Design Caledonia | Design Scottish

People: Q&A with Caitlin Osborne

Caitlin Osborne

Caitlin Osborne maker of CKO Candles and owner of Design Caledonia tells us more about her hand poured candles, inspirations and favourite places in Scotland.

Caitlin Osborne of CKO Candles enjoying a bru ice cream

Caitlin Osborne of CKO Candles enjoying a bru ice cream

Can you tell us a bit about CKO Candles and where you like to work? 

CKO Candles started out last year in my kitchen. Each candle is made from the finest soy wax and is hand poured in Scotland. The candle market recently has become very over saturated and for quality candles I often found them to be quite expensive. I was looking for something a bit different in terms of packaging and scents but also more affordable. 
This led me one Sunday to researching candle making as well as looking at packaging options. I wanted to produce bespoke candles with scents that reminded me of specific people and places in my life. The first candles in the collection are Christabel, Carolyn and Kirsty, named after my Grandmother, mother and sister. 
My favourite place to work is in the kitchen with music full blast. Candle making is a very messy job so I can usually find myself spending a whole day from morning till night in there. We’re lucky enough to have a lovely garden that I look out onto as well as two very handsome potato named dogs; Chip and Mash. 

How did you get into making and designing candles? 
I have always been quite creative and I get great enjoyment out of making items and learning the skill set that goes along with them. I would love to have been good at illustration however hands on making is more my forte. 

What has been the most important lesson you have learned through work? 
Oh there are so many! I think if you are passionate about your work you will always do well, I’ve had my fair share of boring jobs and working for myself has definitely been a very positive decision for me. 

CKO Candles are hand poured by Caitlin in her kitchen. The inspiration for the candles comes from family members and places from her childhood

CKO Candles are hand poured by Caitlin in her kitchen. The inspiration for the candles comes from family members and places from her childhood

Who are your design inspirations? 
I get huge amounts of my design inspiration from the world of instagram, one of my favourite candle brands is Wary Meyers. Their attention to detail and packaging is so simple but also super fun, they produce wonderful soaps as well which eventually I would like to start making. 
I’m as pale as they come in terms of skin tone so for holidays I tend to do city breaks. I love spending time at foreign markets but also in boutique and niche shops. I was recently lucky enough to travel to Japan and South Korea, the beautiful minimal design and quality of their products out there is outstanding. 

What is your most treasured possession? 
Before everything turning digital it would have been my CD collection. Now I would say it is my bike I was gifted this year for my Birthday, the perfect companion everywhere I go. 

What is your favourite album to listen to whilst working? 
There are so many! I’m a huge Kanye West fan so I will often find myself going back to his College Drop Out album and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m a massive hip hop fan so anything with Nas, Biggie Smalls and Dr Dre is always a winner. Saying that though Prince, Bombay Bicycle Club and Frank Ocean and many others i’d happily listen to all day long. 

Cramond Brig in Edinburgh, one of Caitlin's favourite spots

Cramond Brig in Edinburgh, one of Caitlin's favourite spots

Where is your favourite place in Scotland? 
Edinburgh, I truly believe it is the best city in the world. 

Irn Bru or Coke? 
No competition, Bru all day every day!