Meet the maker: ‘candles’ animals with care
ANIMALS and candles don't usually mix, but for one Childers local, the quirky combo of interests is a perfect match.
Working at the Vetcross animal hospital in Bundaberg and clinic in Gin Gin, Ashleigh Henderson has been working as a vet for the last five years.
But when the pandemic left the animal lover with more time up her sleeve, she decided to put it to best use and started her own business making soy wax candles.
"Believe it or not COVID-19 was the push that I needed to get the business started because not being able to go anywhere meant that I had the time to work on my technique and make the candles better," Ms Henderson said.
"I started making candles as a hobby, trialling different waxes and colours and ended up making so many that my house was full of them.
"I didn't realise how much was involved in making candles, but I decided to stick with soy wax candles, they held the scent so well and the wax was great to work with."
Named after her two pet dogs Ralph and Reeva and to symbolise the candles main purpose - to rest and relax, Ms Henderson named the business R & R Candles.
And while her new-found passion continues to grow, the 24-year-old vet nurse admits animals will always be her very first love, which started back when she was just nine-years-old.
"I've always been a big animal lover and I grew up in the Tamborine area, where my grandparents have a 40-acre farm and I was lucky enough to grow up with horses, feeding potty calves and beautiful dogs," Ms Henderson said.
"Now I live in Childers with my partner, where my spare time is spent with my fur babies, driving around avocado orchards and enjoying delicious food."
Along with her two rescue dogs, Ms Henderson also has two horses named Holly and Dolly, but takes no credit for their names.
The vet nurse said she loves her job because the role is so diverse and she works alongside a great team.
"I'm so lucky to work in a mixed practice hospital and my favourite part about it is that every day is so different," she said.
"Some days I can start my day in the clinic caring for my patients, then a few hours later prepping for big orthopaedic surgeries and then later on in the day going out to do a horse dental or even a calving."
Keen to repurpose old mason and pasta jars, Ms Henderson said clients are welcome to use their own household containers, for the candles.
Currently working on developing a website for the business, she hopes to extend her range of scents and start selling her handmade products at the Apple Tree Creek markets.
Soy wax candles are currently available in 150ml, 270ml and 500ml and cost $7, $12 and $18. Pricing for reusable jars and containers varies.
For more information, visit instagram.com/rr_soycandles or phone 0431 770 445.