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Local company adds fun, flair to candle business

Jesse, from left, Kristi, Johnny and Clay Whitehead each hold one of their favorite Southern Flair candles. The family-run company makes hand poured candles, wax tabs and soaps with unique scents. (Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Curious Miss-Lou noses have proven to be the key to success for one of the newest Carter Street businesses in Vidalia.

But with product names like “Butt Naked” and “Monkey Farts,” word of mouth is also helping to make this candle business the talk of the town.

Southern Flair started after Jesse Whitehead and his wife Kristi began making candles in their kitchen as a hobby.

After spending several years working at oil fields all over the South, Jesse realized it was time to stay in Vidalia and spend more time with his family.

“I got home one day and my daughter (Lexi) was 7-years old,” Jesse said. “I realized I needed to do something where I could be home and be with my family.”

The couple began making candles as a hobby and as gifts for family and friends.

Positive response from the community and at craft shows the couple traveled to resulted in their decision to move forward with the candle business.

“People started liking our candles and asking if they could buy them,” Jesse said. “After that we pretty much decided to open the store overnight.”

Finding a convenient location next to the Fish Fry and Sonny’s Pizza, the store opened for business in December with candles, wax tabs and soaps.

“It’s been great. We haven’t had one negative response,” Jesse said. “People always come in saying they went to someone’s house and smelt our candles and asked them, ‘Where can I get that?’”

A small kitchen stove with two pots and an assembly line of wicks, scents, waxes and jars allow each Southern Flair candle to be handmade and hand poured — something Jesse said sets them apart from your ordinary candle.

“The formulas we use for our candles is unmatched because I know for a fact that we put way more scent in our candles than any other company on the market,” Jesse said. “And we’re a small independent store so we can do that.”