Nothing is better than lighting a candle and cozying up on the couch with a good book or the latest must-see movie. Bonus points if the candle smells amazing and fills the whole house with an aroma that reflects your personality, mood or your favorite scent profile. Enter Westchester’s Deia Candle Company! Since launching last year, Leana Da Silva-Taylor has been handcrafting these luxe and elegant candles which are named after the Latin word for “joy,” and reminding customers that even in the darkest time there is always light and hope. Read this month’s business feature to learn the story behind Deia Candle Company, its dedication to mental health, and check out their online store to stock up on candles to illuminate your home in the New Year!
Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. I am a first-generation Canadian born to Portuguese parents. I immigrated to the USA, specifically California, in 2019, and settled in Westchester in 2020. I am married and have a fur baby named Alfie. When I’m not crafting candles, I am a corporate paralegal. Along with candle-making, my hobbies include traveling, skiing, hiking, experimenting with new recipes and reading.
Q. What is the story behind Deia Candle Company?
A. Deia was born out of the desire to do something that honored both my late father and late brother’s legacies. In 2014, my father took his own life–shattering mine and my family’s lives into a million pieces. There was never any inkling that he was suicidal or even experiencing depression. As you can imagine, processing something like this is extremely difficult and not everyone in my family was able to move through the grief. In 2016, my brother then took his own life. This sent the surviving members of my family into a deep spiral of grief. Slowly, yet surely, we did make it through. I always knew that I wanted them to be remembered, and one day it hit me, I could turn my hobby into a business…in their honor. Ten percent of all my proceeds are donated to mental health and suicide prevention initiatives in their names. I believe that with funding, these organizations can help reduce the stigma around mental health.
Q. What are some of your favorite aspects of being an entrepreneur and some of your challenges?
A. As I previously mentioned, I am a corporate paralegal, and as you can imagine, there’s not much creativity in that line of work. Deia provides me with an outlet that allows me to create candles, scents and a brand! I also love being out in the community, and sharing my story and candles. I hope that I am able to inspire people to continue to persevere even in the face of life’s challenges.
I would have to say establishing a work-life balance is probably the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur. I often find myself wearing many hats and it can be overwhelming at times. Thankfully, I do have a supportive family that reminds me when I need to take time out to relax and decompress.
Q. How do you create the scent profiles for your candles? What are your favorite candle scents?
A. Each candle scent is a unique blend of non-toxic fragrance and essential oils. Once I blend the oils, I then thoroughly combine them with the wax, then hand pour them into their respective vessels.
Personally, my favorite scents are “fogo,” “felix culpa,” and “arancia.” My best sellers are “arancia,” “aequoreus,” and “felix culpa.”
I think what makes Deia unique is that each fragrance tells a story and is inspired by either my family, my Portuguese heritage or some place I’ve traveled. For example, my “saudade” candle smells exactly like my grandmother’s garden in rural Portugal. The “fogo” scent was inspired by the smoky aroma of the chimneys in Zurich as my husband and I strolled around the city just after getting engaged. My candles are also hand-poured right here in Westchester!
Q. What is your vision for your business in 2024 and beyond? How can people get your candles?
A. Our vision for the business in 2024 and beyond is to continue creating unique and meaningful experiences through our candles. We aim to expand our product line, enhance customer satisfaction and explore new markets. We’re also hoping to develop relationships with retail stores and be available in actual storefronts.
Currently, we have a pop-up planned for February 10 at Artists and Fleas in Venice. Stay tuned for announcements on our website and Instagram for any upcoming events or pop-ups in your area.
Our candles are available for purchase on our official website deiacandle.com. We offer a convenient online shopping experience with secure payment options. We also have upcoming pop-ups throughout the westside.
Q. What are some of your favorite local small businesses that you like to support?
A. We have so many fantastic local businesses in Westchester and some of my favorites include, The Book Jewel, Sunstone Yoga and The Boy & The Bear Coffee!
Pictured at top: Da Silva-Taylor shows off one of her candles at the WAM Block Party. Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.