WHILST some of us may have been binge-watching catch-up television or painting the house from top to bottom, a Burley-in-Wharfedale couple have used the lockdown to start a new business.

Alison Kumar and Andy Cotterall have created their very own cottage industry making candles in the kitchen... and it’s already proving to be a big success.

“We’ve been busy from the minute we set up our website,” said Alison. “We seem to spend every waking moment either making candles or delivering them around Wharfedale, as well as shipping to different parts of the country. It’s really exciting.”

Their candles are quite time-consuming to make as they rely on a multi-pour system to create a distinctive layering of colours.

“It’s quite technical really,” said Andy, Alison’s partner and fellow candelier. “We had a few frustrating weeks before we got it right. We have also been determined - right from the outset - to keep everything natural and eco friendly, even making our own boxes out of recycled paper!”

But the finished product is certainly worth all the trouble - the Wharfedale Candle Co. now produce a range of six beautiful coloured candles all accompanied by distinctive and sympathetic fragrances.

Andy and Alison are not resting on their laurels – they are coming out with more new products, one of which is a ‘Fragrance Bomb’ in a tin. “We’ve put in a little more essential oil which gives the candle an extra kick of fragrance – and they’re bigger too,”Alison added.

The couple’s enthusiasm for their new venture shines through as they talk. “Every day has brought a new challenge,” said Andy”‘because we’ve both had to learn new skills, there’s so much involved. It’s not just about making the candles either - we’ve created a website, Facebook page, designed logos etc; in fact the marketing seems to take longer than the candles at the moment!”

Andy is a semi-retired teacher and Alison has two part time jobs but like most of the country neither have been able to work normally since the lockdown.

“I know some families have suffered awfully through Covid -19. We’ve been so lucky by comparison. But I just love the fact that we’ve been able to turn a negative into a really positive experience for us both...and who knows it might end up being a life changing experience,” Alison said.

You can find out more about Wharfedale Candles and their products on wharfedalecandleco.com