Who doesn’t love a good candle? They add a lovely ambiance and scent to any room and are universally loved. What isn’t so great is that most commercial candles are made of petroleum which means you’re burning potentially harmful chemicals in your home for your family and guests to breathe. Local company Covington Creek Candles are 100 percent soy, no petroleum, phthalates or paraffin, and the glass containers are recyclable to boot. The candles come in various sizes (tarts, votives, jelly jars or mayo jars) and clients can pick the color of the lids (antique gold, bright gold, bronze, black or pewter). The dozens and dozens of scents are spot on, but unfragranced is also offered for sensitive types. I purchased Basil & Herb for my kitchen, and it smells as if I have the actual plant on my counter. The candles are also available as school or charity fundraiser items — a perfect (and local!) replacement for the standard candy and cookies.
Beakers @ United Art
I love unexpected items put to practical use. At United Art & Education, I spied the selection of beakers and instantly thought: jewelry storage! The beautiful simplicity of the beakers make them perfect as bud vases or for use as a fun centerpiece when filled with colored waters. Use them in the bathroom to hold makeup brushes, cotton balls, swabs or toothbrushes. Place them on your desk to store pens, paper clips and note papers or use them in the kitchen to whip up dressings and marinades. I purchased two different sizes of the classic Griffin beaker (250ml for $4.79, 400ml for $5.79) as well as a “mad scientist” Erlenmeyer flask ($4.79), coiled my pearl necklaces inside and hung earrings off the rims for a nerd chic vibe.
Old Fort Soap Company
I adore handmade soap and was so happy to have run across the local Old Fort Soap Company at a farmer’s market upon moving back to Fort Wayne. The scents are amazing, and the individual soaps ($5) are wonderful hostess gifts from our fabulous city. The uncut loaves for $39 (which equal 10 bars) are a great way to save money and cut down on packaging waste. Even better, commission your own scent/blend and name (the duo behind the brand can accommodate special requests, just ask!) to give when someone visits your home as a souvenir of their stay. Purchase Old Fort soaps at Rustic Hutch, Anne’s Hallmark stores and Three Rivers Co-Op or online at www.oldfortsoap.com. For special requests email oldfortsoapcompany@usacom.