Curio’s Candleworks Keeps Austin Weird with Local Roots and Handmade Goods
Owner Ceirra Myers envisions a gathering space to enjoy the city’s rich creative community
Story and photos by Deven Wilson
“Closing” could easily be Austin’s word of the year for 2022. Many beloved businesses have shut their doors for good as some owners seek retirement, while others find the cost of staying open too much to bear. Amidst this, Curio’s Candleworks is picking up the torch to illuminate a brighter, weirder future for local businesses in Austin.
Growing up with a tinkering father and formerly nomadic hippie mother, the stars aligned for Ceirra Myers to find a path that would lead to Curio’s, her recently-opened candle shop and creative community hub. A childhood inspired by her grandfather’s Jewish heritage involving candles and her mother’s expertise in holistic healing naturally guided Myers to dabble in candle-making. She effortlessly draws up intricate recipes for candles by taking traditional recipes and fine-tuning them to achieve her desired results.
Over the years, Myers, a native Austinite, has watched her sleepy neighborhood rapidly change, with mid-century homes pushed aside in favor of looming townhomes. She has also witnessed a community of familiar neighbors turn into an enclave of newcomers, making her hometown increasingly foreign.
Then, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, the “Snowpocalypse” came. Wanting to take care of her fellow Austinites, Myers made hundreds of candles to sell during the blackout, before eventually giving them away in an act of charity. Despite the horrific effects of the wintry weather, there was a silver lining shining through — a community came together, and Myers and her candles helped provide some light during a literally dark time.
Myers decided to open a candle shop where people felt comfortable gathering. Driving down Menchaca, she spotted a home that had been converted into a retail space. The building was complete with a spacious backyard that could effortlessly hold the various community-centered events she envisioned hosting at her shop.
“We definitely took a big risk [opening the store] because we believe in it,” says Myers. “We really think Austin needs something like this.”
Curio’s Candleworks opened its doors in 2022, and when you step inside the welcoming shop from the front porch, your eyes are drawn to the rainbow of candles stocked on the shelves, each one a work of art infused with intentions for those who light them.
“A lot has gone into the recipes,” says Myers. “There are some recipes where the wax is melted in the sun, becoming solar-charged.”
One of their best-selling candles is the “Bad B*tch,” which is intended to instill confidence. These candles, as Myers explains, are “stirred with a cinnamon stick and infused with all the essential oils that spark confidence, body positivity and self-reassurance.”
Other intention-infused candles carry names like “Calm,” “Focus,” and “Abundance,” and with every variation, guests can find cards explaining the intentions that went into each one. The scents inside each candle will fill your space with aromatherapy, while the included intentions holistically make each scent even better.
Myers also has a deep love for all things astrology. Having studied the stars, she takes influences from their lessons and applies them to her candles. Beyond candles, guests can find various crystals and liquor bottles filled with bath salts around the shop.
The two rooms on the south side of the structure host a rotation of psychics, Reiki healers and lymphatic drainage professionals. With a red room that feels cozy and intimate to a yellow room that swims in sunlight, the spaces share a sense that you’re being cared for, regardless of which service you choose.
The property’s open yard is home to a charming trailer and plenty of room for the various gatherings hosted by Curio’s. Events include pop-up markets, Zodiac birthday parties, holiday markets and more happenings that elevate local creators. Curio’s has set up shop to provide Austin’s next generation of makers with space to shine.
With even more markets in the plans for the future, and as new neighbors discover this South Austin institution, there is a spark being set off at Curio’s that could carry the torch of all the spaces the city has lost in recent memory — a spark that could lead to a funkier, more promising future for Austinites new and old.
“We just want to be a place where everyone can breathe and stop and smell the candles.”