Veteran-owned candle store settles in Lingle

Jess Oaks
Posted 5/15/24

LINGLE – Something in the air has changed a bit in Lingle over the last few months. Hella–Scent Candles has recently opened a store full of hand-poured, soy-based candles.  

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Veteran-owned candle store settles in Lingle


LINGLE – Something in the air has changed a bit in Lingle over the last few months. Hella–Scent Candles has recently opened a store full of hand-poured, soy-based candles. 

Shop owner Josh Washburn found himself with a little extra time on his hands during the COVID-19 pandemic and he found himself wandering the isles of Hobby Lobby, looking for a project to pass the time. 

“All of the candles are 100 percent soy wax,” Washburn said. “We hand make them and we have been doing it since 2019, I think, the winter of 2019. Covid hit and I got really bored. We had a bunch of little candles from Walmart because I only bought $5 candles. I didn’t care about them very much. It always has a little layer at the bottom that you can’t burn. I went to Hobby Lobby thinking I was just going to make a candle lasagna and just remake one candle with all the extra.”

Of course, after looking at the numerous products at the craft store, Washburn purchased an assortment of candle-making supplies.

“I found out that they (craft stores) have a bunch of stuff,” Washburn said with a smile. “So, I spent way too much money and brought home way too much stuff and spent all night making them and my wife woke up and came and there were candles everywhere. She said, ‘Wow, it smells good in here,’” Washburn said.

Hella-Scents is proudly veteran-owned and operated. 

“We were trying to figure out what kind of demographic we wanted to go with,” Washburn said. “The ‘Hella-Scent’ name is kind of a millennial term. You know, ‘hella,’ like ‘hella-good’ or ‘hella-lot’. We max out the scent we put in each candle and each different type of wax will hold a certain amount of scent. We max it out and we do a single pour.”

Washburn mentioned other candle companies do single, double, and triple pour their product.

“This means, they triple pour the bottom layer, so it is really weak (scent) the middle layer is just okay, and the top layer is really strong so when you smell it on the shelf it smells really good,” Washburn explained. “When you are halfway through and you’re like, ‘I can’t smell anything.’ So, we do a single pour and max out the scent.

Washburn expressed finding the demographic area for his customers has been a key factor in his business’ success. 

“We were thinking about who is going to buy candles, who is going to be loyal to candles? We kind of went for that younger market,” Washburn expressed. “A lot of people our age are really starting to get into things that are healthier, more quality of life versus the hustles and bustle of capitalism. An alternative wax was necessary.”

When it came to wax, Washburn said he had quite a few opinions to choose from, but soy wax took the cake. 

“Paraffin wax is a petroleum product. It is terrible for you to burn and smell,” Washburn explained. “Of course, anything on fire is not good to be sniffing but soy is better. We figured we would have to go with soy or bee’s wax.”

Washburn explained the process with bee’s wax looked more difficult and there was a larger price tag.

“We could get a really decent (scent) throw with the soy wax and still not spend too much so we could make a mass production,” Washburn said.  

Because Washburn is striving to keep the Hella-Scent products as healthy as possible for customers, the candles and wax melts sold in the store are white.

“We want to put as little additives in as possible,” Washburn said. “The soy does have some additives to hold it together and help it throw (scent) better but the wax is 100% soy with very few additives.”

According to Washburn, the scents used by the company are also a healthier alternative than most retail candles today. 

“The scents are made from essential oils and some other manmade things, but they aren’t just chemical,” Washburn said. “We want to keep from adding anything unnecessary into the burn and try to keep it as healthy as possible and pure as possible.”

It takes Washburn about a few days from start to completion with each candle.

“We can make our first batch in about two hours and then every batch after that takes less. Maybe 35 to 40 minutes because it takes the longest to heat the melter. So, we will make some and repour it in so it will be melting as we make them, so the last batches go a lot faster than the first.”

Like the best things in life, Washburn says candles need to “cure” or sit for a little while before they are lit.

“We usually like to let them cure for about three or four days,” Washburn said. “The curing process makes them stronger and makes the scents throw better so we don’t like to put them out right away. We let them sit for a few days to a week and then we label them up and they are ready to go, cut the wicks, and put the caps on.”

Candle-making isn’t as easy as one would think.

“There’s a lot of science in it that you wouldn’t expect. One hundred different waxes, 100 different wick types and scent types but at the end of the day you’re really just melting wax and mixing it with scent,” Washburn explained.

Hella-Scent can be found at the local farmers markets and the Lingle-based store will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Friday, if they are not at a craft show, they are open 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.