The Takeaway

Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman

The Takeaway

  • words Jacqueline Raposo
  • photographs larissa fatseas
The Takeaway

The Takeaway

Cold Spring Apothecary (CSA) is a health and beauty company in New York State’s Hudson Valley. There, owner Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman uses healing botanicals and herbs in hair, body, and home products that are as healthful as they are beautiful. W & Co Design Director, Larissa Fatseas recently attended Stacey’s first candle-making workshop. Here are some of Stacey’s thoughts on its success.

What was the greatest inspiration for hosting this workshop? 
We’re always teaching customers about our products, and we get a lot of questions about how we make our candles. Drawing from that, we thought it’d be great to bring our customers into the process. It brings us closer to the consumer and they see our standards.

It’s a way to reach the community on a personal level, too. Someone who’s not familiar with our products comes in with a friend and then becomes a long-term customer. And then we get to see what people are into and what fragrances they love, which helps us keep in touch with our community and their wants.

How do you guide attendees to think about fragrance? We bring it down to basics. We group the scents into floral versus woody, strong versus light etc. This method stops preconceived notions. Many people assume they don’t like patchouli or vanilla, but then pick up a warm or woody fragrance that has a lot of vanilla or patchouli in it. We force them out of their comfort zone so that they maybe check into something they normally wouldn’t.

Then we ask, “What do you want from a candle?” “What feeling do you want to invoke from a scent?” Then we mix and layer.

What is your current favorite Cold Spring Apothecary candle, and what feeling does it bring you? A newer one, Sandalwood Vetiver, has a smoky, warm, wood scent, which weirdly reminds me of my father. We grew up in this cabin in the Catskills with a wood stove always burning. And he was a smoker and wore this almost cheap-smelling cologne. So it’s a combination of this smoke and cologne; a childhood memory that’s calming and warm.


The Takeaway

The Takeaway

Can you suggest any resources for those who are curious about fragrance and candle making? We’ve been doing this for so long that I can’t even remember where I learned how! Our inspiration comes from our lives. We often do these “scent-offs” where we each create a fragrance, vote on whose is best, and make funny comments — we’re a weird group of girls!

What would you say, then, is most satisfying about forging your road with no formal education? A woman who attends our workshops is a life and nutrition coach. She once said she was meditating with our candle in the background and was wondering if we ever thought of the experience we’re giving with our candles? That means something. We try to be very genuine with our products so that we can say, “People like the products we made on our own.” It’s like a pat on the back: This is mine, and I get to share it with people. All of us walk home with a sense of accomplishment. There are pieces of us in everything.

Connect with Stacey and CSA Team




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