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For the Love of Craft: Linda Takano

Linda Takano, Candle Maker, Snohomish, WA

Linda, though her close friends call her Lulu, has lived most of her life in the Seattle area and that is reflected in her line of candles. From the forest to the gardens to our food culture, Linda is constantly inspired simply by living in the Pacific Northwest. It’s important to Linda that her candles have this very natural, botanical sensibility but maintain a clean, modern aesthetic.

Have you always wanted to be an artist? What inspired you to start creating?

I’ve always been creative & artistic but I am also very math & science oriented. Candle making allows for the best of both these worlds. I get to play with scents, packaging, and label design. But I also have a whole notebook with different experiments I’ve conducted! Optimal wax to scent ratios, various pouring temperatures for different types of essential oils, how much wax to put into a pitcher to pour one batch of mini or large candles. I’m still learning and tweaking all the time. It's so much fun!

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?

All life experience can be useful! I have tools for handling dissatisfied customers because I’ve worked in food service where the customer is always right. My website isn’t daunting because of my background in software design. My work space is generally neat because of the motto I learned while working at a donut shop, “clean as you go.” I can take rejection because one summer in college I sold books door-to-door in New York, and New Yorkers don’t hold back. I am not afraid to look at my finances because of job I once held as a bookkeeper assistant. And while I’ve never taken any design courses, that one year I helped with my high school yearbook, I might have picked up a thing or two. I bet everyone has skills they’ve picked up along the way that can be used toward almost anything!

How do you build community as an artist? How has the creative community helped you grow and share your art?

The artist community in the greater Seattle area is nothing short of supportive, encouraging and generous. It’s how I met Melissa and I’m so glad I did. It can be daunting feeling like the new kid at school that first year or two. So to now see familiar faces at events is a breath of fresh air. Melissa, you are one of the best at highlighting other people’s work and it’s inspired me to take the time to do the same.

What are you most excited about right now?

I am super stoked to be offering my candles in a white ceramic tumbler this holiday! I’ve wanted something like this for a long time but found out that most candle makers buy their ceramics in bulk from China. While that makes sense, I wanted to stay as local and handmade as possible. This spring, one maker friend introduced me to another maker, and voila! My vessels are currently in production in Portland and will be available in the next month or so. I can’t wait for everyone to get them! They are going to be a fantastic home decor addition but also will work really well when the candle is all said and done. From makeup brush cup to planter to pen holder– they can be so many things!

For more on Linda Takano, check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. All photos provided by Linda Takano.



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