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Brooklyn Beginnings

After five years, our time at our beloved Industry City candle studio is coming to an end. We each took some time to reflect on our favorite Keap memories here and what we’ll miss about our Brooklyn home.


What’s been your favorite Keap memory?

Harry —

Favorite memory so far: so difficult to zero in on one! I look back especially fondly at all the times we had to move or carry stuff across Industry City buildings with dodgy carts. It happened several times over the last few years, and felt quintessentially New York to me: getting your butt kicked by work, sweating, with chaos all around you; exhausting, hard work, but at the end of it a true sense of shared accomplishment, the enjoyment of an improved space, and generally the refreshing buzz of a cold drink!
Those unglamorous moments somehow stick with me as great fortifying episodes.

Harry putting the glamor in candle-making since 2015

Steve —

For me the moments that stick out over the last 5 years always involve people, and particularly their kindness and generosity. One of the earliest was just after our Kickstarter in 2015. We were making some of the first ever Keap candles and our next door neighbor popped his head into our space to say hi. It turned out he was a well-renowned photographer @will_mebane (hey Will ) and we were immediately in awe of his beautiful photos. A few weeks later, Will offered to take the first ever photos of our candles as a favor. It was such a generous offer and it also was a moment of immense pride and realizing that our dream was really coming to life!

Will making his magic happen!

Philip —

Although not my finest hour, my favorite memory would have to be a bonding moment that I had with our wax tank. After every batch of poured candles, one of the necessary tasks is to fill up the wax tank with large blocks of wax. Being a tad overzealous, I tried to put a huge block of wax into the melter in a single motion. Losing my grip on the block, it fell into the tank with enough speed to send a wave of molten wax back out the top. I spent the rest of my day covered in wax looking like a human candle.

Jess —

Our card-writing sessions. Once a month the Keap gang would sit down and spend 1-2 hours writing messages in our subscription art cards, which would later be arriving at our subscribers’ front doors. It gave us a moment to enjoy a beverage and a snack, usually at a fellow Industry City locale, and the conversation flowed easily. On one particular card-writing day, I fondly remember sipping on a delicious hot toddy at @barrowsintense, and I felt so peaceful, sitting shoulder to shoulder at our small table, getting to know the other Keapees who would eventually become friends of mine, watching our art cards stack up with each scribble of the pen.

What will you miss about our Keap Studio in Brooklyn?

Harry —

In terms of what I'll miss, it's all about the people - starting with the Keap people not making the journey North with us, and then the ecosystem of people around us from our FedEx pickup person to the folks I buy my lunch from, the USPS people who are sometimes cranky and sometimes sweet, the incredible mix of co-tenants. But I think at the end of the day, it all comes back to what Brooklyn is and represents. I feel really lucky and honored to have been able to witness it in person and to have been briefly a part of that beautiful canvas.

Steve —

I’m a creature of habit, and I’ll miss all the interaction that made up my days down in Brooklyn @IndustryCity. From the friendly baristas @MagliaRosaNYC to the delicious lunches @Sahadis and #HeroChamp, to the wonderful folks we’ve shared hallways with over the years @will_mebane @aleyalehmannbench @thewraplife @enjoybearsfruits. It is definitely strange to think that we won’t be spending so much time there after five incredible years of being there most days.

Philip —

I’ll miss the adventure of dealing with freight deliveries. There's a sense of extreme accomplishment that comes along with successfully managing deliveries in Brooklyn. Frequently you have to help guide huge trucks into tight spaces while yelling over the sound of traffic horns and sirens. At its most exciting, the delivery truck doesn't have a proper place to unload, and the challenge becomes to unload the delivery in the middle of the street as traffic builds up. Returning from an adrenaline filled delivery is always sharply contrasted by the serenity of the candle studio. The rush of the Brooklyn streets is so exciting that it'll be hard to forget, even if the moments themselves were pure chaos.

Freight deliveries are an interesting challenge!

Jess —

I’m going to miss the routine of the Studio. The elevator doors would open, and it was always a pleasant surprise seeing what everyone was up to when I walked in. Some days Finley would run up to me and say hello before he climbed back into his doggy bed, or I’d hear the tap tap tap of a computer keyboard coupled with the unmistakable mechanic churning of the label machine. And even when candles weren’t being poured, the scent of them always filled the studio, swirling around and eventually settling down into the fibers of my clothes and my hair to the point that when I left the studio people would ask me about the perfume I was wearing. I’ll miss my go-to orders at Sahadi’s (salmon saj sandwich), Japan Village (mentaiko mayo onigiri), afternoon coffee at Maglia Rosa, and on special “treat” days, “buy-one-get-one” pastries at Colson. I’ll always be thankful for my time in Keap’s Brooklyn Studio!

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