It has been a life-changing few years for candlemaker Caroline Buckley.
In the two years since she launched House of Buckley, she’s gone from handmaking candles in her kitchen in Stoke Newington and selling via her website and a stall on Broadway Market to opening her first shop and running candle-making workshops.
She’s one of over 20 businesses setting up shop at The Factory in Shacklewell Lane – a collection of creative local businesses in a former industrial space in Dalston.
The mother-of-two launched the business following the sudden death of her husband Stephen and after she was made redundant from her job at St John’s Ambulance. When she got in touch with TV’s Jay Blade (from The Repair Shop) to purchase a chair from his store, he was so moved by her story he’s become a trusted mentor.
She said: “Opening my first shop is a massive leap but I’m excited and it feels right. When you’ve had a tragedy, you have to go onwards and be brave; I’ve got nothing to lose.
“I wasn’t looking to open a shop, but my friend was moving into The Factory and when I saw it, it felt so right I had to be here. Having this space enables me to be creative, hand pour my candles and run workshops. The space is open, clean and airy and there’s lots of glass. I’ve been working all summer on kitting out the shop and we opened in August.”
Caroline’s Scent Blending and Candle-making workshops take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and offer an opportunity to blend your own scented candle – choosing from around 30 different scents. The course lasts for an hour and a half and costs £45 and participants each get a beautiful candle to take home. Local Buyers Club members save 10% on workshops and candles.
Among the other traders opening at The Factory are ethical clothes shops, an upholstery store, productive stationery, botanical skincare, a record shop, a store selling vintage kimonos, a hair and beauty salon, a dance studio and a café is due to open there soon. There’s a strong focus on events there – a Japanese market took place in the summer and will be happening again in November and other events are planned soon.
The Factory, also has event and studio spaces available to hire. It’s open daily (though many businesses are closed on Mondays).
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