MN-made gift idea: 'Sota Cracklers! candles

Laura Muhm makes hand-poured candles that sound like an indoor campfire when lit.

This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

Laura Muhm has been the one-woman show behind the distinctive 'Sota Cracklers candles with crackling wooden wicks since 2009. The hand-poured wax is made with American-grown soy beans in small batches in her St. Paul home studio, and the wood wicks are responsibly sourced from U.S. forests. 

“I love making candles more than I ever expected,” she says. “It's such a calm and concentrated activity which is just what I need after tearing it up with a 1-year-old all day.”

Each candle’s scent is named after places and things that are uniquely Minnesotan. There’s a piney Northwoods candle, the earthy Fort Snelling – a blend of leather, whiskey, and pipe tobacco – and a cheeky Mosquito Bite scent made with citronella and mint. For the holidays, try the cool and minty Frost Bite, the rustic Christmas Cabin, or Backyard Bonfire candle which smells exactly how you think it does. (Candles cost $10-$18.)

Muhm says that if you want to support local artisans like herself this holiday season, then you need to know where to shop. She says you can find carefully curated gifts and goods from artists all across Minnesota at I Like You in Minneapolis and Groundswell in St. Paul. Outside the metro she says, "Lake + Co. in Grand Rapids and 218 Home + Gift in Bemidji are stocked floor to ceiling with awesomeness!" 

You can find out which local shops are selling 'Sota Cracklers here, and you can follow Muhm's seasonal candle-making escapades on Instagram and Facebook.

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This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

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