Farm wife markets 100% soywax candles

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2001

SCARVILLE, Iowa -&160;Melanie Throne is harvesting a whole new market for her husband’s soybean crop this fall: soywax candles.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

SCARVILLE, Iowa -&160;Melanie Throne is harvesting a whole new market for her husband’s soybean crop this fall: soywax candles.

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Soylights, Throne’s soy candle trademark, were developed by some friends of the Throne family and are made in New Hampton, Iowa, with plans to begin manufacturing in Winnebago County sometime in the future.

&uot;My husband’s best friend manufactures them, and told us if we could design a logo and name them, we could market them,&uot; Melanie Throne said.

She said her husband, Mike, a soybean farmer, had no trouble coming up with the logo.

As for Melanie Throne, a stay-at-home mom, she researched the project before jumping in, and liked what she learned.

Soy candles are a biodegradable, soot-free alternative to traditional candles. Soylights, which are made from 100 percent natural soybean wax, are a renewable resource, and have unbleached cotton wicks and are a safer home product for children, pets and adults with sensitivities to petroleum-based waxes found in most candle products.

She said because they are made with soybean oil similar to what is used for cooking, they are safe around children and pets, although she cautions that candles should always be kept out of reach of children.

They clean up with soap and water. &uot;Once the jar is empty, you can put it in the dishwasher,&uot; she said.

They’re also clean-burning. &uot;Unlike paraffin candles that are petroleum-based, Soylights will not damage your walls, ceilings or carpets by leaving that sooty reside that most candles do,&uot; Throne said. &uot;And they won’t pollute your home with smoke or soot, making the air in your house safer to breathe for your family.&uot;

Throne said she talked with one couple who hadn’t burned candles in three years because of the amount of soot on their walls.

&uot;They were looking forward to trying these,&uot; she said.

Throne said she has seen other soy candles in stores, but the labels state they also contain other waxes. &uot;Because you buy soy candles, it doesn’t mean they’re 100 percent soy,&uot; she said. &uot;Our new labels will also say ‘soot-free.’&uot;

Soylights come in over 40 different fragrances, many of them seasonal and available at certain times of the year.

Throne said some of the most popular-selling fragrances are Banana Nut Bread, Cinnamon Bun, Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Pumpkin Pie, Mulberry and Vanilla Coffee.

&uot;They burn cooler than regular candles, which allows more fragrance to quickly be sent into the air,&uot; she said.

Cost for the candles ranges from $6.50 for a box of 12 tealights (which burn about 12 hours) or six votives (which burn 18-20 hours), to $20.50 for a 26-ounce jar, which burns about 250 hours.

Throne said candles are extremely popular among so many people. She personally sold another type of candles before Soylights came along.

&uot;I’m even finding that men burn a lot of candles,&uot; she said. &uot;My husband couldn’t care less about candles, but these interest him because they’re made from soybeans, and they’re an alternative market.

&uot;As production increases, it makes sense to use something that we can grow, and grow quickly.&uot;

Soylights have been available since early October at the Top of Iowa Welcome Center and at the drugstore in Garner, Iowa. After Jan. 1, they’ll most likely be in all Iowa Welcome Centers – because they are an Iowa-made product, she said.

Soylights are available on the Internet at, or by calling Throne toll-free at 1-(866) 558-3900.