Local Man’s hand-poured candles make Urban Outfitters smell like campfires

by | Oct 8, 2014 | POLITICS

Richmond-made products are lighting up Urban Outfitters’ shelves this fall–hand-poured candles by Alan Long of Square Trade Goods Co..

Richmond-made products are lighting up Urban Outfitters’ shelves this fall–hand-poured candles by Alan Long of Square Trade Goods Co..

“Wow,” Long says of Urban Outfitters’ decision to sell his candles. “I made something that a national retailer picked up. That’s crazy.” He’s perched on a stool in his East Fourth Street studio, where he makes each Square Trade Goods Co. candle himself from start to finish. Until now, his candles have been available only at local small businesses like Y&H Mercantile; Harvest Grocery and Supply; and Addison Handmade and Vintage.

Long explains that he didn’t intend to start a business. “It wasn’t like I had this aspiration to be a candle-maker or was obsessed with candles,” he says, “I just wanted to make something and this turned out to be what it was.” His journey began a few years ago when he began searching for a campfire scented candle. Long says, “I wanted a campfire scented candle, and I really couldn’t find anything. So I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll try to make it.'”


Hitting the we shop next week! 2 new scents. Basil and Tobacco Black Pepper. #dasitmayne

View on Instagram

He quickly realized that replicating the smell of a campfire using just wax and essential oils was a tricky process. “It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” Long says, “It took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to get the scent right and get it so it burns well and smells strong enough but not overpowering.” After a full year of experimenting, Long finally settled on his campfire scent. He jokes that the key to the final product is that “It smells like a campfire, but not like the house is on fire.”

Long initially fueled his hobby by giving candles as gifts to friends and family members. Once he started selling them, the local demand quickly surpassed the capacity of his small Carytown duplex. “I would spend hours every day and night standing over the stove,” says Long. “Making candles… pouring four candles at a time with a double boiler.” His current studio enables him to be much more efficient, and keeps his kitchen appliances free of wax.

Square Trade Goods Co. currently offers eight different scents including Balsam Fir, Tobacco Black Pepper, and Basil. Long is also working on collaborative candles with High Point Barber Shop and The Valentine Museum. Long considers his candle scents to be “unisex, outdoorsy, and clean.” He adds, “If it smells good to me and I love it, I’ll make it. If it doesn’t, I don’t.”


Regram from my good friend @kellydinosaur enjoying her camp mug the way your supposed to!

View on Instagram

Long remains humble despite his business’ almost incidental popularity. He says, “I’m really just doing it to make myself happy. If other people get enjoyment out of it too, that’s great.” Long smiles and adds, “Now I guess I do love candles.”

You can pick up Square Trade Candles from the local shops listed above, or online through Urban Outfitter’s website.

Photos via Square Trade Goods Co. Instagram

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

more in politics

RVA Magazine And GayRVA Endorse Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan

RVA Magazine and GayRVA are proud to endorse Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan for Virginia's 4th congressional district to continue the progressive legacy of the late Rep. Donald McEachin and represent us in the United States House of Representatives. Our team...

Art & Country: A Sunday Essay

Back in April, I had the great privilege of visiting the Louvre for the first time. The many works in that historic museum exceeded all my expectations and kept me enthralled for the all too short three hours I spent inside. As closing time approached, museum staff...

We want to raise awareness of the situation in Iran with a mural

ed. note: In light of fact checking this morning we have to retract the information presented on our platforms yesterday and clarify that Iran has NOT sentenced 15,000 protestors to the death penalty but the possibly remains they could in the future. We apologize for...

You Beto Work 2: A Bumble Love Letter to Beto O’Rourke

Fall calls for late nights and warm blankets, lost in the small glare of the light from my phone. Tired of endlessly swiping right on the same balding white guy named Jeff holding a spotted bass he is entirely too proud of. Tinder? Never. I’m far higher brow than...

Dissociative Gaze Into The Abyss: A Sunday Essay

Is the revival of the 2014 Tumblr girl how the internet copes with the end of the world?  The dissociative pout, also referred to as the dissociative gaze, was first coined by i-D Magazine in the 2022 article “The cult of the dissociative pout” by Rayne Fisher-Quann,...

Pin It on Pinterest