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Former healthcare administrator, Anna, turned a love of wine and concern for the environment into a thriving small business, repurposing discarded wine bottles into handcrafted candles with a unique twist, all with a view of the bay on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula

23 July 2021

Designer Spotlight: Old Vine Candles

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Wine-loving candle-maker saving the environment one bottle at a time, Anna; ‘We wanted to be a bit different to everyone else, and also have some fun at the same time’

Hi! I’m Anna and I’m the maker behind Old Vine Candles. Originally from London, UK I emigrated to Australia over 10 years ago and am now very lucky to be able to call the beautiful Mornington Peninsula Home. We love nothing more than being able to take a walk down to our local beach, and are often greeted by a gorgeous peacock in the garden!

’Savignon Blanc’ scented candle hand crafted from a recycled wine bottle and natural soy wax by Old Vine Candles

Old Vine Candles is a small business that repurposes discarded wine bottles and turns them into scented candles, all of which are made while overlooking bay views. Every single one is made from start to finish by myself, but Old Vine Candles couldn’t exist without the constant support of my husband.

Former healthcare administrator, Anna, turned a love of wine and concern for the environment into a thriving small business, repurposing discarded wine bottles into handcrafted candles with a unique twist, all with a view of the bay on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula

We have been selling our candles on MadeIt now for a couple of years, but also love attending lots of markets and festivals.

Boxes of discarded empty wine bottles awaiting transport to the Old Vine Candles workshop; ‘We thought that there had to be something else that could be done with all those bottles’

The idea of Old Vine Candles came about one New Year’s Day when filling up the recycling bin with the empties from the night before! We thought that there had to be something else that could be done with all of those bottles.

The recycling symbol on the underside of a used wine bottle; ‘It is estimated that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment’

Glass is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials. It is estimated that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment! While recycling is great, unfortunately not all the glass in your recycling bin will actually be recycled leaving us with the shocking fact that there are hundreds of thousands of tonnes of glass sitting in stockpiles or being sent to landfill!

Repurposing old wine bottles; scores of old wine bottles that have been hand-cut and sanded and are waiting to be filled with natural soy wax, ready for their next life

Reusing or repurposing glass is far less energy intensive than putting it through the recycling process and it also eliminates any risk of the product ending up in landfill. The wine bottles that we use to create our candles in are all collected from around the Mornington Peninsula, from local businesses and neighbours, and we have been known to empty a few ourselves 😉 Then, by hand, I cut and carefully sand the edges, before cleaning them and filling with scented soy wax.

’Pino Noir’ handcrafted candle from a repurposed wine bottle; ‘All of our candles have fragrances that are named after and inspired by different wine varieties’

We wanted to be a bit different to everyone else, and also have some fun at the same time, so all of our candles have fragrances that are named after and inspired by different wine varieties. We’ve also thrown in a couple of cocktails too, as who doesn’t love a cheeky mojito?!

’Pink Champagne’ hand-poured natural soy wax candle, repurposed from an old wine bottle on the Mornington Peninsula

We often get asked, “so what does wine smell like in a candle?” The easiest way to answer this is the next time you pick up your favourite bottle have a look at its back label or are in a winery, bar or restaurant, take a look at the descriptions on their wine list - this is where the inspiration for our candle scents come from. Obviously, we had to do a lot of wine tasting to make sure we got these right!

’A collection of Old Vine Candles after being hand-poured and dried, are ready to have their wicks trimmed and repurposed wine bottle jars labelled; ‘It has completely taken over my home studio, garage and even a small warehouse!’

My professional background is in healthcare administration and quality management. But Old Vine soon grew and took over from being a hobby and is now my full-time business; it has completely taken over my home studio, garage and even a small warehouse!

I love supporting handmade, and other small businesses, knowing the care and attention that has been put into making something, by an actual human being, being part of the MadeIt community is a fantastic way of doing that all in the one place.

Anna is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers FREE domestic postage at Old Vine Candles for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:

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