Illume Candles

I’ve always been obsessed with understanding how things work… so it’s no surprise that I love a good factory tour. After years of touring factories all over the world, learning how products are made and seeing production and take place, I’ve come to appreciate the process and the amazing amount of work it takes to produce product on a huge scale. That’s not to say that I don’t love small batch or handmade products – obviously I do! – but the dedication and commitment to quality needed to produce huge quantities of product in a responsible manner is incredibly impressive.

Even more impressive – companies that can do this, and make amazing product, right here in America – more, 15 minutes away from my home in Minneapolis! I’ve been a fan of Illume Candles for years – the candles smell incredible, look beautiful, and are affordable and available at all of the major retailers. As much as I love to seek out American-made, it’s even better when it’s easy to find. I visited the factory and met with the team last month and am excited to give you a peek into the factory… and the inspiration that leads to some of our favorite candles!
illume-burn-roomThe burn room… Illume burns candles in a controlled setting to test for safety and quality – flame height, smoke points, etc. It’s a bit of an overwhelming room (all of those candles burning at one time!) but a great example of Illume’s dedication to putting out amazing product. Did you know that candles have a cold throw and hot throw scent? Cold throw is the way the candle smells when it is not burning… hot throw is the smell when it is burning. Illume combines the cold and hot throws to create the ideal scent for their candles.

illume-waxJust a little bit  of wax… hard wax is melted and then colored and scented. To add perspective, I believe there were 4 vats of liquid wax running when I visited.

illume-wicksI can’t say I ever thought about all of the different wick options that existed… Now I find myself checking all of our candles and trying to figure out the difference!

illume-metal-capWick tabs hold the wick in place and ensure your candle is as safe as it is pretty.

illume-candles-pouredCandles are poured by hand! Seeing this never ceases to amaze me… so much takes place before we bring products into our homes.

illume-factory-candlesCandles after they have been poured… the ombre effect is due to the wax drying. Jenny, Illume’s Marketing Manager, has far better instagram skills than I do and shot this little video that day – it’s amazing!

One of the most exciting aspects of my tour was the contagious excitement and passion everyone had for their work. I had the opportunity to speak with the Creative Director and CEO after my tour and their belief in American manufacturing and the positive impact it has on the business was incredibly motivating and inspiring.

Illume has tons of gorgeous candles, but I’m currently obsessed with the seasonal options.  Everyone I spoke to raved about the combination created by burning a balsam + cedar candle with a woodfire – and after testing it for the last month or so, I agree!

If you are still on the hunt for holiday gifts, I highly recommend the following:

Inspiration for next season…. Trust me, good things are coming!


Thank you so much to the amazing team from Illume for letting me visit and learn for the day! Thank you for all that you do!

Be sure to follow Illume for more behind the scenes information.. and tons of great sales and discounts! (even a contest!)

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