Grant Clarke is the founder of Light By Night, a new outlet selling hand-crafted scented candles at Stonham Barns Park. Here, he explains how health reasons led him from running a car body repair business in Essex to turning a candle-making hobby into a business
After the challenges of the last three years, Grant Clarke found that his ‘Well Being’ candle range was being sought out as a remedy to the stresses and strains of modern life. It’s just one of his candle ranges made by Grant, who produces his candles using 100% natural soy wax and cotton wicks. His business, Light By Night, is one of the latest outlets to open at Stonham Barns Park in Suffolk, offering fragrances such as Zesty Orange, Lime Basil and Mandarin and Fluffy Towels to buyers from the region who are looking to incorporate aromatherapy candles into their life.
Grant, from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, says: ‘The fragrances all help with relaxation – and can provide the ideal setting for meditation – and that’s what we all need after the years we have been through. It’s been quite a health and wellbeing roller coaster and as a result anxiety levels are generally still high.’ He adds: ‘Aromatherapy products of all kinds including candles are making quite a comeback.
‘My thoughts turned to opening an outlet during lockdown when I found that online sales of my scented candle products were taking off. Candles were helpful as a de-stress mechanism during the long lockdown months, and they are still helping as we go through the cost-of-living crisis. Life has just got harder on all levels and so demand for these natural products has grown significantly.’
The 35-year-old studied at Art School and so has always been creative, but he originally developed and then successfully ran a car body repair business in Essex for 14 years. His day job was repairing and repainting damaged vehicles, He has been making candles for the past 10 years as a hobby, but it recently took priority as he was told his lungs were being adversely affected by the dust and paint particles associated with the car repair business.
Two weeks after finding out the news, Light by Night was born. He explains: ‘It was time for me to change my career path. So, I hit the street market and events circuit with products I had been producing at home and have not looked back. The products were winning customers across the board, and this made the decision to change what I was doing all the easier.
‘Home décor is becoming such an essential part of daily living as we all try to look for some ‘zen time’ time. We need more than ever to create a space where we can relax, and recharge and scented candles are playing a bigger part in this search for well-being. There is nothing more uplifting than the aromas that we incorporate in our products particularly the fruit, flower and spice variants.
‘We are introducing new tins in the coming months including silver, gold, red and black to further enhance the look of the products to appeal to the homemakers out there.’
Grant adds: ‘Stonham Barns Park has such a creative feel to it. We are very happy to be here and look forward to rolling out some big ideas for 2023. These are exciting times. Who knows what the future will bring but while sales are still growing, I am happy to keep doing what I enjoy. It’s not like work at all. I hope these good vibes continue.’
Featured image of Grant Clarke – picture credit: Keith Suffling