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Local woman launches business on journey to find herself

Velvet Couch Candle Company born through a love of candles

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April 29, 2024

WEST SALEM – When her now seven-year-old daughter was one and began spending one night a week at her father’s house, Natasha Everson said she had a deep sense of loss.  

“My daughter was all I had been focusing on, and suddenly, I had that night free, and I was lost,” she said. “I wanted something to distract me and fill my time but also something that made me feel like Natasha and not just ‘mom.’ I also had a lot of postpartum anxiety and needed an outlet.” 

Everson said she had always loved candles, so she thought she’d perhaps give candle-making a try.

After watching some videos on the internet, she said she started pouring her first candles. 

Never really considering herself a creative person, she said she started enjoying making candles – even tinkering around with the recipe to get it right. 

Test products lead to craft shows

To make ends meet at the time, Everson said she was working two jobs – at a dental office during the day and bartending part-time on evenings and weekends. 

Curious about what her friends and coworkers would think about the candles she’d been pouring, Everson said she took some to the bar she worked at asking for feedback.

Before she knew it, she said, customers began expressing interest in buying them – which eventually sparked the creation of her hobby business in May 2019.

In September 2019, Everson said she did her first craft show, and to her surprise, it went super well.

Though she admits she was a little shell-shocked by the success, she said she signed up to do more craft shows. 

For months, Everson said she balanced her role as a mom, bartender, dental office worker and candle maker.  

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which forced the closure of both her places of work.

Without gainful employment for the unforeseen future, Everson said she decided to make the most of a bad situation.

“I suddenly found myself with no income and a lot of time on my hands,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘I was going to make this (candle business) work despite the pandemic.’” 

It was then, Everson said, that Velvet Couch Candle Company was officially created.

She said her customer base started to broaden through word-of-mouth and social media – as she started offering free, no-contact delivery and hosted a live sales event on Facebook.  

“A lot of boutiques and so forth were doing ‘live’ sales events online and having success,” she said. “But when it comes to candles, it’s trickier because they are scented and people can’t smell them in advance of buying them.”

Everson said all Velvet Couch candles are named after songs that in a way fit the scent they emit.

She said her first live event couldn’t have gone better from a sales point.

But because things can go so fast during those events and the real-time orders were sometimes delayed, she said her inventory sometimes showed something she had already sold out of.

With that in mind, Everson said she decided against doing any more live events. 

Instead, she said she switched to a simple Facebook status option – which was nothing more than an inventory listing where people could claim items and she could better manage her inventory as things were selling.

And sales, Everson said, were hot.

“I would have 75 candles, and they’d be sold out in 20 minutes,” she said. “It was perfect. I was able to pay my bills, even though I still wasn’t getting unemployment.”

Everson said she would sometimes drive up to 200 miles a day, delivering her candles to customers far and wide. 

“But I love driving, so it was a win-win situation,” she said.

When both her employers opened up again, Everson said she juggled both her jobs – making more candles and doing all that was necessary to sell them during her free time. 

“When my little girl was sleeping, I would make candles until one or two in the morning, then sleep for a little while and go to work at my full-time job,” she said. “I even continued doing a lot of at-home deliveries even after I went back to work.”

Though she felt like she was managing things well, Everson said she realized she had reached a point where she needed to dedicate more time to making candles.

“Everything piled up,” she said. “I didn’t have enough hours to do everything and still be a present mom.”

The first step, Everson said, was to discontinue deliveries – except for local boutiques, floral shops and salons – and instead began offering shipping services through Velvet Couch’s newly created website.

Business, Everson said, continued to boom and she was able to quit her full-time job at the dental office in 2022 and stepped away from her bartending position at the end of last year – now devoting her full attention to Velvet Couch Candle Company.

Making a move to a production facility

For four years, Everson said she made candles in her home – however, business growth and success prompted the need for more space. 

So, in May 2023, she said she rented a small space she calls the “Haus of Wax.”  

