April 22, 2024

THE WICKS CHICKS

AYB Candle Bar open in Absolutely Younique Boutique in Colfax

With the temperature dipping below zero, the search for new and different indoor activities is on. Absolutely Younique Boutique in Colfax recently added AYB Candle Bar, a unique experience creating candles and wax brittle.

“It has been going so great. It is so much fun. Oh my gosh it is so much fun!” owner Nikki Regnier Stravers said.

Located in the former consignment space in the boutique at 118 N. Walnut St., the idea for the candle bar came from fellow local entrepreneur Brad Magg.

“He was in one day, and we were telling him some of the goals for the year and he said we should check out a candle bar in Valley Junction. He thought it would be really fun for Colfax,” Stravers said. “We checked it out and thought it would be really great for us.”

The idea was the easy part, Stravers and her co-owner and sister, Tammi Regnier Schwickerath, soon found out. From figuring out what type of wax to use to learning how to wick it, the duo had quite the learning curve to make the idea a reality.

“It was quite a process to learn how to make candles,” Stravers said. “We started in February and didn’t open until August.”

They first looked into soy wax, a popular material for candles due to the clean burn it gives. Upon using the material, the women found it could be hard to actually get a smell from it.

“I just couldn’t image people spending the money and not being able to smell their candle,” Stravers aid. “We stumbled across coconut 83 and that is what we use. We haven’t had anybody tell us that they can’t smell their candle.”

Next they moved on to wicking the candles, which was its own challenge. Due to the coconut wax being much softer they had to add a filler to make it harder and to get better wicking.

Once the candles were ready to go, they started developing the business and soon added wax brittle and themed mixers for people to attend.

“The wax brittle is a lot more fun. You can add color to it. We haven’t perfected color into the candles or sprinkles. The wax brittle, you can do so much more with it,” Stravers said. “We did a ‘Cy-Hawk’ mixer, a ‘Girls Night Out’ and because we partner with Juan (Hernandez of Cocina Hernandez Mexican Restaurant), that is a huge game changer, too. This wouldn’t be nearly as fun if he didn’t offer a full bar. He serves it right at the candle bar, he makes special themed drinks for the mixer. He really spoils us.”

From bridal parties to work groups and women’s clubs to birthday celebrations, the candle bar has stayed busy since it began welcoming guests. Schweickerath even came up with a fun way to break the ice with people, having them describe themselves in four words when first arriving.

“Then one of them ends up becoming your name tag. People really say that it is the funniest thing,” Stravers said “Some people then also name their candles with their name tag. We try to have fun.”

The bar can accommodate up two 12 people at one time. People can choose to make up to two candles and either a half pound or full pound of wax brittle. Prices vary based on the vessels used.

“We want everybody when they come here to experience it together. We want them to experience the smells together. That is part of the fun,” Stravers said. “We want the experience to be more than what they are taking home.”

To book a party or learn about the latest mixer theme, visit the AYB Candle Bar Facebook page.