Made In Arizona: NAU grad applies biomedical science skills to her own candle-making business

A Northern Arizona University graduate is putting her biomedical science skills to good use.

For many, relaxation at home is all about the candles, but for some, the scents or chemicals being released into the air are anything but comfortable.

That is the case for Lauren Dunbar of Phoenix.

"They mess with your allergies, and people who have asthma, it's hard to have candles in your home," said Dunbar.

So, Dunbar created her own line of soy wax candles: Lulling Candles & Co.

"All of our fragrance oils are chemical-free, so they don't release toxins into the air," said Dunbar.

The wax comes from melted down soybeans, and the crackling wicks are made of cherry and maple wood.

"I mix different fragrance oils together that I buy, so that my scent is unique to my brand," said Dunbar.

Dunbar says each batch of about four to six candles takes two hours or so to make.

"I start with my conversions, and we use one ounce of fragrance oil per one pound of wax," said Dunbar.

Dunbar would melt the wax down to 185°F. Then, the wax is cooled, the fragrance is added, and it is all stirred together for about two minutes.

"I let them set for about a day before I trim the wicks, and I label them," said Dunbar.

Two weeks later, the products are ready for sale in 10-ounce candles, candle flights, and wax melts.

"If you don't like open flames in your home, the wax melts are used on the wax warmer," said Dunbar.

For Dunbar, candle-making reminds her a lot of school.

"Doing candles, doing the conversions, mixing the oils and the wax, it brought me back to my college days when I was in chemistry lab and I just fell in love with it, and on top of it, I love candles," said Dunbar.

Dunbar hopes one day to expand the Lulling Candle brand and open a storefront in Phoenix.

If you have an idea about a product made in Arizona, you can send an e-mail to

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