Fire & Wixx Candle Bar opens in Patchogue
By Amy Nicole Tangel
Local elementary school teacher, Christine Brennen-Chanowsky has been teaching for 30 years, but like many others throughout the pandemic she started looking for something to do at home to help ease anxieties and decided to teach herself how to make candles.
With an apparent blink of an eye, Christine’s life took a turn like she never expected since and this past May she opened Long Island’s first-of-its-kind candle bar, Fire & Wixx on Main Street in the Village of Patchogue. By her side was members of the Chamber of Commerce and approximately 25 teacher friends who came out to support.
“It went flawless,” she said of the grand opening. Within only a few weeks, word has appeared to be spreading quickly between social media and local reviews.
But how did she get into the candle making business?
Christine started teaching herself to make candles from home and while working on developing her craft she also started meditation with daily affirmations to help her own path of healing while facing health issues. In a completely natural blending, Christine began to put her daily affirmations on labels of her candles to help her remember them and began journaling her visualization techniques.
After seeing her creations, friends and family started asking her to make candles for them and for their own specific holistic needs such as self-care, anxiety, stress relief and new beginnings. And so then, Christine started making candles for them in her kitchen.
“Honestly, I started making them after people in my life. It just started blowing up,” she said of the natural word-of-mouth spread of her new business.
As her candle making began to evolve into something she never imagined, so did the opportunities that came to her mind. One day, when attending a psychic fair, she said, she stopped and looked around at all the vendors, thinking, she could do the same thing.
Previously known as Divine Dreams, Christine sold her candles at fairs across the island and before she knew it, she branched out again when she began selling her candles at a local crystal shop. Selling her candles at crystal shops was a great pairing, topped with healing crystals and dried flowers.
“Right now, my candles are in 11 stores; four are in Virginia and then the rest are on Long Island,” she said.
It wasn’t long before she took the jump and opened her own space, Fire & Wixx in Patchogue. The idea to open the first candle bar on Long Island Christine said came to her through Facebook. As a member of many candle-making pages she kept seeing “candle bar” pop-ups all over the country, but nothing in New York.
“Candle-making is such a therapeutic experience and when I started doing it my whole world started changing,” she said, happy to offer that experience on Long Island.
The search for the perfect space didn’t take long for Christine as she only looked at one space before the current space at 8 Main Street. The new space’s décor is a work of art on its own being completely furnished with many thrift store finds, an enchanting photo-backdrop with Fire & Wixx in hot pink lights and a lot of creativity working with what she had.
About the candle-making session
The almost hour session includes an instruction portion from the teacher herself to guide candle makers on how to use the scale for scent balance, mix up, pour in and change color with dye. According to Christine, one of the most important lessons to learn in candle making is being sure to have the scents at a certain balance.
“The more fragrance oil doesn’t mean your candle is going to smell more,” she noted.
All candles are made with all-natural soy wax Christine gets locally from family owned Paramold Manufacturing Ltd, a company in Sayville that has been in business for over 160 years who makes their wax right on premises.
After the candles are filled it takes about a half-hour to set, so for those who would like to go out and about in the Village and maybe grab a bite to eat at one of the many surrounding restaurants Christine created a shelving area right outside of the entrance to put candles on for customers to come back later at their leisure to grab and go.
But Christine said a lot of people are just staying.
“They are staying, hanging out, taking pictures,” she said.
A standard session is $50 for the lesson, vessel, everything to make the candle including soy wax, fragrances and a choice of three different healing crystals along with dried flowers to top it off.
At Fire & Wixx Christine said they are all about themes and special sessions. On the upcoming calendar are events such as Mediums & Affirmation Candles, Vision Boards & Vision Candles, Rainy Day Flash Sales, tarot card readings and sampling events with local vineyards and breweries paired with making candles.
At the end of the day, Christine said, she wishes Fire & Wixx to be a place of healing and for people to make it whatever their heart needs.
“A place of inspiration to take yourself away from your life, the busy, the stress for a minute,” she said. “Sometimes healing is just being with your friends. I think this is why I did this and that. There’s a balance of both.”
To book a party, a session, and to find out all the up-to-date events and hours visit: www.fireandwixx.com.
Photos credit Amy Nicole Tangel & courtesy Christine Brenne-Chanowsky