Our newest Nails of New York profiles Tamara Mayne, founder and creative director of Brooklyn Candle Studio, our favorite source for beautifully-packaged candles with intoxicating scents. We've partnered with Tamara and her team to create our new Paintbox 17 Crosby candle. Housed in a luxe glass tumbler, this double-wicked, pure-soy candle will make your home sparkle in 70 hours of soft light. With earthy hints of currants and woodsy notes of warm amber, our signature 17 Crosby scent is lush, cozy, and modern. Read more to hear about Tamara's story, plus how her candles are all hand-poured in Brooklyn and laced with essential oils.
When do you notice your nails the most?
When I'm in a social setting! I often neglect my nails, as I'm always working with my hands or playing instruments or doing something that is unhealthy for them.
Any funny nail nostalgia moments?
I used to pierce my nails with needles when I was a kid and put little nail charms in them.
How do you use your nails as a form of self expression?
I paint my nails what I'm feeling - usually melancholy pinks in the winter and bright reds in the summer.
In one word, how does a mani make you feel?
How do you pick your design and color combos?
I like neutrals and designs that remind me of cubism.
What are your go-to polish colors or brands?
I was just introduced to the line J.Hannah, and I'm pretty obsessed. I also really love the branding!
What was your journey to Brooklyn Candle Studio?
Since I was a kid, I was always working on some sort of artistic endeavor. I studied Studio Art and Economics in undergrad at the University of Virginia, and I have this weird mix of left-brain right-brain going on. I worked as a consultant at a software company for a while when I moved to New York at 22 then decided I had to switch into something creative, so I went to school for Communications Design at FIT. After I graduated, I was working as an art director and graphic designer when I decided I wanted to make candles for friends and family for Christmas. I picked up a kit at Michaels, and after a number of failures, got pretty obsessed and spent the next nine months experimenting with scents and having fun designing packaging. For the hell of it, I launched an Etsy shop in September of 2013, and shortly afterward, Etsy featured my candles in an email, and I got a ton of orders and buyer inquiries. People were loving the candles, and I couldn't believe they were in such high demand! After a few months of making hundreds of candles in my kitchen, I got a studio, quit my job, and started to pursue entrepreneurship with all I had. And the rest is history!
Which candles/scents are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the scents we developed for our new Escapist line, inspired by worldly excursions. From conceptualization to execution, so much work went into these over the course of months.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature, travel, new experiences. I just discovered the flower district in Manhattan, and I want to create a candle that smells like it.
What do you love about our new 17 Crosby scent?
I love the complexity of the fragrance. At first smell, the scent is very pleasing and grounding, but the depth of it really comes out when it's burning - the woody base notes linger after the sweetness of the fig and currant has evaporated.
What are you most excited about at Brooklyn Candle Studio?
I am most excited about introducing our new collections, Escapist and Noir. These scents really come from the heart, and I feel like the look and feel of our new collections really reflect the evolution of our brand.
What's your favorite part of your job?
Creating! Designing new scents and the vessels they are to be presented in.
When do you get your best ideas?
On the subway!