Swiss City Monthly Magazine
March 2010 25
Heather Emerson moved toColorado in 1995, where a friendtaught her how to make parafncandles.“I loved to blend the colors—thegradation of red, then purple, then blue in the same candle,” she says.Heather was invited to placesome candles in an artist’s co-op,where they sold fairly well. Shecontinued making the candles, buteventually decided to stop using parafn for the wax.“Parafn is a byproduct of petroleum rening,” she explains.“The black soot from burning parafn candles contains up to 11carcinogens, studies have shown.”Heather was bothered by rosaceaspots, which appeared on her cheeks. She believes the rosaceawas a reaction to the parafn. Assoon as she changed to soy waxcandles, the spots went away.Furthermore, she learned thatmixing parafn wax with naturalessential oils—which are theactual extracts from the plant—islike mixing oil with water. It justdoesn’t work.“That is why all parafn candlesare scented with fragrance oil—asynthetic, man-made fragrance,”Heather continues.“In 2000, I discovered that soywax was available, and that itmixes well with essential oils.What I love about soy wax is thatit burns clean and it burns a lotlonger than parafn.”Still in Colorado, she begansetting up her soy candle displayat four or ve farmer’s marketseach week, and selling candles atart shows, in addition to holdingdown a couple of part time jobs.