Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Shop

Clare Corcoran has been making soaps and candles for 10 years. Her shop Mylana features a bright, upbeat variety of soaps and candles. Not only that, but she has also mastered the art of jewelry. Her pieces are fun and romantic. This beautiful Silver Snake Chain necklace with a vintage look has interchangeable pendants. Every piece of jewelry that Clare makes is one of a kind, because she uses a lot of found materials. Not only are they individualistic - they are also eco-friendly.

I would have to assume that a love for cooking inspired this adorable 22oz Blackberry Jam Candle. It looks delicious. My children would have a hard time trying not to eat it if it was in my kitchen. Who am I kidding? So would I. 
It is wax suspended in a wax gel. It will burn for over 100 hours and weighs two pounds. 
All of the candles and soaps in Mylana are limited edition until Clare can get a studio to increase her production.

This Vegan Herbal Mint Soap is great because it's minty, not sweet. You can buy it for men or women. 

Clare, how long have you been crafting and what got you started?
I have been making candles since high school and soap since college. I got started making candles from a kit at a church rummage sale when I was 14 or 15 and then when I was in college, my mom worked for a publishing group and they were publishing some books on crafts and soapmaking. She brought the books home and it looked awesome, but the supplies were hard to find, since not everyone had the internet. In 2000, I discovered Brambleberry, a great online supplier, and made my first cold process (from scratch) soap. I started doing jewelry in 2010 after my husband died as a form of meditation and finding peace.
I got started in etsy after my husband died of cancer at age 34. He loved Regretsy and had the book, so my sister contacted Regretsy about making him an urn, because I couldn't afford an urn or anything fancy. Here is the

I started thinking about the urn and how it has references to Irish things, World of Warcraft, dragons and all sorts of things Tim loved, and that got me thinking about etsy. One week after he died, I tied up loose ends there and my place of employment had gone out of business, so I decided to get rid of almost everything and move to TN from WI to start over. My mom and dad used to live in Gallatin for his work, but I chose Murfreesboro because the VA is here and I served in Afghanistan, so I use the VA hospital and I don't have a car. When I got to TN, I didn't have a job or much money besides a small pension from the VA (I got medically retired when I was 26 for a non-combat related disease that I had diagnosed while overseas) and I had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to get to work crafting and start working on making an etsy store.

Sometimes I wonder if my stuff is good enough to sell, but I think about Tim and his regretsy urn and all that ugly stuff they find that people are selling, and suddenly, my stuff doesn't look half bad!

I think we can all agree with that!

What are some big differences between Wisconsin(where you're from) and Tennessee?
[Murfreesboro] is very hard to get around as a pedestrian, no crosswalks, lots of traffic, and no bus service on weekends. 
Health care at the Va is great and accessible. It is clean and has a more diverse population than Stevens Point. I have a BA in Spanish, and while I have forgotten a lot, there is more opportunity here to use it. The climate is also nice and mild.
Back in WI, the population of the cities are a lot smaller, but they seem a lot more progressive environmentally, easier to navigate on bike or on foot, and more friendly to small business. There are a lot of farmer's markets and interesting shops and eateries that are not chains. Supporting local business is important to me and there is not a lot here in Murfreesboro that I have found. I do like the Bargain Center thrift store though. I buy a lot of candle jars there.

How long have you been playing WoW?
Tim and I used to play World of Warcraft together a lot, since he was very sick for a long time and couldn't do much else. We started playing in 2008, and our first characters that we played together were Mylana (me, a troll priestess) and Thornhide (him, an orc rogue). I chose Mylana for my shop so that my online friends could find my stuff easily and because the game was such a fun thing we could do together up until the end. He did not have insurance when he got diagnosed with cancer, so his online friends from wow pitched in together before he died so we could come here to TN on vacation. He was supposed to come with me and be part of a clinical trial in Nashville.
That's very romantic that you would name your shop after something that you and your husband did together. 

What is your favorite thing to make?
My favorite thing to make are candles, but the supplies are also the most heavy, expensive, and hard to get, so I don't do it often. 

Stop by her shop, Mylana, and show Clare some love! 
And thanks so much, Clare, for letting us pick your brain for this week's feature! I hope that you get to have your own studio in the near future. 

-The Murfreesboro Etsy Team

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PS. I have one of Clare Corcoran's candles in my home now. Delish! Get one for your home!

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