Mei Xu picks up soy candle nestled in chartreuse frosted glass, topped by a faux-wood lid. The scent—sweet basil with a hint of cool mint—is, according to the label, meant to spark hope and simplicity. And the latter is something Xu can’t get enough of, because of her non-stop work days.
“When I wake up in the morning, the first image I have in my head is my datebook,” says Xu, founder and CEO of Chesapeake Bay Candle.
And it was realizing she was not alone in her struggle to find “me time” that inspired her to create Chesapeake Bay’s “Mind and Body” collection. “I don’t have time to get my nails done, much less go to a spa,” she says. “But if I have a moment where I can burn a candle, even if it’s 30 minutes, I can enter that space.”
Chesapeake Bay candles, Xu says, are designed to evoke moods—from the comfort of pumpkin latte to the elan of white gardenia.