Mar Vista artist upcycles wine and champagne bottles into one-of-a-kind creations

By Kamala Kirk

Last summer in the midst of the pandemic, Mar Vista resident Anne Fletcher came up with the idea to repurpose her wine bottles into sustainable home décor objects. She’d always had a love for candles and anything eco-friendly, and transforming the bottles into unique vessels for candles ultimately led to the creation of UnWined L.A. Studio.

“Even though I had a clear vision of the entire concept, from the materials and scents to the design, I had to learn how to transform the bottles and craft the candles every step of the way, which involved a lot more than I had first imagined,” Fletcher said.

To create each candle, Fletcher cleans, cuts and polishes the edges of each bottle, one at a time, then places the appropriate wooden wick at the bottom of each bottle. Afterward, she hand pours a premium blend of natural soy and coconut wax into each bottle in very small batches, one fragrance at a time.

“I take pride in handcrafting one-of-a-kind wood wick candles and I really enjoy the process,” Fletcher shared. “I especially love engaging with my local community, neighbors, restaurants and friends for them to get involved and donate their empty bottles of wine and champagne mostly, but also water, liquor and sake. Any bottle with an interesting shape or label has the potential to become a beautiful candle. I also try to match labels and scents together as much as I can. For example, some wine labels look more masculine than others, while some feel more festive, and others are reminiscent of flowers or spring.”

UnWined L.A. Studio offers more than a dozen scents include vanilla cashmere, toasted pumpkin and white tea. They are also committed to donating 10% of annual profits to a local nonprofit organization that focuses on programs toward a zero-waste lifestyle.

“My priority is to deliver unique and ethical products,” Fletcher said. “I make sure to source only clean and sustainable materials, from the vegan wax to the wooden wicks, the fragrances, dust covers, labels and packaging. I will continue to seek more ways to reduce my impact on the environment and am always open to hearing about new sustainable options. I love what I do and hope to develop many relationships and partnerships.”

Custom orders are also accepted and Fletcher is happy to be able to give a second life to bottles that have a special meaning by turning them into unique memory candles.

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