Meet The Maker

Owner/Maker - Rachel Bassett

Growing up I was always asked the typical question of “What do you want to do when you get older?” Every time I would respond with the answer that I wanted to be a lawyer, a coroner, or a business owner. Truthfully, I knew that above all, I really wanted to own my own business someday, but I really had no idea what I wanted to do and what I wanted to focus on. The idea of creating something, calling it mine, and being responsible for its success or failure was exciting to me.

Since I was unsure what career to pursue after high school, I continued my education at SIUE for my undergrad. I started off pursuing a business degree, which would make sense, but then I switched and ended up graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. At that point, I thought that I wanted to pursue a career in political campaigns, but also knew that this degree was a good starting point if I wanted to continue the path of becoming a lawyer. I was so unsure what I wanted to do! In the meantime, I continued to work at my job at a local print shop.

In 2019, I was sitting on my couch after work scrolling social media, looking for a new hobby or craft to do. That is when I came across an advertisement for soy candles. Something clicked in that instant and I thought to myself, “I can do that!” And then, without another thought, I started researching the process of making candles. I have always been creative and liked to do different art projects and DIYs (Pinterest projects were my thing), so candle-making seemed right up my alley. I started with the idea that what I made would be used as gifts for family and friends since it was typical of me to gift something that was handmade.

Once I realized that I loved the creative freedom candle-making gave me, I dove in even deeper. Soy candles were not extremely popular, but sought after, and only a few local businesses were making soy candles and clean home fragrance products. That is when I decided to make an Etsy account to try and sell some of the products that I was making. I had no idea what to expect, and I was unsure if any of the candles would sell. I launched my first small batch online and it sold out within one day! I was ecstatic. That is when I realized that this candle-making hobby could turn into something even bigger. I never dreamed that I would turn candle-making into a full-on business, now called Rustic Rays Candle Co.