By Kelly Jones
Special to The Independent
IVANHOE — To most people, a smell isn’t just a fragrance — it’s a memory. Fragrance triggers memories and emotion for us, and that is what Donna Sykes created in her kitchen back in September 2016 when she started making beeswax candles.
“I wanted to create scents that are tied to North Carolina history,” shared Sykes, a former history teacher at James Kenan High School. She wanted to return to work on the family farm in Ivanhoe and tap into her creative side.
She and her family own Altar Cross Farms, a 40-acre organic blueberry farm in Ivanhoe.
“We have several bee hives on our farm, but our wax is locally sourced through Curtis Wooten out of Maple Hill. All of my candles and wax melts are 100 percent natural. They are made without harmful chemicals or toxins and are made with locally sourced materials made in North Carolina,” she explained as she offered a tour of the farm.
Beeswax candles are the longest, cleanest burn of any candle. But there is much more benefits to beeswax candles compared to others. When a beeswax candle burns, it cleans the air like a great, natural air purifier.
Each scent she creates is tied to North Carolina history with a small write-up pertaining to that scent. The kings table has wildflower, cotton, blueberry, peach and honeysuckle-jasmine available this season.
The candles and wax melts are available at Simply NC in downtown Clinton and on her website www.thekingstableweb.com.
Donna shared, “I have been blessed by the Lord with my talent. And that’s why she chose The King’s Table as the name for her candles, baskets and other handcrafted items that she creates. It is, she noted, a testament to her belief that God has blessed her abundantly.
“My daily encouragement comes from my favorite Bible verse, “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. It’s from Galatians 6, verse 9.”
Her offerings, Sykes shared, are her way of returning to others some of what she’s been given.
I want to give back to the community something that is natural, helpful and can enhance their life someway,” She said.
Ten percent of all profits goes to North Carolina History teachers to fund needs for their classroom. Her current project is funding a Chromebook for Mendy Marcin, a teacher with Duplin County Schools.
Any N.C. History teacher that has a project or a need they would like funded may submit a project proposal through email at [email protected]
Kelly Jones is a contributing writer and photographer for The Sampson Independent.