Artisan Erin Carter Uses Concrete to Create Candles and Home Decor
Perpetual Bliss is a home decor and accessories company specializing in concrete-based candles, accessories, and scented candles. We chatted with Erin Carter, the company’s founder, to learn more about the inspiration behind using concrete as a medium and to get her candle making business tips.
Artisan Joy: How did you get started creating your art?
Erin Carter: Perpetual Bliss was founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, initially as a creative release for me. I began making coasters, trays and candles with a bag of concrete I picked up from The Home Depot.
AJ: When did you realize that you could turn your craft into a side business or full-time occupation?
EC: As weeks turned into months of sheltering in place, family and friends became exceedingly complimentary of my learning and accelerating in this new craft. They encouraged me to start selling my products through Etsy, as they thought others might appreciate the unique nature of the items.
AJ: Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
EC: As a creative, I’m inspired by a variety of things, but I love fashion, and it drives most of my inspiration.
AJ: How do you apply that inspiration to your work?
EC: Using fashion as an example, adding gold hoops to an otherwise simple outfit translates to me adding gold foil to a candle design, instantly elevating it from ordinary to luxe.
AJ: What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
EC: I play the flute! I’ve played since fifth grade and still pull it out every now and then to practice.
AJ: As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?
EC: Working professionally as a store design executive, I learned very early that no creative strategy will be perfect, as everyone has different likes and dislikes. The only way to know what works is to release your ideas for general consumption and see what feedback you get. Most of the time, we’re tougher on ourselves than the world would ever be.
AJ: What advice would you give to someone interested in putting their art out into the world but feels vulnerable about it?
EC: Just do it! You’ll never know until you try, and there’s no perfect time to get started.
AJ: Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?
EC: Yes, everyone has different opinions, and I like to surround myself with people that think differently than I do. Over time I’ve gotten very good at appropriating critique into constructive criticism that helps me improve my product offerings and quality of execution.
AJ: Creatives are often very in tune with what’s happening in the world. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. If this happens to you, how do you cope?
EC: With social media, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by all the happenings in the world. I’ve learned to recognize when it’s becoming too much and take breaks from consuming heavy content and look for things that make me laugh.
AJ: What brings you joy?
EC: Perpetual Bliss was founded on the mantra that no matter what you find yourself doing in life, make sure it brings you bliss. Our items are designed to complement the things in life that bring you the most joy, whether it’s a housewarming for your first home or a quiet night in with that special someone. It brings me joy to know that, even if it’s in a small way, the items I create are part of people’s special moments in life.
This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.