Feldman’s Candles Glow with Meaning
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Feldman’s Candles Glow with Meaning

Marietta native Alisa Feldman studied the art of candle making to arrive at her home-based business, “Ora” (her light in Hebrew) by Alisa.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Alisa finds making candles therapeutic and enjoys conducting workshops for fun and creativity. 
Alisa finds making candles therapeutic and enjoys conducting workshops for fun and creativity. 

If sandalwood, white tea, citrus lavender, eucalyptus, or coffee are fragrances that tempt your nose palette, then Alisa Feldman might just make your type.

Operating Ora by Alisa, Feldman studied the science behind candle making to arrive at her bespoke company.  Feldman said, “Creating the perfect candle involves finding the exact wax-to-fragrance ratio and determining the type and number of wicks based on the wax, vessel, and fragrance. For my candle jars, I use soy wax with a bit of coconut oil, and for molds, I use a combination of beeswax, soy wax, and coconut oil. All my fragrance oils are phthalate-free. It took a lot of time to find the right combination, but ensuring a clean-burning candle was essential.”

Alisa (left) poses with sister, Sara, at a candle workshop.

So, why candles?

Alisa Feldman (née Freeman) grew up in Marietta, attended Pope High School and Congregation Etz Chaim before studying at Kennesaw State University. After her mother passed away in 2010, she took time off to live on a kibbutz, then decided to study psychology at IDC Herzliya (now Reichman University). After a year, she returned to Atlanta to finish her degree and work.

In 2017, she attended a candle-making workshop. As someone with anxiety, she found the process therapeutic and decided to try it at home. After purchasing all the supplies, she was set to begin making candles. She elaborated, “To my dismay, it was more challenging than expected, requiring a deep understanding of the science behind candle making. I dedicated my free time to learning through YouTube, forums, and experimentation to perfect my candles, focusing on clean-burning candles safe for family and pets.”

Experimenting with various factors, each new variable requires a “burn test,” which includes a two-week cure time to allow the fragrance and wax to bond, and then testing in four hour increments for cold throw, hot throw, flame height, and melt pool.

Feldman enjoys experimenting with new scents. Her most requested scent is Capri Blue’s Volcano. She added, “Though it can be discouraging when a candle doesn’t turn out well, the successful ones are worth the effort and wait.”

Alisa enjoys making Shabbat candles with her children. Here, they are crafting gifts for teachers.

Initially, she made candles as gifts for friends and family. But after the attacks on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7, she began selling them to partially support Israeli causes (IDF Widows and Orphans), which led to hosting workshops and the creation of Ora, meaning “her light” in Hebrew.  She continued, “My goal was to bring a sense of light to the community during such a dark time. I now sell my candles on Etsy and am in talks with boutiques for future sales. I’m also collaborating with local businesses to create custom branded candles as gifts for their customers.”

Prices range from $15 to $35 depending on the size.

Alisa handles all aspects of business out of her home, including making labels on Canva which must include size (in ounces and grams), type of wax used, and where the candle was made. As someone also juggling the raising of two children, she likes to add a personal touch, like “hand-poured in Atlanta while calming a meltdown over the wrong color cup.”

Her bestsellers are custom candles, perfect for gifts and special occasions. Customers can choose from a list of fragrances and create their own labels with different font and graphics.

One of Alisa’s specialties is custom candles with labeling.

Each candle purchase or workshop includes proper candle care instructions to ensure the best burning experience. She offers mobile workshops where participants can create their own candle, choosing their fragrances and learning the process. Workshops start at $300 for five people. Each additional person is $35. The workshop lasts about an hour and promises to be “a ton of fun.”

Regarding Judaism’s tradition linked to candles, she shared, “My husband, an entrepreneur, has been very supportive, allowing me to balance my business with being a present mom to our kids, Tali and Sophie. As a student at Intown Jewish Preschool, Tali is very diligent about lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening. So, each week, we make our own Shabbat candles, and she decorates them with candle-safe markers. I’m always looking for fun, new candle creations and ways to include my kids.”

Find Ora by Alisa on Instagram @ora_byalisa.

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