If you’ve ever wished that you could bottle up the sweet smells of the Boreal forest, or the scent of wild sage after a nice walk in the woods, Lindsay Ransom is making candles that are doing just that.
Ransom, who got her start as a candle-maker at the age of 10, just launched a business called Eh Five Tree Five Outdoor Adventure Products that’ll likely resonate with anyone in the North who likes to use their nose.
Her venture is offering curiously named candles such as the sage and mint scented Sacred Flame, Frig off eh! (which aptly smells like citronella) and Yellowknife Rocks that contains actual chunks of locally sourced quartz.
Eh Five Tree Five is a play on Rub-A535, “a well-known muscle rub from our childhood,” while the rest of the name is “very Canadian,” said Ransom.
Creative marketing aside, Ransom is no slouch when it comes to candle-making.
“I officially got my business licence the first week in September,” she said. “But I’ve been working on this since June. Testing my products, testing my waxes, testing my containers to make sure my product was of sound quality, and also testing my essential oils and making sure they’re from a good source. I am serious about providing a good product.”
Ransom and her husband Russell Bird, a Northern-born Métis man, make the candles while their kids are in bed, though their five-year-old sometimes likes to help if he’s still awake, “because he likes to be involved.”
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business since I was in high school,” she said. “But now with children I feel like it’s a way to spend more time at home with my kids and also do something that I have a passion for.”
A deep connection to nature is where she gets inspiration for her products as she and her family are “very outdoorsy.”
“For instance, I paddled the Mackenzie River as far as Wrigley and I paddled the Slave River,” she said. “We’re outdoor enthusiasts, I guess you could call it, hunters. So, I wanted to offer a product that complements that kind of a lifestyle.”
A nurse by trade, Ransom said everything that goes into her candles is collected “outside of the arsenic warning areas,” from around the cabin near Yellowknife where she and her family spend a lot of their time.
“I really wanted to create a natural product, something that’s healthy,” she continued. “We went with pure essential oils and soy wax, which is very good for the environment and for your health, and one-hundred-per-cent natural cotton wicks.”
She said her products contain no artificial colouring, synthetic chemicals, dyes, paraffin, petroleum, preservatives or artificial fragrances.
“It’s just about being healthy in your home.”
Her first products were a line of citronella-based anti-mosquito candles that include Frig off eh!, in addition to Buzz Kill and Ever Deadly, but she is expanding.
A Northern lights-themed candle will include a combination of purple, green and red foliage and another will be called Great Slave Lake Campfire.
She’ll also be coming out with a line of soaps and shampoos, including one that repels mosquitoes because “no one wants to wash their hair in the North when you’re canoeing for too many days, because it attracts the bugs,” she said.
“I just look forward to serving our Northern communities and other parts of Canada as well,” she said. “And I hope people enjoy our products.”
Her sweet-smelling handiworks can be found at Sutherland’s Drugs and will soon be for sale at Mermaid and Moon and Aurora Village.