How North Peters Street Candles Got Its Start...

More than 20 years ago I began selling my illustrated poems at the French Market until it became a business rather than a passion. Then I made handmade jewelry for another vendor who was a native New Orleanian. I ran his business all summer, and by the end of the season, I'd done so well for him that 30 other vendors asked me if I’d work with them! One of them was a candle maker. 

I agreed, and after about 6 months of working together, we decided to open a storefront on Wilkinson Row in the French Quarter, in addition to working at the French Market. We became 50/50 partners…just in time for Hurricane Katrina!

Which candle fragrance brings back your memories of the city that care forgot?

After the floods, I hand-painted plywood signs and put them on the corners of Wilkinson & Decatur and on Wilkinson & Chartres. During normal times, you can't put up signs without approval that typically takes a year.

The signs said, “Follow the Arrows…Best Smells in the French Quarter!”--because there was no electricity and about a half million refrigerators had been left with food in them when people evacuated.

We just opened the doors in the middle of the block and started making candles. And it smelled so good that all the rescue workers came into the store and said, “This is the best thing I've smelled since I've been here!” The rescue workers and some locals were the ones who kept us in business.

The French Market finally reopened after a couple of months, and we were one of only 5 vendors there. The Jackson Square buggy owners brought us horseshoes for good luck. It felt so good to be back!

We stayed in business at both the French Market and on Wilkinson for a few years. Then we expanded into wholesale and private label for about 500 companies all over the country. Our candles were chosen for the MusiCares Swag Bag (Grammys) when James Taylor was named Artist of the Year.

About 9 years ago, I took over the business, so basically, I've been making and selling New Orleans-inspired candles for almost 20 years! Thanks for bringing us to the dance, y'all (as we say in the South!)

Because of COVID, I haven't been at the market all year. The only way I can stay in business for the time being is if you purchase your candles from me through this website. I appreciate you for that!