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#MadebyHand: Meet the Makers Slowing Down Business

Uncommon Scents

In today's feature, we meet the makers behind Astera Essence, a business that takes on the handmade candle market with its exceptional range of unusual and alluring scents. 

Besties from the age of 12, Joanne and Lauren had always dreamt of starting a business together. When Joanne started making handmade candles, they thought, why not start a candle business together? And as easy (or as hard!) as that, Astera Essence was born. 


Armed with unique flavours like Lychee & Guava, Coconut & Lime and Black Fig and Guava, they’re taking on the candle industry with sustainability underpinning everything they do. We know sustainability can be a marketing tactic used by unscrupulous marketeers, but these ladies are for real. We love their recycling model where you can send your finished candle jars back for a $5 discount on your next purchase.  

They’ve worked hard to ensure that the scents last from the first burn to the last. Joanna and Laura want their customers to see their candles transform their homes into tranquil and calm spaces, free from the daily stresses of everyday life. Their customers often comment on how much they love the long-lasting nature of the scents and how they flow from room to room. 

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a tough year for all businesses, especially for businesses in Victoria. “We’re a small business. And then Covid hit” describes Joanna. Based in Melbourne has certainly hindered their plans to grow their retail distribution. But they remain committed and dedicated to their passion. 

COVID conditions or not, handmade and self starter businesses are tough. We know :)  You’re competing against big retailers with deep pockets. At MyJulz we believe that with the right attitude and strategy, all can be overcome. And these ladies have the right attitude in bundles! We wish them all the best on their handmade journey! 

Look out for some exciting new smells and ranges on the horizon for Astera Essence and check them out for yourself:  

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