If you are like us, you’re a sucker for a little self-care in the form of lighting a candle, running a bath and pouring a G&T. Next time you are looking for a new candle, take a look at creepy cute brand RinkyDink Candles run by Aimee Lauren who not only makes deliciously devilish candles and melts but is a loud supporter of mental health. We sat down with her for a chinwag…

HOC: Hi Aimee, can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming a business owner?

Aimee: Where do I start!? It’s been a whirlwind, honestly! I initially set out to become a business owner because I always wanted to be able to do something creative for a living. I have a degree in Digital Forensics, but a career in STEM just wasn’t for me! Too many men and too much misogyny.

I also wanted to be able to take mental health days off work without having to have any awkward conversations with managers who didn’t quite understand why I was struggling to work. I got put on probation in a previous job because I took time off for anxiety. That was the kick up the bum I needed to get out of there and set up a company for myself which puts mental health first.

I started posting my creative projects on Instagram in the 2020 pandemic, beginning at first with just with my artwork (at the time I wanted to be an artist). I started to make handmade candles as a fun side-project, but they ended up blowing up on Instagram and got a lot of interest! Three years later I’m a full-time candle business owner who sells her art on the side. It’s funny how the two basically swapped around!

HOC: Incredible. We know you are very vocal about mental health and combine that with your business, can you tell us more?

Aimee: Absolutely. The two of them are parallel to each other. As my business has grown, my mental recovery has too.

Like many, I got quite reflective and introspective over the 2020 lockdowns. I started to become more and more aware that my childhood had been extremely abnormal. I began opening up to a therapist about some of the things I’d experienced and was diagnosed with PTSD and GAD. That made SO MUCH sense to me and helped me to understand why I was struggling so much with life.

When my business started to blow up, I was simultaneously coming to all these deep realisations about myself, and I wanted to talk about it with my family. I wanted us to repair our relationships and explain why their actions in the past hurt me to this day. They essentially turned me away and refused to acknowledge any of my pain (that’s the polite way of putting it, mind you), which was utterly heart-breaking. I began to get a lot of negative attention from my family. They weren’t very supportive of me, and I became so depressed.

It was a crazy pendulum of two extremes, because on the one hand I was experiencing my business taking off, while my personal life was completely falling apart.

In the end, after a total breakdown, I made the choice in 2021 to go no contact with my whole family and put myself first. I moved to Leeds and put physical distance between me and my trauma. I started seeing a childhood trauma therapist (who I still see to this day), and I started to heal. It was slow, and very painful, but here I am three years later a totally different woman.

The job itself is so healing. Candle making is an extremely calming process and a wonderful way to spend my days. But as the business has grown and my mental health has improved, I started to use my platforms to raise awareness of childhood trauma and the importance of choosing yourself. To have to separate yourself out of self-preservation is an awful thing to do. You feel so wrong and selfish at first. However, I’d be lying if I said it was a bad choice. I feel safe, secure, and most importantly happy now.

HOC: Thank you for sharing that with us, Aimee. We love your ‘anti-anxiety/stress’ products and focus on mental health – how do you balance the demands of running your own business as well as life in general?

I’ve essentially come to learn that the whole ‘work-life balance’ thing is a myth. It doesn’t exist, or at least, not when you run your own business.

Things happen in waves. Sometimes, I’m flat out at work and I can’t do a lot of social stuff (Christmas is a good example of this, because we all love a good smelly candle at Christmas!). Other times, like in the summer, when it’s hot outside and the business is a little quieter (still busy! Just not manic), I get to do more social things and go out more.

I tried keeping things constant and holding myself to a consistent schedule, but it just didn’t work for me! I’m lucky in that I don’t have childcare to worry about, or a marriage, or anything grown up like that. I have INSANE levels of respect for business owners that juggle those things too!

I think there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer when it comes to a work-life balance. However, I can say, you should always work to live, and not live to work.

HOC: Finally, emo, it’s all the rage again. Talk us through your candle making playlist?

Aimee: This is one of the best questions I’ve been asked! My candle making playlists are sometimes nice soft classical music, or a bit of 80s pop, but most of the time it’s those emo jams I listened to as a sad greasy teenager! A bit of My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and Bring Me The Horizon always make the day fly by! You can’t mosh while candle making, but you can certainly belt out your favourite happy-sad ballads!

And before anyone out there says ‘tHoSe ArE PoP PuNk BaNDsSsS’, I listened to them as an emo kid, so to me they’re emo bands! Now stop being so fussy!

Check out Aimee’s RinkyDink Candles here


Living on the sunny Kent coast you'll find Anna tracking down the best new coffee shops and craft beer dens. With a penchant for vintage, she's more likely to be exploring thrift stores than Bond Street but she'll never say no to a little touch of creative luxury.

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