Samantha Thompson of Standard Wax

Meet the maker

Hi! I'm Sam, the living, breathing human behind Standard Wax. It's been a while since I've introduced myself, so here I am:

photo by the talented Lauren of Luna Bear Studios


I live in Tempe, AZ with my husband, Kieran and our perfect angel of a dog Jada (and also two cats). I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Living in Arizona has given me the opportunity to follow my passions of starting a business, and grow along with the incredibly strong arts and business communities here. And what started as a small side project has quickly become what pays my bills.


Without Standard Wax, I wouldn't be able to keep a roof over my head, wouldn't be able to employ a team of wonderful people who make this little company so much more than just a job, and I wouldn't be able to explore new ways to bring art into your everyday.


I love the life I've created for myself, and I love all of you for following along on this crazy journey. I recently answered a few questions for a wholesale project we're working on and thought I'd share the answers with you, too. Enjoy!


What are 3 things you want people to know about you and Standard Wax?
1. I get most of my inspiration from traveling. Seeing something I've never seen before makes my brain start ticking in the craziest way. The most recent example is when I saw the Donald Judd exhibits in Marfa, TX. If you don't know what I'm talking about, book a trip immediately (just don't look it up online, it does it no justice!)
2. We’re a super small team of 5. That means every dollar you spend with us goes directly to running the business and supporting our awesome crew, which is pretty incredible.

3. Before I started Standard Wax, I tried to start a bunch of other ventures! A travel agency, a pet store, a restaurant… I’m not sure what it was, but candlemaking was the one that stuck!


How did you decide you wanted to make candles?
I love this question, because I think some people have this vision of a four-year-old little Sam saying “I want to make candles when I grow up!” and that’s obviously not the case. Standard Wax accidentally started because I was looking at a friend’s ceramic vessels and said “these would look so cool with candles poured into them!” and his sassy reply was “well, then learn how to make candles”. So I did, and the rest is history!

What was your mission at the outset?
When Standard Wax first started, there really wasn’t anyone doing anything interesting with candle vessels. Candles came in glass jars, and that was that. I wanted to make something that smelled good, of course, but more importantly I wanted to create candles that looked just as good as they smelled. From day one, our mission has been to bring art into your everyday.


Have you ever had any happy accidents?
I feel like everything I do is a happy accident! When it comes to designing vessels and fragrances, you always have to be prepared for things not go how you’ve planned. Many of our fragrances were the result of me trying to make something else completely. Those failures became some of my favorite scents, though!

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