SWYF Find: Wicked Vintage Candles

If you're new to this site, well, welcome! The SWYF Find series profiles local food producers, artisans, organizations, ideas and products that I come across and find interesting. (I can do that - it's my blog!) I'm a firm believer in not only supporting local but consuming with the lifecycle of the product or concept in mind. The following profiles one such "find": Wicked Vintage Candles.

Nestled in and among the tents of farms and local bakeries at the Waterford Farmers' Market stood Sarah Bongo of Wicked Vintage Candles. The name and label of the company is clever and apt: Owner and candlemaker Bongo repurposes the bases of old wine bottles - conveniently donated to her by friends/"recycling partners" in the local restaurant industry - to use as a vessel for her soy-based candles. The idea of candle-making germinated in fall 2012, and Bongo began her venture, including cutting, sanding and buffing the bottles herself.

It's suggested that soy-based candles release less soot and toxins into the air, and last longer than paraffin candles, perhaps the reason Bongo prefers burning them in her home around her family and two English bulldogs. Because of their slower burning time, soy-based candles also hold onto scents of essential and fragrance oils better than their paraffin counterparts. And the scents of Wicked Vintage Candles are all unique and highlight the types of wine once in the bottles, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Mulled Wine, Crimson Shiraz, Mandarin Sangria and Vineyard. If you're looking for a quick gift or favor, consider the candles that come in reused baby food jars - all thanks to Bongo's young child!

So, what's next for Wicked Vintage Candles? Bongo hopes to create a "Man Candle" line, which uses repurposed beer bottles. But, for now, you can find Wicked Vintage Candles at the Niantic Farmers' Market, Waterford Farmers' Market and CONNfetti in New London.

SWYF Find: Wicked Vintage Candles, Waterford, CT. Contact: Sarah Bongo, owner, wickedvintagecandles[at]gmail.com.

Repurposed & full-bodied: The Chardonnay candle from Wicked Vintage Candles.

Repurposed & full-bodied: The Chardonnay candle from Wicked Vintage Candles.