A new business at Heritage Station in downtown Huntington specializing in custom soy candles is bringing heat to the cold winter weather in a community-friendly environment. The Haute Wick Social opened its doors in late November after months of research and experimentation by owner Ashley Casto, who said the idea came simply from making candles in her own home.
Casto said one of the driving factors that motivated her to begin experimenting was the shocking amount of toxins and chemicals hidden in a typical scented candle.
“I’ve done some research, and there are a lot of chemicals and bad things in candles on the market,” Casto said. “We try to be mindful of what we have in our store.”
Casto has developed approximately 60 different scents for customers to choose from to mix and match to create their ideal soybean candle, each ranging from $16 to $24.
However, Casto said the shop is not simply about candles; it is about slowing down and spending time with family and friends.
“People can walk in, you don’t have to make an appointment; if you have a group of five or more just message or call me before so I can figure out where you’ll be placed,” Casto said. “We’re also available for private parties, and I get a lot of groups and girl’s night outs, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, all kinds of things we can celebrate in here.”
Casto said the shop also works to collaborate with other local businesses and individuals.
“This week we have palette signs and candles, we’re doing hot florals and flames, we have bracelet making and candles coming up,” Casto said. “We have so much. We’re also open to ideas if people want to see something specific here.”
Casto said her husband, Eric, has been extremely supportive in bringing her dream to life.
“For me, it’s one of those things that’s fun because it’s her vision, her idea, and it’s fun for those things to come to life and happen, and that’s been the best part for me,” Eric Casto said.
Eric Casto said the decision to open shop in Heritage Station came naturally for he and Ashley.
“Last spring, we were actually here at Heritage Station at another business just hanging out and we thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be really cool to have a shop over here at Heritage,’” Eric Casto said. “I didn’t think anything about it at the time, and then Ashley got pretty passionate about making candles.”
Ashley Casto said she loves the community atmosphere at Heritage Station and the time spent on the waiting list to obtain the space was worth it.
“I think we all work really well together over here,” Ashley Casto said. “Your candle takes 90 minute to cure, so we do well in an area where you can go somewhere. Here, you can go to Taps, you can go to Sip, you know, please go check out Full Circle Ceramic or Birds of a Feather; there’s so much to do. There are places you can go check things out right here.”
Eric Casto said he believes the store would not have worked as well in any other space.
“You can hang out here, we encourage it, but you can also go shop or get a bite to eat,” he said. “We want it to be a place where you can come have a good time. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to have ‘social’ in the name.”
Ashley Casto said while the community has been extremely welcoming, it is important to her to provide the same energy to every customer who enters the store.
“We just love everybody and we want everybody to feel comfortable coming in here,” Ashley Casto said.
The Haute Wick Social will be joining Huntington’s Open to All campaign Friday in support of diversity and inclusion in the community.
“We’ve had tons of diversity and inclusivity training, we’re coming from higher education, it’s always near and dear to our hearts,” Ashley Casto said.
Ashley Casto said one of her goals for the business is to add a second location within the state in the coming years.
“I never thought in my mind it wouldn’t be successful, but we’ve been very successful in the past two months we’ve been open, so I want to continue that and grow on that,” Ashley Casto said. “I think within the next three to five years I would like another location in West Virginia.”
Ashley and Eric Casto said they also hope to continue to provide a unique, ever-changing experience to customers.
“Just come have fun here,” Ashley Casto said. “We just want to make this an awesome space for the community.”
Hanna Pennington can be contacted at [email protected]