Candles. They can be whatever you need from them. A beautifully scented space. The backdrop to dinner with friends. The focus of an evening meditation. Part of your self care ritual. The fragrant atmosphere to cosy nights in. Scented candles have the power to do all of this, and ask for nothing in return. No matter what your day has contained, the steady flicker of candlelight is an eternally grounding presence, helping to light the way back to you.
Kerry - Whist Founder
How Whist came to be....
2012 - The Start
I was working as a skincare and holistic therapist, and the proud owner of a beautiful boutique retreat. I had wanted to use my experience as an aromatherapist, to create a non toxic, eco conscious candle to enhance and elevate our client experience as we carried out treatments for them. Over the next two years, I learnt the craft of candle making, and we would use my creations in the salon. Clients would ask if they could purchase the candles, but it was not something I had thought about doing. But, the seed of the idea was planted, and began to blossom. I started looking at developing a commercial range. By 2017 I was ready
July 2017 - The "nearly launch"
In my quest to regain some work/life balance, I decided to leave Salon life January 2017. Then, just a month before I was due to launch Whist, my husband Nik got taken into hospital with suspected appendicitis. Sadly, it was more aggressive than that. He was diagnosed with grade 4 cancer. As you can imagine, our world was turned upside down. Suddenly, everything was terrifying and uncertain. Our excitement about our future turned into total and utter fear of what that future may now look like. Nothing else mattered, but fighting alongside Nik in his brutal, savage battle, so of course, my brand was shelved
August 2019 - The Chance
Eighteen months of chemo, two operations and one hell of a fight had sadly not been enough. Nik's cancer had spread and evolved. It was now a rare cancer that chemo could not cure. It could only be treated by a pioneering 12 hour operation (called The Mother of all Surgeries), by a team of specialists in Basingstoke Hospital. Nik moved into hospital, I moved into a bedsit nearby. With hope and positivity coursing through our veins, we were ready for the next part of the fight
September 2019 - The Miracle
My husband was in hospital for extended periods of time throughout his battle. Every day, I would leave his bedside, come home to our boys and reassure them that Dad was fighting so hard to get home to us. Reassured, our young boys would go off to bed, and only then, would I allow the tears to fall. It became a nightly routine that I'd light a candle, and silently tell the flame all of my fears, wishes, hopes. That little ritual gave me grounding, a moment to pause in the chaos. To take a breath. It gave me stillness to gather my strength to face the next day. It became my comfort and my safe place to land
January 2020 - The Gratitude
We were told that Nik was officially cancer free. We got our miracle. We will ALWAYS know how lucky we are. We live our lives full of gratitude that we got this second chance. We know many are not so lucky. Nik had always encouraged me to keep pursuing the dream I had of creating a candle brand. Even in the darkest days of his illness he encouraged me. So, knowing he was finally on the road to recovery, I began creating and testing in earnest again. We are so incredibly grateful and excited for our next chapter. We were determined to live life and fulfil dreams
September 2021 - The Launch...and Return
Devastatingly, we received the news that the cancer had risen it's ugly head again, just 2 weeks before our launch. His routine scan had shown it's return, this time in his lung. It sent our world into a terrifying tail spin again, but Nik insisted that I go ahead with the launch. It gave us both something positive and good to focus on and brought us light in the dark days. The launch was a huge success and despite the fear gripping us, hope was the over riding emotion.
Nik went into hospital in December 2021, and had the lung removed.
We were told he was one year cancer free in January 2023
Now - The Heart of Whist
These toughest of years taught us SO much. The experience changed the heart of what I wanted Whist to be. My brand was always inspired by my deep love of nature, and my products reflect this love. Whist was also, always going to be a vegan, cruelty free and eco conscious brand, as those are the ethics I live my life by. But now, I wanted to create a range that was more than just home fragrance. I wanted the blends to be the comfort and ritual in whatever way the person burning it, needed it to be.
I want a Whist fragrance to be your safe place to land, should you need it to be.
Beautiful, luxurious fragrance to fill your space, of course. But with a wish from me to you, that burning a Whist candle, brings you so much more.
Whist - to pause, to be silent, to be still