“Spelling the word ‘haus’ that way gave it a German look and feel – plus it felt a little more bougie to me,” she said.

As far as the space goes, Everson said it’s not large and is inside a shared building in West Salem, “but it’s big enough for me to do what I have to do.”

“I also host my open houses once a month there,” she said “It’s perfect because I keep all my inventory there, and I don’t have to live amongst my business anymore. It’s been a bonus for me and my daughter.” 

Everson said she still does vendor shows but not a lot in the summer because it’s too warm for the candles to be outside – though she said she remains busy the rest of the year, with her busiest time of the year being fall and Christmas time. 

Nostalgia is the name of the game  

Everson said she admits she is extremely nostalgic.

For instance, the name Velvet Couch Candle Company was inspired by a vintage, velvet couch she had for years.

“I had it when my daughter was born, and that couch was a spot that gave me all the lovely memories of sitting there with my newborn baby on this gorgeous velvet couch,” she said. “That’s where the name stemmed from.”

As mentioned, every Velvet Couch candle is named after a song – again, Everson said, using nostalgia to take customers back to happy times in their lives. 

“I’ve always loved music, and I feel that music is nostalgic,” she said. “Everybody has good memories associated with certain songs. Scents are the same, triggering some special memory in our minds. Maybe your great-grandma had a lilac bush outside of her house, or your grandpa smoked cherry tobacco in his pipe – those things make you feel warm and cozy.”

Everson said she tries to match every scent with a certain feeling and gives the candle a name that also fits that scent and feeling.

“I try to imagine myself in different situations doing certain things but also in memory-type situations that would create a feel-good (moment) for someone,” she said. 

Even the candles are unique

Everson said her candles are made with 100% soy wax, and the wicks are 100% cotton.

She said she also only uses phthalates-free oils.

“They are free of the plastic additive that goes into most candles you’d buy in a drug, grocery or department store,” she said. “It’s a liquid, plastic molecule that’s a big filler for these candles, but in turn, makes them have carcinogens and they’re poisonous – basically toxic to burn in your home. I make sure all of the oils I purchase and use in my candles are free of that.”

In the beginning, Everson said making the candles was a lot of trial and error. 

“Learning how to make candles took a lot of tinkering because there’s a lot of science behind it,” she said. “You have to have correct temperatures, and then you have to maintain different temperatures throughout the process. 

Everson said the molecules have to bind between the wax and the fragrance – otherwise, they’ll look like oil and water inside the jar, “and they just won’t work.”

“There was a lot of testing to figure out how to get a candle to be a good burning product, have a good scent, burn evenly and all those wonderful things you want in a candle,” she said. “You also need the right wick size for the jar or vessel you’re using.”

One of the things Everson said is unique about her is that she is completely self-taught – not just as a candle-maker but as a small business owner as well.

Never taking any business, marketing or candle-making classes, she said she relied heavily on YouTube videos and online research to piece together all the pieces to make a successful business.  

Future looks bright

In the beginning, Everson said there were many fears.

The fear of spending money – especially frightening when a large, expensive, freight shipment came in.

The fear that she wouldn’t sell everything and what she’d do if she didn’t.

Everson said she also feared using a credit card.

“I was used to not spending money I didn’t have,” she said. “I always paid cash for everything. But in business, you have to use credit, so I had to adjust to that.”

Before leaving her other two jobs, Everson said she had a fear of getting burned out from trying to keep everything going and all the balls in the air.

Product supply chain disruptions during COVID, she said, were also real struggles.

And when she could find things, Everson said shipping costs had skyrocketed.

“Getting jars was especially a challenge,” she said.

Despite all the fears and hurdles, Everson said the sky is the limit for where she can take Velvet Couch Candle Company.

Eventually, she said she envisions a storefront – complete with a production and inventory space in the back.

Though she has no timeline for it, Everson said that is her primary goal for the future.

For more on Velvet Couch Candle Company, check out

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