West Duluth’s new candle store aims to bring comfort amid pandemic

Kyia Plummer’s company, Naturalight Candles and Crafts, made its grand opening Thursday at its new storefront in West Duluth. Located at 517 N. Central Ave., Naturalight specializes in all-natural candles. The scents range from eucalyptus mint to blackberry vanilla, teak wood and fern.

Plummer saw its online candle sales soar when the pandemic began.

She attributes this to people who spend more time at home and need to bring comfort and relaxation to these spaces.

“I hope people will be delighted to go out and smell candles, and… take them home,” she said. “If they can bring a little relaxation, happiness, or joy, then I think I did my job well.”

Navigating the storefront opening has been a challenge, especially during a pandemic. It required a great deal of planning and coordination. However, she said, “to be honest a lot of it is sort of winging it too.… (I) sail it slowly, one day at a time, to see what 2020 has to offer me. . “

Its main challenge is the loss of in-person interaction with its products. To make sure people can safely smell her candles, she has researched and implemented a number of safety precautions.

“I am providing… a product that relies solely on using your nose to smell and test it,” she said.

And she is suspicious of the future of the economy. People can choose to spend money on bills, food, and basic necessities before purchasing a candle.

Teakwood and Fern is the latest scent from Kyia Plummer, owner of Naturalight Candle.  Plummer said his customers started asking for fall scents in July of this year, which is not the norm.  (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)

Teakwood and Fern is the latest scent from Kyia Plummer, owner of Naturalight Candle. Plummer said his customers started asking for fall scents in July of this year, which is not the norm. (Tyler Schank / [email protected])

Plummer has been in the candle business for six years, selling its products at art shows across the state. But the coronavirus has ended those shows and its source of income.

“I decided to branch out and do something that I had wanted to do for a while,” she said.

She hopes the storefront houses more than her candles. She aims to exhibit the art of her friends, such as handmade jewelry, paintings and body care products.

The space also responds to its candle making process. She will be making the candles in the basement, instead of a downtown workshop that houses several other artists. Eventually, she’ll bring part of the candle-making process to the sales floor – and one day offer classes in space.

Plummer’s passion for natural candle making arose after learning that many store-bought candles release “harsh” chemicals when burned. She wanted to make candles without these chemicals and founded Naturalight.

Customers browse the Naturalight Candle storefront on the first day it opens Thursday, September 17.  (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)

Customers browse the Naturalight Candle storefront on the first day it opens Thursday, September 17. (Tyler Schank / [email protected])

The company’s candles are made from soybeans from southern Minnesota. The oils that cause the scent of candles are made up of vegetable and essential oils.

Plummer performs a lot of odor tests and tries to offer a variety of scents. But she admitted that earthy woods like teak, pine, and cedar are her favorites.

Candles in these scents and more can be found in her West Duluth storefront on the corner of Central Avenue and Grand Avenue, which she found after hearing a friend’s recommendation. She said the neighborhood had “a lot of potential”.

Hours

Naturalight is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Saturday.

Elizabeth J. Harris