Ikeda Williams, is a local candlemaker and greeting card maker from South Florida. Our intern, Grace Gardner, interviewed her about her small business, Love Ground Candle Co. Grace Gardner: How long have you been making candles and what sparked your interest in making them? Ikeda Williams: I started making candles in 2014. I’ve always enjoyed creating things and am a lover of candles. I would purchase 3-5 candles at a time and use them really quickly, especially to relax and unwind. While I was working in the non-profit sector, primarily with youth in child welfare and mental health, I found that I desperately needed a creative outlet outside of work. Work [and] life balance is very important to me. I realized in order to continue being effective while working with children and families I needed to make self-care a priority. So I took a candle making class and jumped right into it. I knew right away that this was what I wanted to pursue. Making candles as well as gifting them made me happy. Surrounding myself with people and things that keep me grounded became a major part of my self-care regimen to maintain that balance. I began to incorporate this into my everyday routine and encouraged the youth I worked with to find a daily regimen of self-care as well. Candles create an ease in the atmosphere. (And they smell amazing!) That’s what Love Ground represents. GG: What prompted you to use soy wax to make your candles? IW: I started doing research on different waxes and considered paraffin, beeswax, coconut and a list of others but soy stuck with me. I loved the fact that soy is eco-friendly and completely renewable. It’s slow burning and is the most efficient in my humble opinion. GG: Can you explain what inspired you to use authentic African textiles and fabrics for your greeting cards? IK: I’ve always had a love affair with cards, prints and fabrics of every kind. I’d purchase fabric and use it for just about anything; to create art work in my home, gifts, backdrops and to wrap my hair. I have boxes of blank cards for any and every occasion that I may need. I love to give a nice handwritten sentiment and it means so much when a person takes the time to write something from the heart. Nothing beats a handwritten note. I decided to incorporate African textiles simply because of my love for the fabrics. The intricate details, the history, the uniqueness, the boldness of the prints and colors. Each piece of fabric is different and tells a different story. I wanted to create cards that are fun [and] exude character, history and love.
You can check out Love Ground Candle Co on Instagram at @lovegroundcandleco and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/