It is with great pleasure that I share some exciting news! I am a proud and active member of The International Guild of Candle Artisans. Last week, I was featured in their monthly news blast.
If you’d like to see the article, please check it out here (or read below)!
|Supplier Spotlight: Meet Melissa Fouch Machowski of M Design Boutique
|Melissa Machowski loves creating new things. The process of finding the new idea, figuring out how to accomplish it and the experience of trying until she gets it “right” is one of her favorite activities. What began as an activity at a summer camp she attended as a child in the Rocky Mountain National Park is now a full time job and her own company, M Design Boutique and MDB Weddings and Events. After creating hand dipped candles at camp, she got the bug again in her teen years, this time joined by her family. With a degree in Creative Writing and a graduate degree in Computer Science, Melissa spent some years freelancing in Los Angeles, all the while continuing to make candles. Her job was creative, but not hands-on enough. In 2002, she started to have some success in making event favors which have become the “bread and butter” of her now successful candle making business. Although she does work to customize the favors, she finds there isn’t much different about each job. To solve that issue, she loves to design new candles, everything from her efforts to create unique pillars (combining layering techniques with additives) to her line of “Looks Like Food” candles. She has quite a few Interior Decorators as clients and loves the challenge of creating the perfect one-of-a-kind candle to fit the atmosphere the designer is trying to create.
Melissa does a lot of her sales through Etsy, and works on a pour to order basis rather than having a storeroom full of stock. On her website, she sells unique items she has designed as well. When asked about her set up, she responded with “I love a customer with a weird request”, meaning that she is happiest when creating new items for customers, including a set of historically accurate tapers used as visual art in a recent lecture series. Along those lines, she uses her facebook page to describe her efforts rather than just sell products.
One of Melissa’s favorite tools is her heat gun. She uses it to get good surface textures as well as leveling things off, cleaning up, and setting shrink wrap. She also created a work table from an old door by adding table legs to it. When the table needed to be a bit taller, she added bed risers to bring it up to counter height.
Melissa joined IGCA a year ago and has enjoyed reading the stories of other candle makers. She finds it fun to be part of the community and feels it will help her professionally as well. New on the horizon: she has many connections back in California and plans to get some of her work into the prop houses for television shows, using her previous career to boost her current one.
On the personal side, Melissa is a big fan of no kill animal shelters. Her black lab, Sawdust Romeo, follows her everywhere and Melissa does her best to support these shelters by donating a portion of her sales at special events to these organizations. Helping animals is the best thing she’s ever done and she hopes to be able to do more in the future.