I’ve done a few author interviews in the past, but I wanted to try something different and interview other people in the bookish community.
And the first person who came to mind was Brittany from Novelly Yours, which was the first bookish candle company I found, and it’s still my favorite! So I was more than excited when she agreed to do an interview with me!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and if you have no idea who Brittany is (😱), all her links are at the bottom of the page!
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your candles!
Hi! I’m Brittany and I am the owner/creator/boss lady of Novelly Yours Candles! Novelly Yours is mostly inspired by literature with the occasional movie/TV show/general concept depending on the season and all candles are made with all-natural soy wax and scented with fragrance oils! I first started making candles in November 2015 and two years later, it’s still going strong and I’m loving every minute of it!
Q. Why did you decide to make bookish candles?
When I first opened my shop in 2015, I had just been playing around with making candles for myself as a hobby. I had received a few candles as gifts and really wanted to try to make my own. I had owned a couple book-inspired candles but there weren’t really any shops out there that made candles for the books/series that I loved like The Lunar Chronicles, The Grishaverse, and The Scorpio Races. It was a natural step to put candles and books together after creating a solid base for both loves and I opened Novelly Yours Candles right before the holiday season in 2015 so I could start sharing my candles with other bookish friends!
Q. Do you prefer making candles based off of characters or settings?
I don’t usually have a preference — it’s more whichever really strikes me! I try to stay really accurate to a book’s description of a fragrance and quite often, those fragrances are describing characters. I actually think the settings can sometimes be a little more fun because I can start to get a little more creative. With a character, I really want it to be true to how the author described and usually there are a few solid scents to describe a character’s smell. With a setting, there’s a lot more to play around with and more ways I can add interpretation as well as the direct inspiration from the pages! It’s a little more fun because it allows that candle to be even more unique and stand out from the rest!
Q. Which candle was the hardest to come up with scents for?
Cinder was kind of a tricky one because it was earlier on in my candle career and I didn’t have nearly the fragrance library that I have now! There aren’t really any specific scents for The Lunar Chronicles characters so it was a lot of interpretation on my end and the most obvious scent for Cinder were things like metal and oil, in part due to her being a cyborg and in part due to her work as a mechanic, but you don’t actually want a candle to smell like metal and oil. So this was one of my first creative creations where I got to aim for a feel instead of a direct quote for a scent blend! I ended up choosing scents that had a muskiness to them, a little bit of a sharp edge, and I added in some white tea to balance it all out!
Merciful was also difficult because the main scenes in Illuminae involve… blood? And death…? So those weren’t nice scents to pick from. Instead, I went for a “walking around in space” feel with some icy and chilly notes to represent the openness of outer space and things that reminded me of a space suit like cotton and leather. It made for an interesting blend with an icy and earthy vibe!
Q. In your opinion, what’s the best thing that’s happened since opening Novelly Yours?
Hmm, shop-wise that would probably be working with Owlcrate! It was such a dream come true being able to work with Korrina and the team and I was so honored to be included! My shop has grown so much since last year when we first starting talking about working together and I’m even more honored looking back and seeing how much it was for her to work with me as a smaller store! It was such an amazing experience.
Q. You ship from Chicago, which is one of my favorite places ever! Any recommendations for places to visit in the Windy City?
I am not a city person so I’m a horrible Chicago tour guide! I’ve lived in the suburbs all of my life and now we live even closer to the cornfields so I’m a terrible person to ask about attractions BUT if you’re ever in the suburbs area, you should totally visit Anderson’s Bookshop! They’re in Naperville (with other locations in Downers Grove and LaGrange) and they have such wonderful events. I’m so glad I live close enough to be able to go to a lot of events and I’ve gotten to know a few friends because of them!
Q. Along with a candle company, you also have a bookstagram and a blog – which outlet helps you best connect to other readers?
I do! My blog actually came first. I started blogging at The Book Addict’s Guide in April of 2012 so I’ve been blogging for five years!! That’s really what helped me become such an avid reader again, connect with the community, and actually really helped me out when I first launched my store! I don’t think things would have taken off the way that they did without that amazing blogging community to help give me a boost!
Right now, Novelly Yours has a better reach to the community just based on the number of followers but I still love having my blogging corner of the world! I’ve noticed that blogging and bookstagram crossover but they’re still very different communities in many ways so it’s great to have both outlets and ways to stay in touch with my bookish friends! I usually try to keep the two kiiind of separate because I don’t want to get all in-your-face with the candles on my blog, but I do share Novelly Yours news there from time-to-time and sometimes I share blogging experiences on the candle account!
I do still love having a separate bookstagram account too because I try to keep the Novelly Yours instagram account really focused on candles. I can share more of my reading experiences, book mail, candles from other shops, and any other bookish experiences there to keep more of a focus for both of them!
Q. If you were given the choice of taking the place of any villain in any book, whose place would you take?
The VILLAIN oooh this is hard! I guess probably the Shadow and Bone trilogy, because why WOULDN’T you want to be The Darkling?
Q. I know it’s hard to decide, but who’s your favorite hero and heroine? (doesn’t have to be from the same book)
This is insanely hard so I’m going to go with ones that are in the same book so I can’t fish from my whole entire collection and say Puck & Sean from The Scorpio Races! I love them both SO MUCH.
Q. If you could be in The Lunar Chronicles universe, what would you want to be: a cyborg, an android, or a lunar with mind abilities?
Oooh I’d say a cyborg. It would be great to have some enhanced abilities while still being me and not a machine. Lunar abilities would be very cool but they’re kind of the villains so I’d stick with cyborg because I basically need to be a part of the Rampion crew!
Q. Anything special coming up for Novelly Yours?
I have a Black Friday Weekend sale from 11/24 – 11/27 (from Black Friday through Cyber Monday)! It’s always my biggest sale of the year. I always have new monthly candles coming up and I’m hoping to retire a few and brainstorm some new ones around the beginning of the year! I also mayyyy be going full-time candles soon (I’m still working a full-time job outside of candles right now) so that would be a dream come true!!
Brittany \ Novelly Yours links:
I hope you liked the interview, and you might (hopefully!) now want to go get a few candles 😏
Have a great day readers!