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Hobby turned business

New Richland woman makes beeswax candles and melts

 

NEW RICHLAND — What started as a hobby and a challenge from her husband has led an area woman to start her own business.

Nastassia Misgen said she first made her own beeswax melts for her home some time last year, after doing her own research and growing concerned over what other products might be burning off into her house. She shared some of her melts with family and friends, who encouraged her to keep going with the newfound hobby and to branch out into other scents.

Eventually Misgen decided she wanted to try making a candle. One night, she said her husband, Dan, made a bet jokingly with her. If she could make a candle that smelled just like earthworms and dirt, he would fund the startup costs for turning the hobby into a business.

Needless to say, Misgen won the bet, presenting her husband with a candle that made their garage smell like a pile of dirt, and The Candle Beesness was born.

Since the bet, Misgen has opened up both her melt and candle offerings. In the future she hopes to offer pillar candles as well. All the bees wax she uses comes from Minnesota beekeepers, many of whom she has gotten to know over the past year. She likes being able to offer Minnesota-made products, and said the beekeepers she works with like that their product is going to a Minnesota business.

Being a mother to two young daughters means Misgen does most of her business work at night or on days the girls can be at their grandmother’s. The time it takes her to make her products depends on how filtered, if at all, the bees wax is when she purchases it from beekeepers. If the wax is raw or hasn’t been filtered as much, Misgen must then do it herself — three times total in order for the best quality for her products.

“The cleaner the wax, the better the burn,” she said.

All of the bees wax Misgen uses in her products comes from Minnesota beekeepers. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

The wax must cool in between each filtering stage. Scented varieties are usually mixed with organic coconut oil, as Misgen said that helps the products maintain the scent longer. The products must then be finished, wicked if it’s a candle, packaged and then labeled.

“It’s pretty much a 100-step process,” she said. “I love it, though.”

After ramping up her inventory, it was time to start selling her creations. Misgen worked previously as a salon coordinator for Expressions Salon & Spa in Albert Lea before leaving to be a stay-at-home mother. She credited her friend and former boss, Jackie Abrego, with helping give her business a start, as Abrego was the first business owner to give Misgen a location to sell her products out of.

“That was the first place to take a chance on the products,” she said. “It took off from there.”

Now, in addition to Expressions Salon & Spa, The Candle Beesness products can be found at Prairie Home Floral Decor Gifts in Blooming Prairie, The Best Little Hair House in Albert Lea and Bellebrook Boutique in Owatonna. Products can also be purchased online at www.thecandlebeesness.com or by contacting Misgen through the business’s Facebook page. She attended a festival last fall, and was planning on attending more this year before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. She was on hand at this weekend’s DaisyFest as well. She will also attend Fall on the Farm from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at 86826 245th St. in Oakland.

The Candle Beesness products range in price from $8 to $20. Products come in all sorts of smells, from unscented, lilac, apple or pumpkin to lemon and cinnamon, among others. Misgen said she usually has about 16 different scents on hand, as some rotate out depending on the season or time of year.

While raising her children is Misgen’s top priority right now, she said she likes that The Candle Beesness can become something more as they get older, and maybe even something her daughters might like to participate in.

“The idea of this as something for the future is exciting,” she said.

The Candle Beesness sells wax melts and candles made from bees wax, and owner Nastassia Misgen hopes to add pillar candles to her inventory next. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

 

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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