Shearer Candles, Glasgow
It’s a beautiful, colourful range of dinner candles that Glasgow-based Shearer Candles makes. The company has been a family business since it started making church candles back in 1897. It was bought two years ago by a Liverpool-based family business which also has a long tradition of candle-making. So the family-run element lives on. These craftsmen are highly skilled at hand dipping church candles, used in cathedrals around the country. But in recent years Shearer has moved into the consumer side of things, with scented candles and of course the beautiful dinner candles.
When it comes to dinner candles, Hugh who has been with Shearer for 35 years, runs the machine. “He loves making them and puts so much care into them,” says Shearer director Will Hawkins. “We can make dinner candles by the mile, sure. But what’s key is that they’re made by people who care about candles, not on a production line overseas. And there’s Alan, who is looking out for consistency before we put it on the production line.” The process involves constantly checking the candles, running their fingers up and down them, until they’re ready to go.
It might be easy to produce a candle that looks good on a shelf, Will points out, but the moment of truth is when you light it. Shearer makes candles that burn well. It’s key to their brand. “It’s like the consistency you get with a good cup of tea,” says Will in the most British of analogies. “That’s what separates us from the mass marketed products from China. “Sure those may look fab but do they do what they’re supposed to do? With a good candle we are there to provide atmosphere, colour and change the mood of a room. It’s all about the experience.” The sign of a quality brand right there.