Written by ZAC HANSEN
From her home kitchen/ workspace, Priq Candle Co. owner Sara Jean Beckwith creates small- batch, hand-poured, soy candles that draw from the enchanting scents she’s experienced in a lifetime spent travelling from the Pacific Northwest to the Borderlands.
Sara Jean, a lifelong candle junkie, settled in Las Cruces in 2016, after frequent visits from her home in the the Northwest. “I’ve always had an affinity for candles,” she says. “Ever since I was able to buy my own things, I’ve had a candle burning.”
The newly-minted Las Crucen thought she’d go ahead and do her own—and discovered candle-making is more a science than a hobby. After months of trial-and-error testing different waxes, wicks, and fragrances; comparing hot and cold throws, the works—all in that same cluttered kitchen—Priq Candle Co. was born.
Sara Jean, who has lived as a vegan since 2013, came to realize how personally important cruelty-free products are. When she set out to create Priq Candle Co., going cruelty-free was of the utmost importance; as such, all the company’s candles and perfume oils are 100 percent soy-based and contain no animal- derived products. Since relocating, Sara Jean has “poured” herself into her craft, perfecting the scents she says take her back to the many places on the map she’s traveled.
Mystic Moss—Sara Jean’s self-described “Seattle candle”—calls to mind a forest rainshower, earthy and clean; Pacific Coast transports one seaside, surrounded by cherry blossoms.
Available just in time for the upcoming holiday season, Priq Candles released its fall/winter line. This year’s seasonal scents are Apples & Maple Bourbon, Pumpkin Chai, Mulled Cider & Chestnuts, and Home for Holidays, each hand-poured in an attractive brown glass apothecary bottle. The eight- candles, each with a 35- to 45-hour burnt are $17.
These four seasonal scents are available in addition to Priq Candles’ slate of scents—Mystic Moss, Birch Tree, Cedarwood & Vanilla, Pacific Coast, Teakwood, Warm Amber, Hazelnut Latte, and Tobacco Leaf Citrus. These classic scents run $15 for an eight-ounce candle, with a burn time of 35-45 hours. All candles—lovingly handcrafted in Sara Jean’s home kitchen—are made with a wood wick, adding an appealing crackle to the ambiance.
Along with a variety of candles, the shop features a selection of greeting cards adorned with Sara Jean’s original watercolor artworks, inspired by her time in the Pacific Northwest and the desert Southwest. She has also started offering delicately scented, skin-smoothing perfume oils, created with the very same the fragrances that scent her candles.
Priq Candle Co. has also partnered with Organ Mountain Outfitters for the shop’s very own line of Organ Mountain candles, available in Sandalwood & Cactus Blossom, Pine Tree & Fresh Mint, and Basil & Citrus Peel.
While some candles are overpowering, Priq Candle Co.’s are richly scented with fragrance and essential oils—but never overwhelm a room. And since they’re soy-based, they can be enjoyed with the peace of mind that comes with buying cruelty-free.
Priq Candle Co.’s candles, perfume, oils, cards, and more are available online through Etsy as well as at the weekly Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market, at Organ Mountain Outfitters and Beck’s Roasting House & Creamery, and at the area’s frequent pop-up markets, at which Sara Jean is a familiar face.