Candle Nerds

By Louise Irvine

Fans of the WMODA Museum Shop will remember the Candle Nerds collection created by Nini and Luis Montanez. Luis is the museum’s logistic manager and for the last six months, he has been very busy with the relocation of the museum. However, in his spare time he supports his wife, Nini, with their creative candle business. It won’t be long now until their latest collection is available for sale in our new gift shop.

Nini began experimenting with candle-making as a hobby in 2017 but it soon became an all-consuming passion. She googled recipes and watched so many videos on YouTube that her family called her the “candle nerd” and her business was born. As a migraine sufferer, Nini was determined to develop a natural product and researched the purest and most eco-friendly candle ingredients. She uses 100% soy wax and natural dyes for her Candle Nerds range which has no phthalates or plasticizers unlike some brands of scented paraffin candles.

Nini mixes her own essential oils and fragrances conforming to International Fragrance Association certified allergen-free standards and selects scents that will not irritate sensitive individuals.  One of her most popular aromas is Jamaica Me Crazy!  Nini and Luis began selling their candles at local arts and crafts markets in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale and they have now opened an on-line shop which also offers their new line of car perfumes and wax melts. Through WMODA, they offer an exclusive collection of decorative tins for their scented candles and their latest designs feature zodiac symbols.

Nini never stops researching or experimenting and draws on her experiences making cold-process soaps as a young woman for her friends and family. A couple of years ago, she learned about a technique from the 1940s for mixing wax and water to create interesting candle shapes.  Luis worked on fabricating special tools and molds and they launched their Evolution series. One of their first Evolution designs is at WMODA and it has never been lit so that the original sculptural form can always be enjoyed. Customers who choose to burn their Evolution candle can watch it evolve gradually into a new art form.

The Candle Nerds team have had a great response to their dramatic Evolution candles which have been selected for juried art shows and featured in museums, art galleries and magazine articles. They were proud to have one of their designs selected for the Pine and Palm exhibition at Coral Springs Museum in December. The Evolution designs can be customized for special orders and Nini has produced candles with themes as diverse as radiant sunshine to dark gothic fantasies. She is now working on ideas to represent WMODA and is adding a new perspective to our collection of Fired Arts.


See the Candle Nerds collection on their website