Imagine a fun retail space that not only offers a distinctive candle-making station, sweet merch, and tasty cocktails, but also completely Instagram worthy surroundings. That’s what you’ll get at Manready Mercantile’s newly opened addition, The Candle Bar, right downstairs in the trendy Heights shop.
“We’ve gotten tons of requests at Manready from female customers saying, ‘What the heck? This is all guys’ stuff. I love this place, but I wish y’all had something for me,’" said owner Travis Weaver, a native Texan who opened his flagship store in 2014.
He heard them, and he brainstormed the concept that is now The Candle Bar, a 1,000-square-foot shop that offers a DIY experience that’s the first of its kind in Houston. Sip on a glass of wine or a cocktail of the day while you peruse the shop and prepare to make your very own candle, something Weaver knows a thing or two about—his candles are what launched Manready in the first place. In the early days, he'd melt down soy wax and essential oils on his stove, pour them in whiskey glasses from his kitchen, and sell them door-to-door. Now, they're some of the most popular flagship products in the shop, and Weaver's know-how can be yours.
Worried your candle will come out a mess? Do not fret. The Candle Bar experts will guide you through the entire process from the selection of a scent profile to creating a soy candle in a reusable whiskey glass—the Manready way. Candles take 15-30 minutes to solidify, offering you time to get in both some shopping and amazing Instagram shots around the unique store. The shop has everything from cocktail mixers, gourmet chocolates, and food items to women’s travel accessories, custom boutique-style jewelry, and clothing.
You’ll also get a kick out of the throwback aesthetic throughout the shop, with ultra-cool, vibe-setting decor like a vintage Ms. Pac-Man machine (bring some quarters), an old-school TV that Weaver found and refurbished to play movies (specifically titles like Lonesome Dove and Shawshank Redemption), a retro phone booth, and half of a vintage Volkswagen Beetle positioned in front of a hand-painted “Greetings from Texas” mural made to look like a sunset on a postcard.
It's no surprise, then, that The Candle Shop has already garnered attraction from celebs like Joy Williams of Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars and Houston singer-songwriter Hayes Carll.
The Candle Bar can be reserved for private parties of up to 30 guests, and the main merch carries a reasonable price tag: $28 for one candle or two for $40. The shop is located downstairs from Manready Mercantile at 321 West 19th St. and is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.