A FORMER nursing home cleaner says contracting Covid-19 pushed her into following her dreams and creating a Stalybridge candle shop.
Carol Hill is now busy running Bluebird Candles on Melbourne Street in the town – but it all started as a hobby to relieve stress while struggling with the virus’ lasting effects last summer.
And one of the main symptoms, losing the sense of smell, actually proved a large part of her research.
For the 55-year-old found herself looking into fragrance percentages and increased their usage to the 10 per cent trading standard, creating wax melts because of their stronger scents.
Now after initially gifting the candles to friends and family, Carol is selling her products to people around the country.
When her smell came back, she began experimenting with unique scents such as snow fairy and bourbon whiskey to name a few, that became a hit with her work colleagues.
One thing led to another and the store was officially opened in a ribbon ceremony involving Stalybridge North Councillor Jan Jackson.
“What started off as a hobby basically then began to get busier and busier,” said Carol.
“Then I decided to open a shop because the house was taken over with all my equipment, so I said, ‘Well, I’ve decided to follow my dreams.’”
Carol’s ‘burning’ desire is for her customers feel how she feels when making them, adding: “It brings me piece and calm me down”.
It was that feeling that inspired the store’s name.
According to Native American legend, the Bluebird is believed to be the symbol of hope, love and renewal and is believed to remind us not to lose hope and not to let go of the joy while in the process of achieving our goals.
Since launching the Bluebird Candles website in June of this year, Carol has received many requests and gained customers across the country.
“I never thought I’d be here doing this. It was a hobby and now people keeping coming back ordering more and more.”
When asked what her favourite product to make is, Carol answered: “I love making all of them, the wax melts can be tricky, but I love knowing that something I have created will be enjoyed by someone.
“I love doing requests, recently I did one I was proud of was one I made for a friend who had suffered a loss.
“It was all black with three white feathers on the front. She liked it so much she refuses to burn it!”