HAZEL PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Check out one of Nia Lewis-Sherman’s candles, and you’ll likely do a double take. Most people who see her work think she sells food.
She creates candles that look like everything from a banana split, to a fruit pie and bowl, to a waffle with strawberry syrup.
“It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours or so,” Nia says about the process of making the one of the candles.
She learned how to do it over a decade ago from a woman who she had once bought candles from. The process involves paraffin, that she melts down. She adds a liquid dye that provides the color and some scent that makes most of the candles smell like what they look like. Molds give many of the candles their shapes, from the waffles to the fruit pieces. Gel fills in the rest, and then of course there’s the wick.
Watch the media player above to see her unique work.
For a couple years, Nia would make and sell the candles to her friends at work. But after taking a buyout from her automotive job, she made the candles her full time work. She started a website and opened a store in Oak Park. (She closed that store last Friday, and is moving to a new location this Friday, August 22nd. 100 N. Saginaw in downtown Pontiac.)
Her candles range in price from $7.50 to $150.
“I do candles for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and baby showers,” she says. She also does special orders. If you have an idea, chances are she can make it for you.
“Do some people buy these and never burn them because they’re just too pretty?” I asked.
“Yes I’ve had customers from 7, 8 years ago, saying ‘do you know I still have that candle and I haven’t burned it yet?’”
Not great for Nia’s business, but she just hopes they’ll come back and add another one to their collection.