Hi, I'm Sam, Founder of Highland Bluff Studio.

In October 2012, I took a full-time job as a Business Systems Analyst for a software startup located in Franklin, Tennessee. Skip through many late nights, long weekends, and two years later, I found myself merely exhausted. I spent all day in front of the computer. At that point, I knew that I needed something fun and therapeutic outside of work. That led to me creating a group called Handmade in Nashville in August 2014. My goal with Handmade in Nashville was to find great crafters and bring their items into creative and useful gift sets. Through Handmade in Nashville, I rediscovered the joy of making.

By early 2015, making candles had become my relax and re-energize time. Things were small, mostly attending craft shows and selling to friends and family during this early day. I always tell people that when I first began making candles, watermelon was called "Watermelon" and cherry was called "Cherry." The analyst in me knew that while people love candles, I needed a little more appeal. Things stayed this way until my book nerd sister asked me to make her a few book-inspired candles, and so I did. Before I knew it, the book candles started doing very well online, and I found my niche market. Thanks, sis!

In early-2016, I rebranded to Highland Bluff Studio and decided to focus solely on "Natural Soy Candles for Nerds." I wanted to set Highland Bluff apart from other book candle companies and focus on a larger all-natural candle in a container that could be re-purposed in people's day-to-day. The majority of shoppers in the book candle market are collectors, never actually burning their candles. Gasp! I remember one of our brand representatives came into group chat explaining that she was conflicted by actually wanting to burn a book candle for the first time because she wanted to be able to use the glass. During this time, I frequently said: "Burn the Candle, Save the Glass" in a "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" style.

Later that year, the fun began. In November of 2016, two of our candles were listed in a article causing a considerable growth rate. And then, in November of 2017, featured one of our candles on its homepage in a section called "New and Interesting Finds." It was a whirlwind, and I began to struggle with balancing my full-time job along with managing the candle company. Then in December 2017, the company that I had been working for was acquired. While I stayed with them a short time, I soon realized that it was time to manage Highland Bluff full-time, so I did in April 2018.

When setting Highland Bluff goals in 2018, finding a studio space was at the top of the list. After months and months of looking, we purchased it in August 2018. Located in Monteagle, Tennessee, the building had a long history of occupants. We knew that the building would need some work, but we set out with that in mind. It gave us the chance to make some updates and make it our own. In November 2018, on Small Business Saturday, we opened our retail studio space for the first time. Since then, we have focused on increasing our production capacity for subscription box orders and getting stockists within the United States. We enjoy making new and creative natural soy candles for nerds and appreciate your support!

Studio Shop

Monday - Sunday: Closed due to COVID-19
Pickup option available during checkout. We will contact you and arrange pickup once your order is ready.