The Browning Family of Rio Rancho founded New Mexico Candle Company in 1971. Bill Browning primarily ran the company until the mid 2000s, when he sold the company.
Then along came Heather, a former high school math teacher. She taught Algebra 1 and 2 for 8 years in Rio Rancho. She began making candles as a hobby about 10 years ago when she had seen a candle making kit. Heather thought it would be a fun way to use old candles from around the house during her time off from school. She began making candles for friends and family as gifts and started her own website to sell the candles while she was still teaching. Her husband found a listing for a candle company for sale and, with the love and support of her family, she left her career and bought New Mexico Candle Company in August of 2010.
"I have been lucky to live my dream since," Heather says. "My business is completely family run. I produce all the candles that are sold in our retail location in Old Town and the candles that are shipped across the country through our website and our wholesale sales. Many of the products that we carry, like our pottery, are locally made. We try to support local artists as much as possible." New Mexico Candle Company really is a family affair; her mother, Christine, does the accounting for the company, handles the shipping and helps with the Old Town location and her niece, Opal, is the salesperson at their Old Town location. So when you buy candles from NM Candle Company you know that your money is going directly to a local family in Albuquerque.
All of their candles are hand poured using top quality paraffin wax. The main candle line that has been the backbone of the company are the Sandcast candles. Each candle takes about 5-7 days to create. The candles are poured in large tubs of sand, pulled out and sanded smooth, then hand carved and detailed. With this process, no two candles are exactly alike. When burned properly, the outer shell of the candle will last forever.
What is better than sending friends and family a small piece of New Mexico. The small Sandcast Casa adorned with mini glass ristras can last a lifetime. Once the candle has burned down you can replace with a small tea light.
Another very popular line of their candles are the Corndles. A couple from Los Lunas started these candles then New Mexico Candle company acquired them sometime in the 1990s.
Last are their scented candles. New Mexico Candle Company carries about 60 different fragrances and pick up new ones each year.
The Chile fragrances were specially developed by a chemist at one of their fragrance companies (a closely guarded secret for the company). The red and green chile candles are no joke! I have never come across another company that has so accurately captured the smell of roasted chiles. After you light a green chile candle from them, your house will permeate with the delicious New Mexican smell. After I lit mine in the back patio, my neighbors started asking if I was roasting green chiles in my back yard. I had to show them it was a candle because they didn't believe me. That's how accurately they resemble the real roasted green chile smell.
These candles make perfect gifts for those who have moved away from New Mexico, sure you can send them some roasted chile but you can't send them a whole roaster. So with these candles they can have both experiences. It's no wonder the New Mexico Candle Company sells more Red and Green chile candles than any other fragrance.
One of the most popular is of course are the Red and Green Chile scents that are both a part of the GIVEAWAY and are made in beautiful sand bowls.
To be eligible to win the #ChileChicaGiveaway - one item from each of the 12 Days of New Mexico Christmas (valued at over $200!) - you will need to do to the following:
- Repost each of the "12 Days" as they are posted now through December 23rd on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - feel free to repost older days you have already read as well!
- Include the hashtag #ChileChicaGiveaway on all your reposts!
- Follow New Mexico Chiles; History, Legend and Lore on Facebook.
- Follow The Chile Film on Facebook.
Post everyday for your best chance to win. Each post will count as an additional entry; limit one per day per social media platform. We will announce the winner on Christmas Eve, and remember to have your privacy settings public so we can see your posts!