Little Light of Mine Village Candle shop, located on North Front Street in New Paltz offers a wide variety of products and the opportunity for customers to create their own unique candles.
This past Saturday, April 22, owner, Ingrid Gersiek, hosted a Mad Hatter themed candle making tea party. A whimsical display of tables, chairs and tea cups was set up outside in front of the shop. “I’ve done vintage tea cups myself so I thought people would like it that way and I said ‘I’ll do the Mad Hatter theme’ and that’s how that took off,” Gersiek said.
Before the COVID-19 quarantine, Gersiek hosted “sip and dips,” where guests could enjoy a glass of wine while making candles. The shop has over 100 different scents lined up that customers can choose from.
For the Mad Hatter workshop, Gersiek used soy candles. They are paraffin free and the most natural type of candle other than beeswax.“It’s not overpowering, It’s more easy, so that’s another thing people like about them and also the burn time is a lot longer than paraffin candles,” she told The Oracle.
The next candle making event will be during Memorial Day weekend on May 27, but guests can come into the shop on any day to make candles. Gersiek says that it’s mostly adults that come into the shop, but candle making can also be a fun activity for younger kids. Business picks up on weekends because of the tourists who come from New York City. “A lot of people will come in and they’ll make candles and then spend the day in New Paltz,” she said.
The busiest season for the shop is August through March. With all the holidays during those months and the cooler weather, people are more interested in candles. “The summer is actually slower for me, except my citronella and the other bug candles because you still need candles for that. The weekends during the summer are busy because you have a lot of out of towners,” Gersiek said.
Gersiek opened Little Light of Mine in February of 2019 after teaching herself how to make candles online. “I always loved candles and candle shops. I was actually in corporate for many years, and I got tired of it and couldn’t stand it anymore,” she told The Oracle.
A lot of the materials in the shop are reused or upcycled. Gersiek sells small recycled wax candles for a dollar. “If I have any wax leftover, I don’t waste it, I turn it into tea lights. I try not to waste and I reuse and renew whatever I can,” she said. When customers bring in an old candle container, they get a dollar off their next purchase at the shop.
Along with her own events, Gersiek also teaches candle making for special occasions like bridal showers, birthday parties and more. The shop is open Wednesday to Monday and anyone can stop in to make their perfect candle.