Padg Made make beautiful colourful handmade items that are ethically made and have a wonderful twist 🐝! We currently have their bright and beautiful candles and soap as part of our offering on our Build Your Own page. Sure to put a smile on anyone's face!
We took some time out to speak to Nate, founder of Padg Made, to discover more about their brand and their journey!
Tell us more about why you set up Padg Made?
Like many people, we were both furloughed from our regular jobs in hospitality and suddenly had a lot of free time. One of our main ambitions has always been to work for ourselves and be our own bosses. The pandemic gave us the opportunity and even more importantly, the time to make this dream a reality.
Both Paige and myself are creatives: Paige studied fine art at uni and I studied illustration - we’re very used to making and creating things.
We had to keep ourselves busy to stay sane during those early lockdown days. So… we started making candles for fun, on the hob in our kitchen (we made a lot of mess!)
We started getting quite good at it and this sparked an idea. After some research we found that most candles on the market were very similar, they all had the same fragrance combinations and they all had the same muted-colour-pallet branding. You could replace one candle brand with another and not even notice… The candle market was crying out for some originality!
Being an aspiring illustrator but not having any work, I decided to give myself a brief and treated this as though it was from a real client. I started coming up with a brand identity and plan for what we could do. I remember pitching the idea and brand concept to Paige over some evening drinks. (I prepared a slide show and everything!) The name Padg by the way is actually my nickname for Paige, we thought it was a playful, fun and importantly, unique name – just perfect for the brand we were creating.
Paige is a massive inspiration to the brand, when I came up with the whole identity I looked to her for inspiration. She is a talented resin artist and preserves real flowers into keepsakes and jewellery…you guys have to check her work out! - She mainly does that now whilst I concentrate on Padg.
We are always surrounded by vibrant flowers in our garden and home - so this was the building blocks and basis of Padg… I mean I did name it after her!
What are the core values of your product and what sets you apart from other brands?
We wholeheartedly believe that if anyone is thinking about starting a business today (or anyone who is already running a business today) they should have ethics and sustainable processes built into their business model. This should not be a differentiator.
Business owners have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure they create environmentally conscious products. So when coming up with the concept of Padg, we decided we wanted to do something more and empower our customers to take matters into their own hands. It’s so simple – plant nectar rich wild flowers with every purchase.
Here in the UK, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows and this is having a devastating effect on our native bee population…not to sound too extreme but without bees there’s no us.
This is why we include a free packet of wildflower seeds with all our candles and it is why the packaging is designed to be the perfect starter pot to plant them in!
We have spent a lot of time researching suppliers to make sure everything is sustainable and as ethically sourced as much as we can. Our candles and wax melts are vegan, paraben free, cruelty free and have plastic free packaging.
Paraphrasing a wonderful quote; “We don't need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” If we all make small, positive actions this can create massive positive changes in the environment.
A customer actually said this to us; “Oh wow, love what you’re doing! The logo and concept is brilliant, so colourful, it made me smile” That perfectly encapsulates what we want to achieve with Padg. Good vibes, whilst making a difference.
Talk us through a typical day at Padg Made!
First things first…walkies with Rolo :)
We need to make sure he is really tired out and has a good run in the morning usually for at least 1 - 2 hours. We live next to Victoria Park which is doggy heaven! So he usually has a good run and play with all his mates. We then steer him towards the studio behind Temple Meads station. Sometimes this can take a long time and although we may have left the house at 7.30am, we don’t actually start work until 10 or even 11 depending on how stubborn Rolo is being :)
We are big coffee drinkers so a big mug of coffee is a necessity before any proper work starts. We actually usually drink the awesome TrueStart coffee which you have in your boxes as well, another great Bristol biz!
Paige and I share the studio space. Her own resin jewellery and flower preservation business has grown massively since lockdown, so she works on her orders down stairs whilst I work on Padg upstairs.
Pretty much every other day I’m pouring a batch of candles or wax melts. It’s been a big learning process, with a lot of trial and error, to go from making 6 candles on our kitchen hob to now doing batches of 100 at a time whilst keeping consistency and quality.
To summarise, doggy walks, coffee, pouring candles and repeat!
Tell us one of your career highlights!
Well it HAS to be when you - the AMAZING Boxlocal - put us in your pre-Christmas order. At the time I was still working various part time jobs just to keep the cogs turning in the biz so I could reinvest it all back into it.
But when your order came through, it was the tipping point and gave me the courage to quit the hospitality jobs I was doing and do Padg full time!
We were at a point where we could carry on as we were and play it safe, but that would mean the biz wouldn’t have as much potential to grow as all my energy wasn’t being channeled through it. So the jump needed to be made!
As soon as we got your order we reinvested it straight away back into the biz. We bought a massive new bit of kit - a HUGE wax melter…melted wax on tap always!
Previously, when I got to the studio I would switch on the “buffalo soup kettle” - that’s literally what it’s called – it’s meant for serving soup! We used this to melt the wax as it was the small upgrade from using a a maker shift bain marie on the kitchen hob.
It could hold around 8kg of wax and could make around 30 candles on a good day with the soup kettle/warmer. I would have to wait 3-4 hours for it to melt.
The new wax melter however can hold 90kg of wax at a time and is temperature controlled so it can safely stay on overnight, meaning I can get straight to pouring… Basically it was a massive game changer for us.
You guys and your fab customers are largely responsible for that too! :)
What does it mean to you to support local?
Local businesses are the beating heart of a city and buying indy and local makes a massive positive impact to not only that indy maker or brand but to the local economy generally.
I personally get so much more joy out of something I’ve bought if it comes from an independent maker. You know the craftsmanship, the time, the dedication that’s been put into it.
There has certainly been a seismic shift in consumer behaviour, with the public becoming far more informed about what they buy – where it comes from and how it’s made, which is AMAZING! Living in the fantastic city of Bristol, we are fortunate to be surrounded by so many innovative small businesses and makers. We’re thankful to live in a city that really champions independent and ethical businesses. Being surrounded by such a rich mixture of awesome, creative and talented people wanting to do good in the world … it just breeds more of the same!