December 8, 2015 • PEOPLE

Meet Our Makers: Votivo


Our Draper James Candles, including Orange Blossom Special, are made by the experts at Votivo, a family-owned company based in Spartanburg, SC.

A touch of candlelight is a surefire way to elevate a moment—whether that moment is a holiday gathering or a solo evening with a cup of tea and a great book.

When we launched Draper James, Reese, who loves to light candles around her own home, felt that through signature candles, we could evoke the scents and moods of the Southern lifestyle she holds dear. Votivo, a family-owned candle business based in Spartanburg, SC (a town appropriately known as Sparkle City!) was the perfect partner to create our trademark scent.

Developed in close collaboration with Votivo Executive Vice President Mark Johnson and his team, our Orange Blossom Special and Holiday Spice Candles are impeccably blended and lovingly packaged according to Votivo’s exacting specifications. Each candle is hand-wrapped and each seal is hand-pressed, making every candle a flickering handcrafted treasure.

Get to know more about this special Draper James brand partner in this Q&A with Mark Johnson, the first installment of our Meet Our Makers series.

How did you connect with Draper James and what has the collaboration process been like?
The Draper James team had prior personal experience with Votivo and were drawn to us knowing the high level of fragrance development and overall product standards we bring to a collaboration.

Once we learned about Draper James, we were impressed and thought it would be a great fit.

Tell us about the scents of the DJ Candles. What makes them unique?
The powerful thing about scents is they are so personal. Both the Orange Blossom Special and the Holiday Spice were chosen because they resonate with Reese and evoke specific memories.

Orange Blossom Special is like perfume for your home; it is a perfect everyday scent with a beautiful orange blossom and water lily heart.

With cinnamon, clove, and cedar, Holiday Spice recalls memories of spending holidays with friends and family. People talk about spreading good cheer during the holidays; this candle embodies those happy moments.


Draper James Orange Blossom Special and Holiday Spice Candles being manufactured at the Votivo headquarters.

How did you develop the packaging?
It was a true collaboration.

We wanted elegant packaging that had classic Southern design elements and felt special. The gold rim on the glass and the embossing detail on the box, plus the gingham and polka dot print on the box, fulfill that vision.

At Votivo we believe that great products have a holistic design—every detail matters, down to the monogrammed custom tissue paper that wraps each candle.

How do you see the candles fitting into a holiday celebration—either as a gift or at a gathering?
Draper James Candles are the perfect gift. If you burn these candles during gatherings, you’ll not only create ambiance, but you’ll also tie the scents to the celebration of great memories.

How does your Southern-ness come through in your brand?
The South is known for hospitality. We work very hard to make sure we are delivering fragrance to our customer’s home in a way that we know they will enjoy at an exceptionally high level.

Anything else?
I’d love to give a shout-out to a few of our team members who have been instrumental on this projecct: Heidi Ruehl, Creator of Cool (she designs and sources our packaging); Adrienne Possien, Fragrance Evaluator; and Emily Shaw, Perfumer.