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the owner, the business, the journey.

About RinkyDink Candles

healing from trauma, dealing with the past, and creating a brand.

Hello, from the owner.

RDC's story begins with one small artisan, me! I'm Aimee, the founder and owner of RinkyDink Candles. To briefly introduce you to why I began this business, without getting too deep, I went through a lot of struggles when I was younger. I experienced a lot of abuse (in several forms) from a very young age. I had a really hard time growing up, and sadly things didn't much improve during my teens and early twenties. I was diagnosed with GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) and PTSD from what I'd suffered through, and left feeling totally emotionally unequipped to deal with life. I couldn't work, navigate relationships, or generally crack on with day-to-day life. That's when I started on a path of intense therapy and self-improvement. I wanted to earn money, but I also wanted to look after myself (and my mind) while I was doing it. I wanted to find a way to earn a living that also allowed me to make time for what felt utterly crucial; to heal and recover from my trauma. I made the most logical choice and decided at that point that if I were to take my employment into my own hands, as my own responsibility, I would be able to do just that.

So, why did i start making candles?

In my mental health journey, I began learning about the concept of mindfulness. I’m sure you’re probably not a stranger to this concept, as it’s talked about quite a lot now, but if you are unsure of what mindfulness is, I’d highly recommend looking it up. The key part is that you are not judging; you are experiencing. When intrusive thoughts come, you simply note them, acknowledge they are there, and redirect your attention back to the mindful activity you are practicing.

Mindfulness has its roots in spirituality, but you do not have to be spiritual in any way to practice it and get the benefits from it. These benefits include feeling a lot more calm, grounded, and prepared to experience life from an observer’s perspective. This separation as an ‘observer’ allows you to distance yourself more from your thoughts and feelings, so you aren’t so tangled up in them, and feeling them so intensely to the point of distress.

So as you can imagine, for me, the process of pouring steaming, golden wax carefully and precisely into tins and jars can be extremely therapeutic when practiced mindfully. From the moment I began practicing the craft, I knew it was going to help me ease my anxiety symptoms a great deal.

WHy did I then start Start selling candles?

In therapy, I was introduced to the concept of a mindful routine. The idea is that, as a part of your own self-care routine, you choose a set of things or activities that make you feel happy and safe. You then perform these things mindfully. The key benefit being if you have a day that is particularly stressful, or triggers your anxiety, you can sooth your brain by habitually and mindfully performing your ‘winding down’ self-care routine. It's like you're telling yourself that you're okay now, and you're safe.

Here’s where it all connects, I promise.

In my recovery, the very first time I thought about what I wanted to do in my own self-care routine, I realised something pretty mind-blowing from a personal standpoint. It dawned on me that from the age I was old enough to be trusted with them, I'd loved and obsessed over candles. I adored perusing a scent selection, and finding an aroma that soothed me, like lazy lavender. Or better yet, that helped me escape to memories of happier safer places, like the spicy sweetness gingerbread. Growing up, when I delicately unwrapped the packaging of my candle, or my wax melts, I knew that by simply igniting a flame, I would be surrounding myself with a pleasant distraction from the awful abuse I was experiencing. For just a few short hours, I actually had some control over what I chose to experience, and it felt empowering.

When I integrated candles and wax melts into my mindful unwinding routine, it felt so good to have a small treat, that felt like a temporary, miniature expression of my mind, and myself. I realised then that I wanted to bring this positive experience to other people who were also struggling.

the early days...

2020

where it all began...

I am entirely self-taught in my chandlery craft. I have learned everything I know through constant research and practise, and I'm still learning today.

This business was born in the first lockdown of the 2020 pandemic. At first, I created a website to sell my art, with the scented candles being a fun side-project for myself mostly. But it turns out I'm a better chandler than I am an artist, because the candles became so popular virtually overnight! RinkyDink Art ended up becoming RinkyDink Candles. One thing that remained the same though, I knew I wanted to create alternative products and design the packaging and branding myself. I set myself up making small volumes of candles in a tiny little studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne (left).

going full time and moving to leeds.

When I started this business, I was a part time IT Service Desk Analyst for Newcastle University. I genuinely took that job thinking "yep, I can do this for a few years, then hopefully my business will take off". I was there for just over a year before I chose to quit to take RDC full time. I was working up to 15 hours a day to try and juggle both roles, and I knew it was time to take a risk. It really was an all-or-nothing move, but at the time my boyfriend Joe had been offered a new job working in government Cyber Security in Leeds. We decided to pack up and move in February 2021. In doing this, I was finally able to leave my abusers and traumatic past behind, in the physical sense at least. Since then, the business has continued to grow at an even faster pace, leaving me feeling like (thankfully!) I made the right choice. Since going full-time, RDC has seen an unbelievable amount of growth, so much so that the first candle studio the business was based in quickly became too small! In October of 2021, RDC moved into an even bigger, better space for candle making.

the first leeds studio, outgrown within 5 months of moving in.

experiencing personal growth while running a business full-time.

I cannot express enough how grateful I am to be able to do what I love and help others with this business. I've had the absolute pleasure of customers telling me that their self-care routines are better than ever with the addition of RDC's products. It warms my heart to know that the fantastic community that has grown over the 2 years of RDC's lifespan genuinely believes in the incredible power of self-love and nourishment.

I won't ever lie and say that I'm fully recovered from what I went through. I'm still in therapy to this day and facing my issues head-on. It hasn't been easy, and I've lost virtually my entire family on the way, but breaking the cycle of abuse has allowed me to finally feel like my own person, with my own thoughts and emotions. I can't tell you enough how thankful I am that people believed in me and what I had to say.

I really hope you enjoyed this little window into my soul, and that it wasn't too rough for you to read! Remember to take care of yourself, because the relationship we carry with ourselves is the longest and most important one we have.

x