LAKE STEVENS — Anger, anxiety, sobriety, illness and resentment never smelled so good.
These come in about 30 scents, such as jasmine white lily and hazelnut latte, in candle jars with sassy labels:
“Every Great Mom Says The F Word.” “Please Don’t Do Meth In Our Bathroom.” “Anxiety Girl.”
What’s up with that?
Anything goes on Malicious Women Candles. But everything is rooted in real life.
“If you want a love-peace-kindness-happiness candle, you can find that anywhere,” said candle company founder Lacie Marsh-Carroll, 43, a Boeing worker by day. “Name a life situation and I’ll pull a candle out. Have a friend going through a divorce? I have a candle for that.”
There are categories for parenthood, cancer, weddings, military and recovery.
“People feel validated by some of this,” she said. “This is about empowerment.”
In less than a year since making the first batch in a crock pot, her $20 soy wax candles have nationwide retail distribution and rocketing online sales. But she doesn’t plan to quit her job as a supplier quality specialist at Boeing, where she has worked since 1996.
“Crafting has always been an outlet for me because I suffer from anxiety,” she said. “When I am making something I am focused on that and not all the spinning thoughts.”
The candles began as a way to work through grief. After her best friend, Laura, killed herself in December 2016, Marsh-Carroll was a wreck.
“My therapist told me to do something to get me off that couch,” she said. “She told me to throw a party. There was no way I had anything to celebrate.”
She wanted to offer prizes for guests at her pity party. Being the crafty person she is, she made candles in jars with snarky sayings.
“We changed the focus from being a negative to everybody talking about their s—, laughing about it and showing that we’re stronger than it,” she said.
Personal sagas varied from family issues to a woman who went on 35 unsuccessful match.com dates in a row.
The candles were a hit.
“Everybody at the party was like, ‘Oh, my God, Lacie, you have to sell these,’ ” she said. “I had no idea people craved the F word on candles.”
With urging, she made more candles with edgy sayings.
The bathroom meth candle is among her top selling candles. It isn’t a joke. And she is not “making fun of meth and the crisis and epidemic we have,” she said. “I wouldn’t make fun of something I don’t know anything about.”
In the blog on her candle site, she candidly tells about her older son, Joe’s, meth addiction as a teen and being at his side when he almost died as well as the harrowing years that followed.
Joe, 25, is now sober. “This candle honors our journey together,” she said. “It is his favorite candle.”
She puts a cheeky spin on her collection of cancer candles.
“It’s important to give voice to that side of cancer,” said Marsh-Carroll, who had a double mastectomy three years ago.
A portion of the proceeds from Malicious Women Candles goes to suicide awareness causes to honor her best friend. “Each candle is a tribute to her. My way of honoring her battle. We need to talk about suicide. About anxiety, depression, PTSD and all the other battles.”
Some candles are touching or funny: “I’d Have Quit This Job If It Weren’t For You.” “Congrats, I Guess The Birth Control Didn’t Work.” “World’s Okayest Mom.”
Slogans say “infused with” to round out the punchline. “Eat. Sleep. Craft.” is infused with “Unfinished Housework.” “Bride Boss” is infused with “Anything I Want.” “Middle Child” is infused with “Invisibility.”
Marsh-Carroll created the simple linear look for the candles in vintage jars and taught herself web design to market the company with a chandelier logo.
Buyers choose the scent and the label. She blends the scents, through testing and error. “I can’t master orange clove,” she said. “I poured over 100 different types of clove and I couldn’t get it. Orange has beat me.”
The candles have taken over the house. The dining room is now the shipping room. The dinner table is in the garage, covered with 150 hand-poured candles at a time, topped with clothespins to hold the cotton wicks in place. Palettes of jars await their turn. The melters hold 50 pounds of wax. She has come a long way from a crock pot.
The next step is to rent a business space, so she can reclaim her home. After working their day shifts at Boeing, she and her husband, Joe, spend hours making candles. An employee helps handle orders.
Family members fold boxes, pour and inspire sayings.
“I’m the reason for some of them,” said her younger son, James, 15. “‘Ungrateful Teenager.’ ‘Mom, I Missed The Bus.’ Also the wine ones. Some of things I do make her drink.”
Her daughter, Kacie Kicinski, 23, a Navy veteran, came up with the military collection. The “DD-214” candle — that’s code for discharge papers — is infused with “Freedom.”
Kicinski said the candles have freed her mom.
“During that time she was on the couch, it was hard on the whole family. She’s the glue who keeps everybody together,” she said. “It was a rough time. Once this company started to happen she started getting excited about life.”
Marsh-Carroll agrees. “This business saved my life,” she said.
Andrea Brown, 425-339-3443; abrown@herald net.com. Twitter @reporterbrown.