Here in the last few days of Women’s History Month, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to Romely Levezow, owner of Makana Candles. She is the woman who owns one of the brands we love that are included in our specially curated gift boxes. eb5 loves her beautiful soy candles because they are made and packaged with carefully-selected ingredients that are both kind to the environment and to our health.
Jules: How did you initially begin Makana Candles?
Romely: I actually had a cancer scare a few years ago, so I became more aware of all of the chemicals and ingredients in our foods and the products we use each day. With that, I also learned that an average candle can be called a soy candle even though it contains as little as 5% soy wax. Also, sometimes those candles contained a lot of toxic chemicals including lead wicks and fragrance oils that contained a chemical called phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals that are often used in plastics or adhesives to make them more durable. This chemical will make fragrances stronger, but it's actually toxic. I started making candles not only as a form of relaxation for myself but to fill the void of safer candles in the marketplace. I started working with my hands and experimenting with different natural waxes, essential oils and natural fragrances to really hone my craft and create a top-quality candle that is also eco-friendly and safe.
Jules: Where does the name "Makana" come from?
Romely: Makana means “gift” in Hawaiian. I felt It was such an appropriate name as this journey of healing and creating was indeed a gift and blessing. My husband joined Makana and handles all our packaging design, graphics and overall aesthetic. I am a traditionally-trained hula dancer, and Hawaiian culture, philosophy and arts are very close to my heart. I am given the Hawaiian name Kahalulu, which translates to vibration of the earth. With Makana, I hope to create an impact in our community even by doing simple steps. Small things can add up to big changes!
Jules: What are your plans for Makana's future?
Romely: Recently, we introduced body care products and have received such great response. We'll be extending the collection by including more body care items as well as new vessels for our candles.
Jules: One of the reasons we love Makana Candles is that you are so community-driven. What are some of the charities are you involved with?
Romely: The American Cancer Society is near and dear to our hearts, especially. I, personally, and we, as a community, have lost so many to this disease. We donate a percentage of our sales, products and time to support this organization. We also donate to and support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local animal rescue organizations and environmental causes.
Jules: Well we just love hanving one of your candles in our Rest & Relax Gift Box. Thank you so much, Romely, for taking the time to share with me today!