The clocks are about to go back and the last of the leaves are falling from the trees: hibernation season is well and truly here.

It’s time to get Hygge - the Danish concept of hunkering down and enjoying simple, feelgood treats.

Think indulging in hearty veggie soups and pumpkin spiced lattes, or spending a rainy afternoon reading a book snuggled up under your favourite blanket.

And candles and fragrance can play a big part in creating that cosy Scandinavian vibe.

Just over a decade ago, Jo Kendrick launched The White Candle Company from the kitchen table of her Suffolk home.

Her introduction to the craft was on a course, with the-then Prince Charles’s candlemaker, no less.

“I enjoyed the day immensely and found making candles, choosing fragrances and the whole alchemy of the day very therapeutic and relaxing,” says Jo.

“At the time, I was working part time in a school, having left the corporate world of marketing. The flexibility of my job gave me ample time to do some experimenting of my own and, six months later, after many, trials and tribulations, I launched The White Candle Company.”

Based at a studio at Lavenham, they have expanded their range and now offer more than 30 fragrances as candles and 12 as diffusers.

They have also branched out into making wax melts, soaps and lotions and limited-edition room mists.

Fragrance can have an impact on our mood and wellbeing. Some scents can make us nostalgic. Some are uplifting. And some are calming.

And during the Covid lockdowns sales of candles and home fragrance soared. It’s a trend that looks set to continue.

A few weeks ago, with the cost of living crisis making itself felt, retailer John Lewis reported signs of the return of the ‘lipstick effect’.

The lipstick index, coined by Estée Lauder’s Leonard Lauder, is the idea that sales of affordable luxuries rise in economic downturns as consumers turn to smaller indulgent treats to boost their mood.

This year, as finances have been squeezed, Jo has refined their product range.

“At the start of 2022, I decided to downsize my products, but pay great attention to the packaging – meaning that a beautifully packaged gift is still accessible to all, without the hefty price tag. I only have one item that retails for above £25,” says Jo.

And this year she has introduced a selection of new fragrances, which sound perfect for a feelgood autumn treat.

Duvet Day is a powdery blend of myrrh and tonka and Jo describes By The Fire as “an unbelievably realistic fragrance of smoky embers”.

Sweater Weather is an outdoorsy fragrance of white thyme, bergamot and pink pepper, while Eve’s Temptation is a classic pairing of apple and cinnamon.

Jo describes Mistletoe Kisses as a “herbal and zesty lime mix, with fruity apple, cassis and melon” and one of her own favourites is Winter’s Walk, a warming blend of oak and cedarwood.

They start working on their Christmas ranges in June. However, this year’s high temperatures put them behind schedule.

Jo describes Winter, their most popular festive fragrance, as “literally Christmas in a tin”.

“A blend of cinnamon, mandarin orange, clove and nutmeg, it epitomises Christmas and I always have to take double the amount of this fragrance to a market,” she says.

What are Jo’s favourite scents?

“I go through phases as to what I like and dislike, dependent upon what we’ve been making during the week, but, ultimately, always come back to two: Tuscany, our house fragrance of thyme, olive and bergamot, and Basil and Neroli.”

As Jo explains, sustainability has always been at the heart of what she does.

“My ethos, when creating the company, was to create a handmade, quality product that was priced sensibly, packaged beautifully and minimised the environmental impact wherever possible. As such, conscious decisions are always made, using plastic-free and eco packaging and offering refill services on many of our products.

“We use a specially blended soya wax, designed to give the optimum throw - the word for smell in the world of candle-making,” she continues.

“And our wicks are cotton, candles are left their natural white colour and fragrances are very carefully selected.”

While the candle-making process itself is quite quick, the development stage takes time.

“Each different size candle and fragrance has to be tested, quite extensively, to find the correct formula. One wick does not fit all. Testing can take weeks, if not months, to get right,” she says.

In 2015, Jo decided to open up her house to other people interested in learning to make candles – and shortly she will be starting her Christmas workshops.

She also does one-to-one mentoring.

“My initial workshops were just for fun and were massively popular. After a period of a year or so, I decided to also incorporate a business course, for those that were interested in starting their own cottage industry,” she says.

“These have just grown beyond all belief, and I have, as of now, had over 1,000 people through my door. I think Covid had a lot to do with that, with people looking at ways of earning a living from home or as a second income.

“Candlemaking for Fun is a perfect way to get together with friends, or family,” says Jo. “And make a fantastic array of products, including diffusers, candles and wax melts, which can then be packaged, ready to gift.

“We get a lot of mums, daughters and grand-daughters come to these.”

As The White Candle Company grew, Jo moved the business out of her house and into a small shop in Cavendish. She stayed there for a couple of years, but needing more space, she moved to a purpose-built studio in Lavenham, where she took on another member of staff, fondly known as Jo 2.

In June of this year, they were on the move again – staying in the same block of studios, but to a bigger unit, which has enabled us to take on more stockists and offer additional workshops.

Like many businesses, during the pandemic The White Candle Company had to adapt how it operated.

“When the first lockdown happened, I was forced to take my business online, having only ever sold face-to-face previously,” says Jo.

“I’m a huge supporter of the high street, and this went a little against the grain with me, but it was an absolute necessity in order to survive and has opened up so many more doors,” she says.

Jo is a regular fixture at Lavenham Farmers’ Market and also attends markets at Bury St Edmunds and Clare. She also goes to events throughout the year at Ely Cathedral, RHS Hyde Hall and Clare Priory.

In addition, they have a small shop area and love to welcome people into their studio. Along with the rest of the Lavenham independents, they will be open in the latter part of November and December for late night shopping.

“Provenance is a huge part of what we do. I am, ultimately, the face of The White Candle Company and it will only ever be myself, or “Jo 2” that sells our products,” says Jo.

“This is incredibly important to me and enables us to build long lasting relationships with our customers. Next year we will be celebrating 10 years in business, so we must be doing something right!”

For more information visit or follow them on Instagram @the_white_candle_company