By: Sima Morrison
Kristie Head is the creator of LITE+CYCLE and is one passionate woman. We sat down with her and talked all things candles, essential oils and transparency. The creator of LITE+CYCLE is supremely passionate - bringing awareness about harsh chemicals and ingredients in our everyday products in our homes. We got the low down on candle making and how difficult it is to find a REAL non-toxic candle. Well the search is over…
What motivated you to start a non-toxic essential oil and clean candle Company?
I was motivated by the lack of availability for such a product and by the clean washing that goes on with the term “all natural”. Having worked in the fragrance and beauty industry for over 10 years, I became aware of the loose regulations on fragrance safety and the loopholes for natural marketing claims.* Frankly, it made me a bit angry, so I decided to create a product that was fiercely committed to ethics, clean standards, and transparency. It was a bit of a reaction product. One that, I believe still stands strong as the cleanest and most non-toxic candle available.
I often refer to LITE+CYCLE as a brand that advocates for clean, transparent and safer fragrances - and we do this by providing it, educating on it, and even sometimes challenging manufacturers to expand their capabilities.
*For example the claim “natural” can be used alongside unnatural ingredients as long as a certain percentage is adhered to - meaning sometimes it has synthetics and possibly harmful toxic ingredients. Additionally manufactures don’t legally have to disclose what is in a fragrance, as it is protected under trade secret (link here). So you might not know that you are inhaling chemicals such as formaldehyde or phthalates ( a common ingredient in fragrance that is linked to hormone disruption among other things).
We are advocates of being able to nourish our body with clean ingredients. How did you pick and chose your scent palettes?
I chose my scent palette by staying true to the aim of having the least amount of interference possible from plant to candle. I first learned which oils are extracted with steam distillation and cold press, as oppose to those that can only be extracted using petroleum based solvents. By doing this I tried to eliminate any potential unnecessary contamination. My initial goal in creating LITE+CYCLE scents was to see how unadulterated I could get. How close to nature.
This was inspired by the farm to table and raw food movement as well as the rise in organic skincare. After all, what we breath into our lungs goes directly into our blood stream and affects our wellness too!
Once I had that down I kept it simple and, chose key essential oils that had complimenting aromatherapy benefits, VETIVER for grounding, BERGAMOT for boosting mood, LAVENDER for easing the mind, SAGE for clarity, and URBAN FOREST (our more complex blend) for elevating creativity.
Do you have a morning ritual to awaken your senses?
My morning ritual is to awaken my senses slowly. I do this by lingering in bed for a bit, taking in the morning light, smiling at life’s surprises, and petting whatever or whomever is close to me - letting myself wake gently.
What is an ingredient you can't live without in the kitchen?
Olive oil preferably Italian organic and unfiltered!!
Tell us about your geometrical design on the candle lids. What does this mean to you?
My intention when creating the geometrical design on the lid was to exemplify my interpretation of unity and wholeness in a minimalist and chic way. To me it represents balance, connectedness, and the beauty and intelligence of the natural world. The open negative space at the center of the design acts as a meditative point of focus — the calm, the light, the point of stillness amidst the flurry of life.
It can also be looked at as a personal mandala. Explained and westernized by Carl Jung in Memories, Dreams, Reflections :
“I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, ...which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time. ... Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: ... the Self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious.”
What is a flower that you resonate with the most?
A dandelion, for its childlike nostalgia, cheerful unassuming beauty and intriguing blow balls. The blow balls, contain a perfect sphere of potential new life, which gets dispersed gracefully by an unexpected gust wind. That is something I aspire to, to pollinate new potential with a gust of wind.
How do you bring bliss into your home?
I bring bliss into my home with art, books, music and candle light. Art, on the walls keeps me inspired to create my own art, books (and lately puzzles) engage my mind. Music sets my emotions free and candle light makes me feel romantic - all of that is bliss!
In your opinion, how does bringing a high quality, clean essential oil blend candle benefit the energy is one’s home?
A high quality essential oil blend candle will help balance the moods in your home creating clearer more positive energy all around. It does this in two ways, 1)The essential oils that LITE+CYCLE uses are therapeutic grade which means they are genuinely healing and restorative. 2) The more we interact with nature the more peaceful we are, and smelling the real thing, can transcend you with just one sniff!
Where is your favorite place to light a candle (bathroom, kitchen, living room etc.)?
My favorite place to light a candle is in my living room at the base of my fireplace. I have an old cone fireplace that sits on a base of bricks. It has become an altar of sorts, a place where I burn sage, lay stones and sit to meditate. I light a candle here every night, even if just for a minute.
Which of your candles would you choose for your kitchen?
The Sage essential oil candle! Its scent goes well with food and it is crisp and clarifying.
Sima Morrison, founder of House of Citrine, is a vibrant soul with a potent zest for life and the beauty in its simple pleasures. As a holistic nutritionist and herbalism student, Sima has made it her life's journey to experience, to empower, and to explore the synergy between the mind and the body, embracing the liberty and power of mindful living. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Science in Public Health Education from California State University Northridge and studied Holistic Nutrition at The Natural Healing Institute.