The northern environment of Hokkaido, as well as Canada, inspire our candles in both our botanical candles where Mami draws inspiration on our nature walks for the flowers she uses in our botanical candles. We also try to use essential oils blended together that reproduce the scents we are familiar with in Hokkaido, using essential oils such as cypress, pine, cedarwood, fir tree, etc. We like to think that using essential oils from natural trees is a sort of shinrin-yoku like experience.
When we first started our business we knew that we wanted to be an environmentally friendly and vegan business. We care deeply about our impact on the environment, and want to contribute to more sustainable business practices. We are also vegan and wanted to make sure our business lines up with these values. It's very important to us that we use entirely plastic-free packaging as well as soy wax. When we first started our business, soy candles were less popular in Japan as well as plastic-free packaging. We hope that we can introduce our customers to small steps towards environmentally friendly practices while also enjoying a product of high quality.
We also sell various candles including wooden wick candles, candles with refillable jars where you don't need to use a new jar and can opt to buy a wax only refill candle on our website. Lastly we sell many seasonal scents that are only available for set periods of time during specific times of the year. At this pop up event, we will be selling our seasonal Pumpkin Spice Candles as well!
Soy wax is very important to us as we wanted to use a wax that was both more environmentally friendly, as well as a natural/clean burning wax compared to the traditional paraffin (petroleum-based) candles popular in Japan. Although there are other waxes like Beeswax that are natural and clean burning, since we are both vegan the best option for us was soy wax. We feel that soy wax is the perfect candle wax for making clean, safe and natural products that are low impact on the environment and 100% vegan. Additionally, soy wax burns at a lower temperature than other candle waxes meaning you can use it for a longer period of time compared to similar-sized candles of other types of waxes.
Mami and Alex met in BC, Canada in 2016 while Alex was hitch hiking across Canada and Mami was backpacking on a working holiday visa. The two travelled around Canada and then Japan together for a time before Alex eventually moved to Japan in 2017. After getting married and while living in Tokyo, Mami started making candles and studying at various schools across the city leading up to our wedding. Mami made all of the candles for our wedding and gave them out as thank you gifts to our guests, which resulted in overwhelming support to start selling these candles. In December of 2018 North Candles was formed. We started by selling at markets across Tokyo before eventually moving back to Canada to sell candles there, and then one more final move back to Hokkaido to Mami's hometown in Tokachi where we opened our store in June 2022.
Alex and Mami’s beautiful candles will be popping up at the Biku & Co. pop-up 5-10th October 2022, just in time for Pumpkin Spice season.
Find out more about our pop-up members here.
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I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.