Blooming Brightly offers sustainable and good-for-you candles.
For Teresa Mulgrew and Veda Campbell, their mother-daughter bond has grown stronger with time and age. Finding themselves unable to spend as much quality time together as they desired, the Woodbury resident and Prescott, Wisconsin, resident set aside intentional time to find a common interest.
“Veda and I enjoy spending time together, and one day, we were thinking and decided to come up with something fun to do together,” Mulgrew says. What started out as a shared hobby of creating candles burned into research on how to create a sustainable candle, candlemaking materials, containers and scents. Eventually, the duo developed a brand together, Blooming Brightly, and launched it on Mother’s Day in 2022.
Each Blooming Brightly candle is handmade in Mulgrew’s Woodbury home and created with the highest quality materials, including coconut soy wax and essential oils for scent, plus wooden wicks. “We didn’t feel right about giving people a product that wasn’t good to use,” Campbell explains. “We want to take pride in what we are selling to people, and a big part of that is having it be sustainable and organic.” Every candle also comes with wildflower seed paper, so the corrugated tin container can be reused to grow flowers.
With seasonal and rotating scents, Mulgrew and Campbell say there’s always a new collection or product on the horizon. Campbell says there is one scent available year-round, its signature “Bloom” scent, but it offers limited edition scents, too. “Every month, we bring in a limited edition scent, and we get our audience excited about what’s coming next,” Mulgrew says.
“For limited edition scents, we’ll correspond it to the birth flower of that month. Growing flowers is a big part of our brand and product,” Campbell says. “Each month of the year is a new flower, and we were excited about that.”
Although the family business is kept between Mulgrew and Campbell, Zack, Campbell’s brother, has been their number one supporter. “As an older brother, he expresses a genuine interest in what we’re doing,” Campbell says. Mulgrew notes that, as a Realtor, he has even used Blooming Brightly candles as client gifts. “It’s so nice that he wants to help out and participate,” Mulgrew says.
The business is just starting to bloom—and they have plans to expand it. Blooming Brightly candles are currently sold at The Salon in Woodbury, and they do pop-ups at farmers markets and craft fairs, which they hope to do more of this next year. And though Mulgrew and Campbell are grateful to their customers, they’re also grateful for the time spent together.
“We don’t live together, and so over COVID-19, I felt like we weren’t seeing each other as often as we would’ve liked, and we had to schedule time to spend together. It just wasn’t at the extent that we wanted it to be,” Campbell says. “So it’s been an amazing way for us, at this time in our lives, to make time for each other and do something that we’re really proud of together.”
Keep the Planet Clean
At the core of Blooming Brightly is sustainability—and the brand celebrates Earth Day accordingly. Although it launched in May 2022, Mulgrew and Campbell did an Earth Day giveaway to their customer base. “We like to give back to our customers, and we’re always doing giveaways,” Campbell says. This year, the duo is planning another giveaway and will be donating five percent of proceeds to local nonprofit Metro Blooms. “They work to promote biodiversity and strengthen the ecosystems in support of pollinators, which aligns with the mission of our candles and why we love using seed paper packaging for our products,” Campbell says.
“We feel like sustainability is a big driving point because it’s eco-friendly and higher, better quality ingredients are better for you,” Campbell says. “We take pride in creating something that stands out, and it was important that people could reuse the product. It’s really two gifts in one.”
Candle it with Care
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to treat a candle. Luckily, Mulgrew and Campbell know a thing or two about candle etiquette, and they’re each sharing tips to treating your candles with care.
- Trim the wick. Although all Blooming Brightly candles come with pre-trimmed wicks, it’s important to trim the wick down on other candles before lighting them for the first time. Trimming the wick allows the candle to have a brighter and cleaner burn—so there’s no sooty residue when burning them. “When we send out our packages, we make sure that we do that first trim and leave half an inch of the wooden wick,” Mulgrew says, noting that Blooming Brightly also started carrying wick trimmers for this purpose.
- Watch your burn time. Candles shouldn’t be burned for more than four hours at a time. If they burn more than the allotted time, they become a fire hazard. However, it’s important that, during the first burn, the wax melts all the way to the edge to avoid future tunneling. “If you don’t burn it to where its an even burn to the sides, you’re not getting the full use out of your candle,” Campbell says. (Editor’s tip: If your candle does tunnel, wrap a piece of foil around the candle edge to create a hut. It will keep the heat inside and allow the candle to burn around the edges.)