Makers Month // Meet The Candle Maker

Diane Lieu

We're continuing with our #HBMakerSeries this month and next up, we have Ibi Yoo, of Awesome Candle. She works with premium fragrance oils and quality soy wax to create some amaaaazing scent combinations including an #apronsquad staff fave: basil + cotton candy and a #dailycortado inspired coffee candle that was a result of a collaboration with Float Pasadena. We love seeing how different makers of all kinds use our aprons out in the world!

candle maker apron squad

So we invited Ibi to Apron HQ and talked about inspiration, food and scents. 

Maple apron hedley & bennett soy wax candles

How did you get started in candle making?
Three years ago I was a graphic design student, I loved candles and spent a lot of money purchasing various brands. Sometimes I wouldn't find the exact scent I was looking for, so I decided to learn how to make fragrances and candles myself. After developing my own scents and techniques, I started giving candles to friends as gifts. They would ask me where they could buy my candles, and I ended up creating a small business out of it called, The Awesome Candle.

What are your favorite scents to work with?
Personally, I'm drawn towards more complex, masculine scents that tend to lean towards woody and earthy profiles. Right now, I love experimenting with Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cardamom, Balsam.. if it's grassy, woody, or earthy, I love it.

aprons workwear for candle makers

 How are you inspired to create new scents?
For me, I tend to get inspiration for scents from my everyday life and interactions with people and places. When I meet certain personalities, or visit interesting, creative spaces, I tend to associate these things with scents and feelings. I'm always writing down ideas, sensations, and descriptions of my surroundings. Usually the idea for a scent will evolve from these things.

Tell us about some of the collaborations with other makers you've done.
I probably get the most joy out of collaborations with other people and brands. One of the first collaborations I did was with (multee)project, a menswear brand based in Newport Beach, CA. Most recently they are known for their designs which can be found in places like Colette Paris, and the very limited edition Adidas NMD_R1 'Pitch Black' sneaker release earlier this year. I created a (multee)project room spray, reed diffuser, and soy candle series called "Morning Ritual" Fragrance Collection that was featured in the publication HypeBeast. One collaboration that I'm excited about is with the mattress company, Tuft & Needle, where I'm developing their exclusive line of room sprays. It should drop later this fall, I can't wait!

Ibi Yoo Awesome Candle What are some of your favourite restaurants to dine at in Los Angeles?
Right now, I'm obsessed with Chef Jordan Kahn's new restaurant/cafe concept called Destroyer. It's named after the Destroyer Comet that struck the earth centuries ago, and sounds aggressive, but really symbolizes his first impact in an area of Culver City that lacks any food or beverage options. The space is delicate and minimal, and I love that the morning and afternoon menus are heavily plant focused. There's really nothing like it in LA right now.

Do you cook at home? If so, what are you favorite dishes to cook?
I do! I love to make all kinds of traditional Korean dishes like galbi jjim, samgyetang, janchi guksu, even homemade kimchi. More times than not I like to buy fresh, organic produce and make spring rolls with rice paper. I can make a mess sometimes, so Hedley & Bennett aprons really come in handy!

Interested in learning how to make candles? Ibi will be teaching a Candle Making Workshop with Poketo on October 22nd, and there are a few spots left!

Photos by Lily Glass.

Aprons featured: Maple Apron, Hickory Petite