Photo Credit: Minakshi Patel

After moving to New Zealand two years ago from Adelaide, Renee Wood needed a creative outlet outside of her full-time job as a teacher. “It’s been a dream of mine for a while, so I decided to make it a reality.” Wood grew up loving candles; the ambience they bring to a room. “I was buying so many candles, I thought to myself I should just make them,” she said. The first product she made for Honey Love Homemade was an aromatherapy heat pack range which Wood donates a portion of the sales to Endometriosis NZ. She then moved into candles and the high demand made candles the core of her business.

Her career as a food technology teacher and her love for cooking inspired her candles. “I try and make them smell and sound as yummy as possible,” added Wood. “Majority of my candle range is based on popular desserts and flavours that are found in food like Lemon Cheesecake or Cinnamon Scrolls.” Wood is motivated by her love of making things and being creative. “There are so many amazing small businesses out there that are doing so well for themselves, and I thought why not give it a go!”

Sourcing from local New Zealand businesses when possible, Wood likes to think her label is full of positive energy. As a small operation, Wood said her partner is a massive support. “He’s a talented signwriter, so he helps me with all of my signage amongst so many other things.”

In the future, she would love to have a physical store, but her dream is to combine her love of cooking and giftware in a small dessert café. Wood would love to get local celebrities on board using her products. “Any exposure or celebrity endorsements is always a bonus!” Honey Love Homemade is currently sold online and at markets across Auckland. She is in the process of teaming up with a range of cafés and salons to stock Honey Love Homemade. “We are always looking for new opportunities.”

For more information, visit www.honeylovehomemade.bigcartel.com or email honeylovehomemade@gmail.com.