I have a bit of a weakness for bookish candles. In fact, I have a bit of a weakness for anything that combines (somewhat) useful or interesting items with pop culture at all, especially if they’re coming from small businesses. As a result of this, I’ve tried a lot of bookish candle companies. You’ll hear a little about them on Instagram from their various reps and influencers… but I wanted to do something a little different.
I want to bring you guys reviews of the bookish candle companies I have tried, and my experience with the candles themselves. I am not being paid by these companies (I’m not a big enough influencer to win one of those rep searches, don’t you worry!) but I think we talk a lot about the book boxes, but not a lot about the other creators inside them.
Today, I wanted to start with a company I have a lot of candles from: Gillywick Goods.
Hailey describes her business as a place where pop culture meets candles. Many shops will offer more than just candles, and Gillywick Goods is no exception. Hailey offers:
- seasonal boxes
- enamel pins
- a huge selection of candles
With any candlemaker, you’re going to run into some pros and cons about the candles themselves. She offers candles in 2oz. tins, 4oz. jars, and 8oz. jars. Generally speaking, she uses wax wicks, frosted glass jars, and black plastic twist caps – the 2oz. tins are black. Her labels are simply designed with a lot of geometric designs and complimentary colors. The shape of the label changes depending on the size, but the general design is the same.
One of the issues I have run into with Gillywick Goods candles, and this happens pretty consistently, is that her wicks are often off-center. You can sort of see that in the Judy’s Hot Cocoa candle before – that’s not the worst one I have, but you can see that it’s not in the middle.
Having a wick centered is important, because otherwise you can get tunneling and the wax gets wasted. I reuse my wax to create large layered candles, so this isn’t a really big deal for me, but it can be frustrating for the buyer to see the quality off. Most the candles I have from Gillywick Goods come from her seasonal boxes, so these are bulk rush orders… so the lapse in quality is understandable. Still, it would be better to not have that be a problem. I find that when I burn them long enough, they end up burning down evenly. Sometimes, the wicks come loose so I can correct them while the wax is melted, but it’s not something the buyer should have to do.
Hailey has a huge selection of candles. The first time I ordered from her, she had probably 250 candles in her shop. They were all pre-orders, so she makes them in small batches. Her themes go from books to tv shows, to movies. I’ve received two Hogwarts boxes from her, as well as a classic Christmas box (everything from the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Elf). I’ve purchased Disney-themed candles from her, and I even commissioned a custom one (which you can see later in the post).
So if the quality is off, why would I have so many candles from this shop? Especially because – as I noted in the Spring Reads unboxing – I’ve had issues with broken items from Gillywick Goods. It’s because of all the candle companies I’ve ever tried, Gillywick’s aromas are the absolute best. Even though she has such a variety of candles, the aromas mix together perfectly, and they are strong. If you have a sensitive nose, this could be a negative point, but I love that I can light a 4oz. candle and smell it throughout my apartment. I can’t smell any of my other candles that potently.
I commissioned my Daughter of the Lioness candle – inspired by Aly from Trickster’s Choice – from Gillywick, because I had a scent profile in mind that I wanted to smell like a spice market but also like the ocean… and she nailed it. I cannot tell you how happy I was with this candles. It’s a dark blue candle with a wood wick and bronze glitter. She captured my vision perfectly, and I enthusiastically recommend her if you’re looking to get something custom done.
There are a few candles she decorates, including the Dio de los Muertos candle (inspired by Coco) pictured above. From what I’ve seen, the designs are all basically the same, but in different colors. They are very, very Instagramable, if that’s your thing.
So, in review, are there some downers about these candles? Yes, absolutely. The off-center wicks are an issue, and I have an amber glass wood wick candle from Classic Christmas box last season that will not stay lit (something about the wick… I’m going to work on it… it smells so good). The way these candles smell is such a win for me, and I love the variety available. Also, and I haven’t emphasized this yet, but Hailey is such a pleasure to work with and a genuinely nice person. She answers all messages I’ve ever sent same day, and replaces all broken items quickly and without further issue. Honestly, she’s a dream and I’m happy to support her.
Which item in the Gillywick Goods shop would you like to try? She’s got an Alice in Wonderland box at the time of writing this that I desperately want but am making myself not buy (you know… moving again)… and I love the Cindy Lou Who candle! Tell me your favorites in the comments. 🙂