Love Ludie

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Love Ludie

Love Ludie creator, Jenna Hutchison and I meet on a perfect candle making day. The wind is hot, the kind felt at the peak of summer but it’s only spring. If anything, the 34 degree temperature is almost too hot for candles.
“On a usual day I’d have to have the heater cranking, so a day like this is prime candle making time,” she says.
Since launching in 2013, originally knowing nothing about candle creation, Jenna has managed to fine tune her candle making skills, right down to the environment to get the best end product.
Her love poured into the project as a mostly one-woman show has resulted in her candles being lit in homes throughout Australia, in Florida, Miami and most recently Scandinavia.
Jenna has also recently signed a contract with Quicksilver to stock her candles and she’s set to become a household name, quite literally, all across the country.
While scent has always been a strong interest of Jenna’s, candle making wasn’t something she initially pursued. After studying commercial building design at RMIT, Jenna worked at an architectural firm in Melbourne. Personal events caused her to leave her role and she soon found herself working as an all-rounder at Mossman after running into a friend who worked at the brand. She soon left the role after an epiphany on the road, bumper to bumper with hundreds of other workers making the same journey.
“The drive to Melbourne just killed me. I was at RMIT and then CATC Design school, so I was driving back and forth for about six years and one day in the car I just realised I’d had enough of this: waking up at 5am and getting home at 8 or 9pm and spending several hours on the road. I can’t do this anymore,” she says.
“Now when I go to Melbourne I love it and I’ll spend a whole day there but then I’ll be like, ‘Right, let’s go back to Torquay’.”
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Jenna entered the candle industry on a high when her partner’s friend requested her to make candles for her wedding held at the Vue De Monde in Melbourne – after she’d only been making candles for a month.
Now close to two years later, Jenna has 10 different scents in the collection, ranging from Choc Chip Cookie Dough to Coconut & Lemongrass. Scent is of great importance to her, and she’s aware of the possibilities fragrances play in creating memories.
“I burn so many candles in the house that you really begin to link fragrances to specific moments,” she says.
For Jenna it’s the earthy scents, of beach mist and eucalyptus trees, that trigger memories of her childhood. While scent helps reignite these images, the name ‘Love Ludie’ itself is taken from her younger years, as Ludie was in fact the name of Jenna’s imaginary friend as a child.
“I get a lot of people thinking that it’s my name or my middle name. It’s one of the things that I think is quite special about the brand too, it’s not just ‘Jenna’s candles’, it’s love from my imagination,” she says.
“I was actually talking with my boyfriend on the beach about this and he asked, ‘So when did Ludie stop?’ I can’t even remember, I think I was six. I had two sisters – an older and a younger sister – and I think I was quite independent as a kid. I’d go outside and play with Ludie and we’d build cubby houses and little pasta necklaces.”
It’s the personal touches that make all the difference, and Jenna gives the assurance that each candle is hand mixed and poured by her and the type and watercolour design on the label of each candle is also hand made and created to suit each fragrance.
“I’m still making them at home using my mum’s Tupperware and making a mess in the studio,” she laughs.
“I found my rough proofs a couple of weeks ago of all the lettering and all the colours and you don’t realise how much work you’d done to get to this point until you come across those.”
From here Jenna hopes to continue on the brand’s natural progression and to potentially return in part to her skills of architecture in future collections. A range of earthier scents are also to be released in the next year.
Love Ludie can be found at Peach Boutique in Geelong or online at Alternatively you can admire some pretty pictures over on their instagram (@loveludie).