The creations of the Wolverhampton wax maker from the world of wax

Pauline Shaw of Bonita Candles who makes scented candles, wax melts and wax lanterns

But she had never thought about how they were made until she befriended a local chandler while living in Spain.

“He sold his candles at the end of the beach and I loved looking at them and smelling them. He said I should do them too. I used to burn candles all the time, but never thought about how they were made. It planted a seed,” explains Pauline.

After returning to the UK and settling in Wolverhampton, the opportunity to act on the advice of her friend presented itself.

“My sister started a business selling vintage tableware and she wanted me to make candles to put in teacups. I went to Hobbycraft and bought a single kit.

These first candles were to trigger the start of a new adventure for Pauline.

“I became completely obsessed with making candles. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, go down to the kitchen, get it all out and create something. I quickly became creative candles,” she tells Weekend.

One of his first creations was a wax-shaped heeled shoe. “I had been making candles for only six weeks. I like to experiment and be creative.

Paulina. self-taught, established Bonita Candles in 2011, designing, manufacturing and selling candles at home.

It wasn’t long before her candle business outgrew her kitchen and she moved the business to dedicated premises.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength and in January Pauline and her team moved into a new studio at the Chubb Buildings.

Pauline uses three different types of wax for her candles: paraffin, which is the most common wax used in the industry, soy, made from soybean oil, and gel, which has a gel-like consistency.

The basic process for making candles begins with measuring the wax needed for the mold or container being used. The next step is to melt the wax before adding a splash of color, using candle dyes and scented oils.

Once thoroughly mixed, the melted wax is poured by hand into the mold or container that holds the wick. It is then allowed to cool and harden, which is known as hardening and helps disperse the scent oils evenly throughout the wax.

The company also makes scented melted waxes, which release aromas when heated with a tealight candle.

There are over 100 flavors to choose from, including Apple Fizz, Calming Camomile, Honeysuckle & Jasmine, Jamaican Jinger, Mango Mayhem, Mint Macaroon, Mojito Twist, Oriental Cherry Blossom, Pumpkin Soufflé, Purely Popcorn and Summer Rose.

There is also a range of Just Like fragrances such as Just Like Chanel Allure and Just Like Dior Poision, and Just Like Calvin Klein Eternity.

“They are immensely popular. Melted waxes are a quick burst of fragrance around the house. People love them because they’re not stuck with the same scent for 50-60 hours. They can enjoy one scent today and a completely different scent tomorrow,” says Pauline.

All Bonita Candles products, including cocktail glass candles, are sold online and at events and shows nationwide.

Along with the production of candles and melted waxes, Pauline also leads candle making workshops, as well as parties, such as children’s birthdays, bachelor parties and team building.

“We teach most Tuesdays and Saturdays. We teach all over the country and also here in Wolverhampton. I love Wolverhampton and I love the Chubb Buildings – it’s such an iconic and beautiful site. It’s nice to have a studio here and to be able to offer these workshops in Wolverhampton,” says Pauline.

Her introductory candle making classes are for beginners who want to learn a new hobby or have a fun day out with friends.

“Classes are always fun. We have had fabulous feedback. They love what they make and bring home – they don’t expect to bring home as much as they do.

“We teach a lot of tips and tricks so people can do something they’re really proud of.

“People can try playing around with a variety of different waxes and discover their different uses, how they melt and how they burn.

“I wanted to teach people some really fun skills and give them something meaty to do – they won’t just pour a tealight candle. We’re going to do something funnier and meatier than that,” says Pauline.

Once a participant has mastered the basic skills, they can choose to reserve a place in more advanced courses as well as seasonal workshops taking place throughout the year.

Pauline says sharing her passion for candle making and inspiring others to embrace the craft is always very rewarding.

“I love candle making and I love teaching. I love meeting new people at events and in classes. I also have a great team working with me,” Pauline told Weekend.

For more information visit or call 01902 652642.


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