County Extension Holiday Bazaar
finds market for soy candles
discovered their therapeutic
benefits while battling illness
Helen E. McKinney
NEW CASTLE, Ky. (November 2004) When Linda Roberts
experienced health-related problems last year, she found soy candles
to be a therapeutic answer. Long known for their health benefits, soybeans
comprise a candle product that Roberts markets from her home in Henry
of Linda Roberts' soy candles.
Soybean products are low in cholesterol, high in fiber
and full of vitamins and minerals. Roberts viewed a woman from Louisiana
making soy candles on cable TV and decided this was a hobby she would
enjoy very much. After suffering two heart attacks, Roberts closed up
the beauty salon she had run from her home for 16 years and ended her
28-year career to embark upon a new one.
Knowing she could no longer do what I used to do, she now
fills her time creating soy candles in her kitchen. Having something
to do that she enjoys and that others enjoy as well, gives me
a better outlook (on life), she said.
Roberts will be one of more than 30 crafters displaying their wares
at the 12th annual Holiday Bazaar in New Castle. Sponsored by the Henry
County Extension Homemakers, the bazaar will be Saturday, Nov. 6, from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Henry County 4-H Fairgrounds building on Hwy.
421 between New Castle and Pleasureville.
As a fund raising project, the senior citizens from Tri-County Community
Action Agency will provide breakfast and lunch items. This bazaar
is a way to encourage the community to spend money locally, said
Henry County Extension Agent Maryellen Garrison. The event is a cooperative
effort between local crafters, the Extension Homemakers and senior citizens
in the community.
Its a great chance to Christmas shop, said Garrison. It provides
an opportunity to purchase unique handcrafted gifts without ever having
to set foot in a crowded mall.
Items for sale will include music boxes, gourds, holiday décor,
jewelry, wooden bowels, oil and folk art paintings, furniture, wooden
toys and kitchen items. The bazaar began as a fund raiser for the Extension
Homemakers and as a community economic development activity to allow
Henry County craftspeople a local venue for selling their creations,
of Linda Roberts' soy candles.
Robinson decided to take part in the bazaar this year,
comparing last years experience to a reunion. After
being cooped up in the house in her beauty salon for so long, Roberts
now enjoys getting out. Because of the good crowd attendance,
Roberts said she did outstanding last year for her first time participating
in the bazaar.
Ive always been a candle addict, she said. Roberts
started making soy candles last fall, and named her business, Four Leaf
Candle Works. Many people dont realize the chemicals that
are in other candles that are harmful, she said.
Soy candles are non-toxic, biodegradable, chemical free and burn longer
than wax candles. Using six to eight pounds of wax, Roberts can produce
a batch of soy candles within five hours.
She begins with soy wax flakes, which she compared to falling snow.
This soft, loose wax cannot be made into votive or pillar-type candles,
said Roberts. After securing the wick to the bottom of a jar, Roberts
melts the wax, then adds color and scent, heats it to a certain temperature,
cools it to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then pours the soy candle into jars.
In the beginning, Roberts put her candles in odd or fancy containers.
But then she struck upon the idea of putting them into canning jars,
and this idea stuck. It seemed strange to me, she said.
When I see a canning jar, I see work. But customers prefer
the country look of the canning jars, she said.
Most of the candles are scented with floral and cooking scents. Grandmas
Kitchen seems to be a favorite among customers. It immediately
brings to mind memories of Grandma, said Roberts. Everybody
gets something different out of it.
A new scent is Odor Eliminator, which has no definite scent.
It has a clean, fresh smell and is geared for homes with pets. Other
scents include Cinnamon Bliss, Angel Whisper, Log Cabin and Strawberry
Roberts has a favorite scent for each of the different rooms in her
house. When compared with wax candles, I know theyre more
healthy to burn in my home, she said. A small, 4 ounce candle
burns for approximately 12-15 hours and costs $4 or 2 for $7, while
an 8 ounce candle burns for 36-38 hours and costs $6.50 or 2 for $12.
Another popular fund raising project associated with the bazaar is the
annual Teddy Bear Tree. Ruth Earl Harrod of the Town and Country Homemakers
said this is Henry Countys answer to Louisvilles Angel
Tree. For the later project Christmas trees are placed in area
malls with names and a Christmas wish list for needy children attached.
The Teddy Bear Tree began as a fund raising way to buy a chance on one
item, but has now grown to two baskets full of items. For a $1 chance,
customers can win a basket filled with Christmas items, or a second
basket filled with miscellaneous items. The baskets are valued at $200.
This is our clubs way of donating back to the community,
For more information on the bazaar, call Garrison at (502)
Back to November 2004