationships and the world around us.  It helps us decipher the roles we all play in this life and the need to create balance and harmony on a larger scale. Our pets are our best therapists and our best teachers.  And my hope is that we as a species learn to follow their lead and slow down enough to really listen and benefit from all they have to tell us.

The idea of pet custom candles really came to light when my own beloved dog, Luka, who I rescued from one of NYC’s busiest highways, passed away from cancer. I had put together a keepsake box of all his favorite things that he had coveted in his life, as well as anything that reminded me of him. I had taken his ashes, and I created a little area on my fireplace mantle with his picture and a candle. But for some reason, it seemed so generic and just not special enough. At a time of such grief, it simply did not come close to capturing my true feelings for him, who he was and what he meant to me…his unique story, the depth of our relationship, the funny little habits he had, etc.  I wanted something that encapsulated all of those feelings and summoned the memories, and something that could take me back in time to when he was with me – something that could bring me comfort while also celebrating his life. Initially, I created this candle for myself, and only later did I think why not celebrate ALL aspects of the relationships we have with our pets?…from the first day we bring them home (gotcha day), to their rescue stories, to their birthdays, to the ‘foster fails,’ to special and memorable events, and anything that just sums up what they mean to us, even going back in time to our treasured memories of those very first, uniquely special pets that touched our hearts in childhood. Then I thought, if I feel this way, I wonder how many other pet people do as well?…I was constantly seeing so many heartfelt posts about pets on social media, and that was when I really had my “aha” moment! I have always loved the traditional ritual of lighting a candle… it’s so warm and calming, and it creates such an ambiance that soothes our souls… it just made sense to combine that with our love of our most beloved pets, and creatively take it to another level of candle design. The concept of our ‘Pet Celebration’ Custom Candles was born…and these candles really became a sort of love letter to our pets.  After that, our ‘Flora & Fauna’ Collections were simply a natural extension that flowed from that idea, combined with a love of wild animals, nature & the environment.

These days, we are all traveling less and spending much more time at home, and our focus has turned inward to making our home a calming retreat and personal sanctuary… one that we want to be in and that will in turn, make us slow down and be more focused and productive in our daily lives. There is no price that we can put on our relationships with our pets, but we sincerely hope our candles will help create an ambience that prioritizes tranquility and reflection, remembrance and celebration, and a small space of rest for our souls.

Even though we think our candles are beautiful in their own right, made with quality, luxurious ingredients that can stand alone, our custom candles are really all about our labels.  We wanted our labels to look aesthetically different from any other candle labels out there. So we drew from our personal artistic influences, like the warmth and romance from the Renaissance period, and from master artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to give an ‘old-world’ look and feel to our candle designs. We knew we wanted more of a soft and inviting design… something very pleasing to the eye, soothing and reflective of the moment and time the customer will spend with their special candle. Our color scheme encompasses a warm, natural, cream-colored matte label with sepia, umber, ochre and gold tones, and the use of golden old-world scrolling and fonts that complement these aesthetics. Our candle wax is also an un-dyed creamy color, and our lids are metallic bronze & gold and unfinished light wood. Our large glass cylinder, cube and status jar vessels are substantial and luxe.

We knew that we needed the final product to convey all that the customer might want to say about their special pet, coupled with their pet’s picture. So we needed a larger candle to provide enough space to encompass all of these elements in an aesthetically pleasing manner. We specifically did not want to use much color, other than golden & earthy tones, so that we would match the desired look and feel that would project a calmness and soothing state of mind for our customers. Coupled with our unique customized scent blends, we believe our candles will complement any home décor our customers have.

Our company, above all, is 100% ethical in its practices. Our mission and product development, from start to finish, is to provide a unique and innovative product that inspires you every time you light your special candle. As a woman-owned small business, we ensure that we deliver to you the most beautiful candles that are also eco-friendly and environmentally conscious, while supporting charitable initiatives that are synergistic with our company vision. Our charitable promise to our customers is that with every purchase you make, we will give back to reputable non-profits that help our companion animals, our wildlife, people and the planet. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

J.Lilienne Custom Candles utilizes only the highest quality ingredients and product components. We make it our mission to provide top-tier selections across all product lines and supplies, ensuring that eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free and phthalate-free products are offered. Taking care of the earth is essential and this principle is interwoven into all facets of the foundation of our brand… eco-friendliness, ingredient transparency, and pure formulations are a given right from the start. We pride ourselves on offering our customers luxury candle products that are staunchly rooted in these beliefs. J.Lilienne Custom Candles is able to meet our customer demands, while maintaining a superior quality and utmost consistency in our products. And please be assured that we meticulously check and inspect each and every order for content accuracy and quality prior to leaving our studio facility. 

Our society has become technologically dependent, and products are more and more mass-produced.  But we feel very strongly about preserving the artisanal traditions and practices that came before. All practicing artisans represent an authentically sustainable, profoundly human-centered approach to product creations. And our customers seem to agree,…there is a collective feeling that handcrafted items are literally infused with care and love, thereby allowing their uniqueness to shine through. We consider ourselves lucky that our studio is located in the NYC metro area, where artisan and artistic inspiration is all around us on a daily basis. We personally and intentionally select each and every ingredient to design your unique candle. We make each candle individually by hand in small wax melters and pouring pots, and each candle is individually wrapped and packaged. And the ultimate reward is to see our customers so emotionally connected to their finished candles!

We do feel it is worth noting that this type and level of customized candle does not already exist – we are truly unique in the candle marketplace. Similarly, all of our pets are unique… they are all individuals with unique personalities, and they make up such a huge part of our lives. It does take love, understanding and time to create your ‘one-of-a-kind’ candle so that it will accurately and aesthetically capture your cherished pet and your special relationship with your pet.

Why do we think people will love our candles? We spend our lives constantly moving, working, striving, and pushing ourselves… social media and texting on our smart phones has consumed so much of our daily time. Physically and mentally, it becomes overwhelming, and we can only take so much of this go-go-go before we simply must take the moments to slow down… to reflect… to replenish…to self-care.  We also need moments to reminisce…to honor… to celebrate… to cherish and to re-connect with what is important and meaningful to us. Home is now part of our daily lives more than ever – it is our special sanctuary. One benefit of this is that we are spending even more time with our pets. This allows us to celebrate the time that they are in our lives, and the many ways they enhance our daily routines and bring us tremendous joy. And when they do leave us, we want to honor and to remember how they touched us and how they still continue to remain ever-present in our lives. We also hope that lighting our candles will help you take a mental vacation of sorts… to allow you to re-visit yourself in a different moment or different time of your life… to meet yourself and your pet in a specific space in time – reflect on who you were then and who you are now… your special candle is simply another way to keep that connection alive in your heart, mind, and soul.

xx, jen

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