What do a busy mom, 50-pound box of soy wax, and a pandemic have in common? They’re the foundation of Cam Candles & Co., a soap and body care biz based out of Nicole Duxbury’s East Providence home.
“It had always been a dream of mine to someday have my own business and be my own boss,” says Duxbury, a former dental assistant who had quit her job in order to spend more time at home with her toddler, Cameron. While the original plan was to find an earlier shift or remote gig, the subsequent lockdown sparked another idea.
Duxbury began researching how candles are made and found that most involve paraffin wax, which “actually burns toxins into the environment,” she says. “I learned about soy wax and how it could be used as an all-natural, toxin-free alternative.” Hence, she ordered a massive box for herself and “just went for it.”
“To make my candles, I always start with the scent,” Duxbury explains. For winter, she’ll be capturing the aromas of white birch, cypress and bayberry, mahogany and shea, and Christmas hearth. She then calculates how much wax and fragrance oil she needs, melts the wax using the “double boiler” method (a pot with wax nested inside a pot of boiling water), washes and heats the mason jars, preps the wicks, and finally pours the candles before cooling and labeling.
While the creamy white candles are the star of the show, Duxbury also crafts handmade soaps, body balm, body butter, and salt scrubs, all of which feature natural and vegan ingredients like purple Brazilian clay, activated charcoal, and even lavender buds picked from a Cape Cod farm. For Duxbury, the business goes beyond making things that smell nice and look pretty; she wants to provide products that are equally as healthy for people as they are for the planet. Browse candles, soaps, body care, and more at CamCandlesAndCo.com or follow on Instagram @camcandlesandco.