Lovelight Handmade’s Candles Are Inspired by the Sea

A Jersey Shore-based couple, passionate about the environment, creates refillable ceramic candles, drawing their inspiration from the sea.

Creative couple Mike Considine and his wife, Olivia Apt, launched their refillable-candle venture during the pandemic
Creative couple Mike Considine and his wife, Olivia Apt, launched their refillable-candle venture during the pandemic. Photo: Laura Moss

Mike Considine was deep into a career as a finish carpenter when lightning struck. Not literally, of course; he had what he describes as an aha moment. Why not create a refillable candle, something that would be reusable, environmentally friendly, toxin-free and sustainable?

Fortunately, his wife, Olivia Apt, was game.

“I’ve always liked to create,” she says, “but I never really found my own craft.”

The couple combined forces and got to work, brainstorming ideas and sketching designs. Before he knew it, Mike had switched his artistic medium from wood to clay, and, in the midst of Covid-19 lockdown, voila: Lovelight Handmade was born. “It’s a joint creation,” says Mike.

Lovelight Handmade

Lovelight Handmade hosts creative learning experiences through hands-on workshops for people to create their own candle scents, to throw pottery and more. Photo: Laura Moss

The concept is simple: a cylindrical ceramic vessel with a refillable candle. Mike worked on honing his pottery skills (“I got all my mistakes out of the way early,” he jokes), while Olivia threw herself into researching waxes and scents, ultimately procuring materials that are certified clean, vegan, and void of any toxins.

“We’re very particular about our scents,” Olivia says. “They’re clean. No chemicals. No headaches.”

Pottery from Lovelight Handmade

Lovelight Handmade has a shop in Bradley Beach. Photo: Laura Moss

As their roles evolved, Olivia discovered a new passion: glazing. Drawing inspiration from the sea, she developed an aesthetic that has become their trademark.

Creations in hand, the couple began doing the farmers market circuit in and around Asbury Park, where they make their home. They sold vessels in three sizes and various glazes, along with candle inserts scented with lavender, white tea, sage, grapefruit and other refreshing fragrances.

“Because it was Covid, people were in their homes,” says Mike, “so business took off right away.”

Certain they were onto something, they soon developed an e-commerce presence, shipping “anywhere and everywhere,” Mike says. In May 2023, they opened their retail shop on Main Street in Bradley Beach.

The couple concede that their learning curve has been steep, especially on the business side. Says Olivia, “We’re each wearing a lot of hats, learning as we go.” Adds Mike, “We’re grinding.”

Undeterred, the pair have branched out into dishes, pitchers, vases and other ceramic designs, but candles remain their bread and butter. “Half of our business is refills,” explains Mike. “That tells me our idea is working.” And, as business continues to grow, so do their ideas. Lovelight Handmade’s vessels can have the LVLT logo imprinted on the ceramic, or customers can create a personalized message, perfect for, say, bridesmaid gifts.

“I have a difficult time with the label of ‘artist’,” says Mike, “but what we’re creating here is very rewarding.”

Lovelight Handmade is located at 57 Main Street, Bradley Beach (732-455-9514). 

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