Inspired through adversity
Passion for the environment, sustainability, and repurposed materials leads to beautiful creation.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down. For all of humanity, this was a time of great uncertainty and worry. Workplaces and schools were closed. Growing concern began to wear heavy across the world.
In these moments of adversity are when leaders are born. Courage is instilled. Creativity is inspired. That sentiment held true for then 12-year-old Camdenton native, Nicole Westhusing.
Once the schools shut down, Nicole sought out a creative outlet. Her passion for the environment, sustainability, and repurposed materials led her to a most beautiful creation. Fascinated by the combination, Nicole began mixing fire and stone. In May 2020, she introduced Nicole’s Candles.
This wondrous creation is handmade by Nicole from start to finish. She selects a piece of stone to create the base of her artwork, cuts the stone to size, and chisels the edges for a dramatic and elegant appearance. Next, Nicole drills the appropriate amount of holes in the center of the piece, and adheres a steel bowl to hold igniting oil. Following the base design, copper tubing is fabricated and a fiberglass wick is fed through. Nicole’s Candles can be used indoor or outdoor with paraffin oil, citronella oil, and various essential oils.
Her candles quickly won the hearts of mid-Missouri, as residents recognized the grand beauty in the simple, sophisticated design. Nicole made her debut selling her designs every weekend at local farmers markets, craft fairs, and festivals at the Lake of the Ozarks, Lebanon, Linn Creek, and St. Louis. Now, you can find Nicole’s Candles at Lake Life Outdoor Furniture and the Lake Fine Art Academy & Galleria in Osage Beach. Wholesale production is also coming to the St. Louis area.
Nicole encourages custom orders where she can cut new shapes in the stones, and create intricate designs. Her newest innovation is a tabletop fire pit coming this fall.
As the artist continues to generate new ideas and designs, Nicole is also a member of the science research program at the Camdenton School District. Her research project this year was inspired by the frequent public beach closures due to E. Coli. Upon graduating high school, she is hoping to use her money from the candle creations to pay for her University tuition, so she can study and gain employment in marine biology.
Nicole’s mother, Ann Westhusing, radiates love and pride over her daughter’s accomplishments.
“Nicole is honest and authentic. She truly loves people and the environment. Her heart and soul are poured into her pieces, all while recycling materials,” she said.
Where to find Nicole’s Candles
Lake Life Outdoor Furniture 3613 Osage Beach Pkwy, Osage Beach
Lake Fine Art Academy & Galleria 5513 Osage Beach Pkwy, Osage Beach