LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — Candlemaker Lacie Marsh-Carroll is helping shine a light on all the things we're not supposed to talk about.
Her company, Malicious Women Candle Co., features labels with unapologetically bold phrases like, “Freshly Signed Divorce Papers,” “You Can Be Your Own Damn Valentine,” and “Every Great Mom Says The F Word.” There are candles for every occasion, from weddings and "besties" to cancer and anxiety.
"It's just life on a candle," she said. "We reject all expectations of what a woman or a candle should be."
Marsh-Carroll never set out to build a business. She started making candles to help herself heal, during the worst year of her life.
In 2016, three family members were hospitalized and her closest friend took her own life.
"You can't recover from (the shock of) your whole family - everybody - it was just awful," she said.
Marsh-Carroll’s heartbreak led her to a therapist, who encouraged her to focus on a project, like throwing a party.
She took the advice and taught herself how to make candles on her kitchen counter, as gifts for her party guests. Her first creation summed up how she felt about life – it was labeled “Sh** Show.”
Her friends loved it.
"They freaked out, they totally freaked out and they were like, ‘Oh my god Lacie, you've got to sell these,’” she said. "We started melting wax in a crockpot and I just kept going…. The whole time, it was a way for me to process this impossible grief I was going through."
She eventually opened an Etsy store, but it couldn’t keep up with demand. Within months, Malicious Women had its own website, and the line grew to more than a dozen scents and 200 labels.
Marsh-Carroll still works her day job at Boeing, so she brought on a partner – Samantha Cofer, who started out as a loyal customer.
"I bought them as gifts for family,” Cofer said. “Everyone has a story that deserves to be told. They can make it. It's going to be okay and it's okay to laugh at it and it will get better."
The women hand-pour every candle, using 100% organic soy, biograde fragrances, and all cotton wicks.
Marsh-Carroll hopes her customers both appreciate the quality and feel empowered by the words on the jars.
"You can't do it alone,” she said. "I want to keep talking about the things that are important to all of us."
Malicious Women candles are available online. A portion of the proceeds benefits Dress For Success and Project Semicolon.
The candles have even made their way to Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah.