Artist Spotlight: Karma Candle Makers

Roseann Sanchez and Mario Siller of Karma Candle Makers pose in their BarbacoApparel tees and Sweet Craft jewelry at the 2015 King William Fair.

You may have heard the adage that scents can enhance your memory and evoke strong emotions. If that’s the case, my first encounter with Roseann and Mario―the creative duo that is Karma Candle Makers, and arguably two of the nicest people you could ever meet―was a memorable one for sure. Don’t worry. I didn’t go up and sniff them personally. Eesh! That’d be awkward. I’m talking about the first time I picked up one of their wax-filled Mason jars and took in the pleasantly clean, fresh scent that permeated my nostrils: Fairways and Greens. And the rest, as they say, was history!

Essential Karma Collection (from left): Citrus Basil, Green Clover and Aloe, Cranberry Citrus, Simplicity, Lavender Pomegranate, and Minty Eucalyptus.  

Company founder Roseann Sanchez and Chandler Mario Siller have been meticulously crafting their environmentally friendly, non-GMO soy wax candles for over five years, creating seasonal collections and locally inspired fragrances you can enjoy year-round. If you’re not sure where to begin, try starting with their Essential Karma Collection. The collection includes some of Karma's personal favorites like Lavender Pomegranate, Minty Eucalyptus, Green Clover and Aloe, and Simplicity. If you're looking to set the mood in your home this fall and winter, the Holiday Collection has what you're looking for with six fragrances that compliment the holiday season: Cinnamon, Citrus Spruce, Fireside Chats, Fraser Fir, Pear Spice, and Pumpkin Spice. And, hey, if you’re just feeling random, you’re in luck still! The Random Karma Collection offers great selections for any random situation―Texas Cedar and Rojo Grande are great local shout outs too!    

Green Clover and Aloe soy candles and wax cubes from Karma Candle Makers' Essential Karma Collection.

[Find out why Karma Candle Makers choose soy.]

The creatively designed and packaged candles come in either Mason Traveler (3 oz) or regular Mason (8 oz) jars, and Mini Mason (1.75 oz) jars are an available option for candles in the Essential Collection. And if you’ve got a wax warmer, wax cubes (3 oz) and assorted fragrance oils are also available.

BarbacoApparel recently had the opportunity to catch up with Roseann and Mario to get a closer look into the world of Karma Candle Makers.

BarbacoApparel (BA): How did Karma Candle Makers come about?

Roseann Sanchez (RS): November of 2009, I wanted to make something handmade and thought about making candles.  I asked Mario if he wanted to try it with me and he said, “Sure!”  We figured if they came out decent we would give them away as Christmas gifts. Before we knew it, we had an order for 100 from the Marketer at my [full-time] job and we hadn’t even made one candle yet.

BA: What’s the meaning behind the name Karma Candle Makers? Why Karma?

RS: Something was happening when the story we just told was unfolding. We didn’t really understand what, but decided to just let it.

BA: What inspires you to do what you do?

RS: The ability to be creative. Seeing people respond to the product and the other vendors surrounding us with their own works and creativity.

Mario Siller (MS): Producing a quality product and being able to work with the Karma team that we have put together. The people we’ve [met] along the way have also been very inspiring.

BA: What goes into making a soy candle?

RS: Making soy candles is like following a recipe. You need all your ingredients: glass, wick, soy wax, fragrance and coloring.  We use only the most premium and safe ingredients available to us. It’s more expensive, but you get a better product.

BA: About how long does it take to make a single candle or batch of candles?

MS: There are multiple phases to making candles with drying time in between. It can take only a few minutes to pour a batch, but start to finish it can take 1–3 days depending on the size of [the] candle.

BA: How do you infuse the wonderful scents into your candles, or is that top secret, 007-type info?

Go Texan soy candles (1.75 Mini Mason, 3 oz Mason Traveler, 8 oz Mason) by Karma Candle Makers. 

RS: This is done through the highly scientific process of magic. Although we can’t give away our trade secrets, what we can say is that we test and test and test our fragrances to be sure they burn properly and still smell great. Additionally, many new fragrances started out as happy accidents. They were not intentional.

BA: What are some new scents you’re looking to test out?

RS: We plan for December’s [Candle of the Month] to be a unique blend; an interesting winter fusion and we’re excited about this.  We are also looking at reviving a coffee scent and perhaps a Nag Champa 2.0.  We’re still on the prowl for a solid Sandalwood as well. We will always be on the lookout for great earth tones.

[Try Karma Candle Makers’ Candle of the Month for November: Thankful]

BA: Have there been any scents or smells that you tested out that just didn’t work (a la Jelly Belly odd flavors, but maybe in a less extreme fashion)?

MS: Anything bread or pastry related doesn’t seem to work out too well. Yuck.

BA: What have been some of the most popular sellers?

RS: Pear Spice and everything in our Essential Collection ― Citrus Basil, Cranberry Citrus, Green Clover & Aloe, Lavender Pomegranate, Minty Eucalyptus and Simplicity. These are our everyday best sellers.

BA: Can you hint at any future products we might see?

RS: Car fresheners, reed diffusers and hopefully Nag Champa as a candle, not just cubes.

BA: And a random question because I know you're both music lovers . . . favorite artist or band of all time?

RS: Jeff Tweedy/Wilco because he is a creative genius. I am intrigued by his poetry and his musical talents leave me in awe.

MS: The artist that has influenced my guitar tone the most has been Ian Moore. I have been a fan since ’93 and appreciate all the changes he’s made as an artist over time.

BA: And favorite artist or band right now?

RS/MS: This was a tough one! We love Buttercup or anything Joe Reyes related. Their live, local shows are an absolute must. Keep an eye on Matthew Squires, out of Austin. He has an interesting point of view that’s both fresh and wise.

Give your home (and nose) a special treat with Karma Candle Makers. Visit them at the upcoming Articopia at the Southwest School of Art (Fri, Nov 20; Sat, Nov 21). If you can't make it out, you can find your Karma at these retail locations or by visiting their website