The Blended Essentials is more than just a candle store. Shoppers can swing by for a quick gift, a treat for themselves, or spend an evening with that special someone while making their own customized products. From its beginning, The Blended Essentials’ goal has been to connect and build relationships with the greater Severna Park community.
The Blended Essentials started in the garage of the Bowen family in Severna Park. In the beginning, it was their creative 14-year-old daughter, Ella, and her scientist father, Lance, experimenting and making custom gifts for family and friends. After sharing the experience with a few friends, Lance and his wife, Danielle, expanded the concept into a studio space providing opportunities for individuals, small groups, families and friends to be creative and take a moment to connect. The Blended Essentials has become the blending and bonding experience for all of the greater Severna Park area.
“We are grateful to be part of the Severna Park community,” said the shop owner, Danielle. “Based on the many great experiences with our customers, they have shared the joys of having a place where they can connect with friends and families without electronics being the main focus in a place where you can relax and not worry about cleaning up any of the messes.”
Danielle, who has a background in education and community advocacy, and her husband, whose background is in science, use their individual skills to create a unique product line and experience. At The Blended Essentials, customers can create their own product.
“We have over 150 fragrances to choose from, or you can even blend your own scent,” said Danielle. “We say that we are exclusively unique, meaning we have a completely customizable product line that is controlled by the creator, you.”
Customers can schedule studio times for individuals, small groups or bring their family and friends for classes and parties. The Blended Essentials offers something for the entire family. Kids programs include science classes reinforcing concepts like mass and density.
“We offer a variety of hands-on experiences including educational classes and engaging activities for kids and youth,” said Danielle. “All of our experiences with both children and adults have an educational tie.”
The Blended Essentials studio space is limited, allowing for small group engagement.
“We provided small group instruction during each of our experiences,” said Danielle. “This experience has allowed us the opportunity to personally connect and engage with our customers. In these uncertain times, this concept is crucial as many youth and adults need a space where they feel comfortable both socially and emotionally.”
Danielle and Lance provide ongoing professional development and training for their staff. Each staff member is assigned a task that utilizes their individual talents and strengths. Some are in charge of creating products, working parties and even running entire programs. Ella is even involved as the shop’s youngest employee.
Ella Bowen, who Danielle refers to as the “backbone of the company,” comes up with creative products, like Play-Doh bubble bath, and makes all of the bath bombs for The Blended Essentials.
The Bowen family has strived to collaborate with many local businesses in the area. They have created exclusive, signature candles for The Big Bean, hosted events with Annapolis Home Brew, taught cooking lessons with The Kids Table, hosted a Yoga & Candles event with Mantra Fit, provided education on the use of essential oils with the Natural Healing Project, and even partnered with its neighbors at Gallery 564 and local artist Christalene Karaiskakis to both decorate the shop and give customers the opportunity to purchase their art.
“The community is what makes our shop,” said Danielle. “If we don't have a community supporting us, we wouldn't exist. We want the community to enjoy, and have them be a part of what we do. We look forward to many new adventures in 2021.”
One of the more popular and recent examples of The Blended Essentials’ community involvement is the shower blast program. When a customer buys two shower blasts, one will be donated to a health care worker. The shower blasts are a small gesture of gratitude to those working on the frontline of the pandemic.
“The way it started was a doctor who purchased shower blasts at the beginning of the pandemic who stated she was purchasing them for herself because her shifts were so long,” said Danielle. “She said it was like a 15-minute reprieve.”
As of November, The Blended Essentials has supplied almost 200 shower blasts to health care workers all over the country. As COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, Danielle said the purchases have increased.
The pandemic has taught Danielle the importance of flexibility, and one of the ways that The Blended Essentials has achieved that is by regularly updating the online store. The team has begun to offer take-home party kits, candle and bath bomb kits, and a variety of other products on the website for people who are not comfortable coming into the shop.
“A lot of people are making candles or soaps at home during quarantine,” said Danielle. “We have a lot of people coming here because this is one of the local places where you can find fragrances with this much variety.”
The staff at The Blended Essentials has worked hard to create an environment that makes customers and staff comfortable and safe. Parties are limited beyond county and state guidelines, and strict sanitizing routines have been implemented on all surfaces, materials and tools.
There will be a variety of great deals this holiday season. The online store will be updated regularly, and The Blended Essentials offers curbside pickup or delivery for a small fee.
The Blended Essentials is located at 562 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard in the Severna Park Village shopping center. To learn more, visit www.theblendedessentials.com or call 410-544-2050.