Nera Wix Candle Bar Offers Something New for Downtown Shoppers

Downtown Lowell has no shortage of lovely, unique places to shop, and now amongst its storefronts is a new place – to not only shop, but to create your own custom-made candle.

Nera Wix Candle Bar opened at 216 E. Main St. on April 13 to a rather large and busy crowd of shoppers looking to see what the new shop is offering.

Owners Tiffany and Jason Runstrom say they’ve gotten overwhelming feedback from shoppers who are excited to have something new and affordable to do downtown.

The Runstroms came up with the candle bar concept in February 2024 and opened the business at a breakneck speed. They visited a candle-making store on Valentine’s Day and decided shortly after to open their own.

The couple thought it would be interesting to open a business, with an actual bar and not just tables, where people could make customized candles.

“The place that we went to on Valentine’s Day had tables set up,” Tiffany says. “I loved the idea behind the concept, but thought I would love to turn it into an actual candle bar. So that’s what kind of created the idea.”

From Idea to Business in Two Months

Jason and Tiffany Runstrom

Finding the space wasn’t difficult as the Runstroms have family members who have businesses in the same general area and who told them about the building availability. Jason, who grew up in Lowell, thought it would be a wonderful idea to be downtown near family and close to the family’s home in Saranac.

They moved into their building and had it ready for business in three weeks thanks to Jason being in the construction business. He built the large bar in the front of the store.

Besides being downtown and in a lovely space, one of the other positives about the location is it has ample parking behind the building. Jason says they plan to also have rear access to the store for customers soon.

While Jason was busy getting the building ready for customers, Tiffany had the task of figuring out the basics of making candles on a large scale: oils, scents, and vessels.

Tiffany had experience making candles as a hobby and knew she needed to find cost-effective materials. She also wanted unique and attractive vessels to hold the candles. All of this, including testing the heat resistance of the vessels took about six weeks. Tiffany says she is happy with what they are offering.

Vessels available for candle making

“They’ve been really fun, and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on the vessels,” she shares. “One of our best sellers has been our coffee cup candles. People like that they can take them home and reuse them as a coffee cup. A lot of the stuff we have, people can use as little trinket dishes or little succulent containers. To repurpose them in some way is always fun.”

Being ecologically safe is also important to the Runstroms. The wax they use is a cocoa – soy blend, and they use braided cotton wicks in all their candles. Their fragrances, too, are tested to make sure they are safe to burn.

“We went through all of our scents to figure out which ones would be considered ‘clean’ so they could be mixed with the eco-base and not be turned into a toxic scent into the air,” Tiffany says. “That was a process all on its own. We’ve made sure we have a nice array of scents for people to choose from.”

Options for Making Candles in Lowell

Customers can reserve space for candle making or can drop in the store. The Runstroms also welcome and are equipped for parties for those who want something unique and crafty to do. They also do “mobile events” where they bring their equipment to other facilities such as long-term care homes. Candles have to be cured for usually two hours, though the smaller ones may take only one hour.

The Runstroms are offering a deal on the last Friday of every month. You can bring your empty vessel back in, and they will check and re-wick it. You can then refill it and make a new candle for 50% off the original price.

Nera Wix also offers a line of diffusers, soaps, body scrubs, and bath bombs. You can also purchase a ready-made candle, made by Tiffany.

Parties at Nera Wix can be privately catered, and food and drink can be brought in from outside sources for all customers. Beginning in June, every Saturday will be a “Wine and Wicks” event for customers to enjoy refreshments while they create candles.

“We want to make it as inviting as we can for people,” Jason says. “If you want to throw a kid’s birthday party, you don’t have to be worried about whether you can bring a cake. You can bring whatever you want.”

Tiffany adds that children are definitely welcome in the store, and it is safe for them to create their own candles too.

“People may worry about how hot the wax is. In the vat it’s really hot, but once we pull it out of the vat and bring it to ‘pour’ temperature, it’s about 130 degrees. So it cools fast, and it doesn’t burn anybody,” she says.

Jason agrees that all ages are welcome.

“We’re very age inclusive. We don’t want people to worry about bringing three or four year olds to make a candle,” he explains. “We offer ‘Mommy and Me’ candles – large and small coffee cup vessels that are sold together.”

Tiffany says the name Nera means “candle” or “light” in Hebrew, and it’s usually reserved for girls’ names who are born during Hanukkah. She said it is special because her grandfather is Jewish.

“I wanted to have something that was associated with the word candle or light so I thought it was perfect,” she says. “I did not spell Wix the correct way to have a little kick on it. I thought it’d be something different.”

Candle-making starts at $15, and there is a large variety of scents and vessels available.

The Runstroms are ready for the Lowell community to visit their store and sit at its unique “bar.”

“It’s been great having people walk in and check out the store and have such wonderful things to say about it… welcoming us into the community,” Tiffany says. She adds: “We have hot wax on tap all the time.”

To learn more about Nera Wix Candle Bar, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.