Homemade candle business Bentley & Hart began in 2015, as founders Julie and Bryan Hart were searching for a solution to the challenges their family faced.
The couple’s daughter Daniella, 24, was diagnosed with autism as a child and had struggled as a young adult to find employment. After searching for a niche industry that would develop opportunities for Daniella and others like her, the three began their home-made candle business.
“Daniella is very positive and outgoing by nature but struggles to communicate effectively or recognise social norms in a professional workplace. This made it difficult for her to get a job,” says her mum, Julie.
“She takes great pride in being a “chandler”. She has developed the skills to produce a quality candle and supports us in all aspects of the candle making process.”
Julie and Bryan Hart had been making candles as a hobby for several years before Bentley & Hart was born, and in 2017 the duo furthered their skills by studying Chandlery overseas. Returning to New Zealand they brought back the knowledge and practices needed to produce luxurious candles that are not only visibly pleasing but have the ability to fill a room with invigorating fragrance.
Bentley & Hart’s first collection, one by one, encompasses the delicate, step by step process behind their scented candles, lovingly made with elegant scents to soothe the soul.
“By buying one by one candles, you’re not only inviting style and beautiful aromas into your home, but you’re helping enhance and enrich the lives of others,” says Julie.
The primary focus for the businesses is to craft luxury candles while offering opportunities for people who struggle to work in a typical work environment.
With new opportunities in sight, the trio are working on launching their business into the wedding market, by creating a collection of customised wedding candles. Available in black or white 90g travel tins, couples can choose from two personalisation styles and a palette of bespoke, elegant scents as a memory of their special day.
“The candles are sentimental mementos for a couple’s big day, and you know people will enjoy them in their own home long after the special event. The candles look stunning whether gifted to a bridesmaid or groomsman, presented at each place setting, or stacked to greet your guests.”
$1 from every candle sale is donated to special causes and New Zealand charities.