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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hygge at Home

Clay and Jesse Gillham take comfort in creating one-of-a-kind candles.

Clay and Jesse Gillham have been life partners since 2016 but business partners since 2020 when they pursued candle making during the pandemic.

Clay was introduced to the concept of hygge running her interior design and organizing business, The Tailored Life LLC. Hygge, a Danish concept, encapsulates feelings of coziness, contentment, gathering with loved ones, and life’s simple pleasures.

“Lighting is one of the most important parts of hygge, so it made sense we call our candle business that,” says Clay, an events and communications coordinator for the Henderson, Kentucky, Chamber of Commerce.

The early days of The Henderson Hygge Co. involved heavy research and experimenting to create the optimal product. Jesse, the clinical director at Core Chiropractic Henderson, would cut old wine and bourbon bottles in their kitchen by scoring a line on a bottle and using hot and cold water until it split.

Photo of Henderson Hygge Co. products by Zach Straw

The Gillhams’ doorstep essentially is a recycle bin for donated glass. Farmer and Frenchman also supplies them with bottles from its winery.

“The mailman probably thought we were crazy (with all the empty bottles),” Clay laughs.

With a shared love of vintage items, the Gillhams often repurpose thrifted finds like etched bowls and collectible drink glasses. Pinewood Design, another local business, helps design and create wooden lids. Candles also can be customized.

“Hygge is interwoven into our entire business model,” Clay says.

Made with 100 percent soy wax, cotton-paper blend wicks, and clean fragrances, each candle has sentimental value.

“We love thinking about the journey of a candle,” Clay says, “from a wine bottle enjoyed on the table among friends, to the heart of our home to be recrafted by hand into something new, then sent back out to be given as a heartfelt gift or lit to add enjoyment to a cozy night at home.”

Five Fast Facts about The Henderson Hygge Co.

  • It offers six classic scents year-round, plus seasonal scents.
  • Morning Riverwalk is a love letter to the Gillhams’ hometown, with notes of driftwood, moss, rainwater, amber, and river rock.
  • “I’m Ron Burgundy?” with its leather and mahogany teakwood, was named by Jesse — clearly an “Anchorman” fan — and is the business’ most popular scent.
  • In 2021, the company used roughly 825 pounds of soy wax for its candles.
  • Find The Henderson Hygge Co. candles at J Petals, Farmer and Frenchman, area farmers markets, and on Etsy.
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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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