SPÈ candles are artisanally created by Scottish/Canadian candlemaker Yvonne Duncan-Mandel with advisory partner Douglas Mandel. Both luxury design professionals; Yvonne specialises in design + interiors. Douglas most recently GM for Christian Dior Couture, Canada and Russia, advises Luxury Brands.
Yvonne + Douglas owned and designed the award winning Canadian KAMKYL Men's Collection + KAMKYL Urban Atelier. Yvonne now divides her 'candle making' time between their homes and businesses in Speyside, Scotland and Prince Edward County, Canada.
Yvonne Duncan-Mandel founded SPÈ Candle at Glenarder, in beautiful Speyside, Scotland in 2015.
Yvonne's background is fashion design, property projects and interior design. Yvonne and Douglas love their nomadic life and work experiences, which have taken them to London, Montreal, New York, Germany and Russia.
Yvonne is inspired by the connection between the Fifth Sense olfactory - smell and our emotive memories.
Yvonne's fascination is to the history of artisanal craft and particularly the history of candle making. Edinburgh Scotland was once a renowned center for this ancient industry prior to the invention of electricity. Since then candles have evolved from purely functional and horrible smelling to purely aroma and lifestyle driven. Candles carry with them a luxurious emotional quality connected to celebrations, rituals and romance.
Her first taste of actual candle making goes back to summer camp in Loch Lomond Scotland, where she was introduced to the artisanal craft of candle dipping by a local instructor. Her attraction today remains to these artisanal crafts as well as to the natural qualities of wax candles; their simplicity and beauty.
Yvonne honed her candle making skills for two years at their remote cottage Glenarder, Speyside, Scotland. As 'little projects' so often do, it all started in a little black shed which was more often than not surrounded by a herd of inquisitive passing cows and at mercy to wild blowing moor winds. Like a children's story book, one day an especially strong wind gust came along and the little shed was blown away... alas to literally being gathered up piece by piece from across the valley!
"These two years puttering in my little black shed were a joy. Glenarder is our happy place. I need no more inspiration than to walk out my front door and be inspired".
The first 3 or so years at Glenarder were spent travelling back and forth between Moscow, Russia and our two daughters in Montreal.
Through this time my ideas about candles were brewing and I started to study and teach myself the craft of candle making, it was surprisingly difficult to master the craft and skill. Three years later I have come quite a way but still very much evolving. My biggest challenge is living between countries, and keeping my endless ideas in check!
The first home and ‘forever soul’ of SPÈ Candle is Speyside, Scotland. Located in the heart of malt whisky country Speyside is renowned for its stunning landscape, rich heritage, Scottish country estates and artisan tweed makers.
SPÈ Candles are sold to select retailers and businesses. The SPÈ Whisky + Smoke Collection has unsurprisingly become a best seller and carried by local distilleries such as BenRiach. SPÈ Candle has also completed several collaborations with local brands such as the Knockando Woolmill, a historic niche woollen mill nestled in the heart of Speyside. This winter of 2020 SPÈ Candle participated in the first Glenlivet Winter Fayre.
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY - CANADA
Our latest endeavour and adventure has been in Prince Edward County. The County became our second home after Douglas was transferred from Moscow to Toronto in 2016. Wellington is a small - but very emerging town - on the sandy shores of Lake Ontario. Prince Edward County is experiencing a massive boom akin to areas such as Montauk, the Hamptons. The County has become Toronto’s newest and most trendy summer escape. Known for its thriving wineries, creative culture, chefs, artists, local produce and fantastic beaches. Like Speyside the nicest aspect of operating a business here is the local community.
The County Collection is inspired by life + culture in the County.
SPÈ specialises in collaborated with businesses by designing a bespoke candle or candle grouping which is signature to their brand.