We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacey McClure and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacey, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
CICADA was born out of a love for trying to recreate some of my fondest memories here in the Sonoran desert. After losing several important people in my life, I needed a way to recreate the moments that reminded me of them – Orange blossoms and the sound of bees while playing under the grapefruit trees at my grandmother’s home, cactus blossom horizons with my dad, trying to stay warm around a campfire with my brother while the coyotes sing in the distant. I believe that all of these memories are rooted in scent. And these familiar scents, the ones that conjure joy and happiness, can comfort us. Even if we are not fully aware of it at the moment.
In early 2021 I started experimenting with memory scents, and last October I launched CICADA. The greatest joy is hearing others tell me their stories tied to the scent of one of our candles. The elements we chose for these scents, while based on my memories, call upon someone else’s memory a different time and a different feeling.
What should our readers know about your business?
CICADA is a Tucson based candle company. We hand pour all of our candles here in the Sonoran Desert. Our candles are made with virgin coconut soy wax with high quality fragrances and cotton wicks. Aside from the memory scents, I wanted to create a candle that was clean burning and that didn’t have all the horrible chemicals that superstore candles have.
I think what sets us apart the most is the care we take in crafting each CICADA candle. It took a while, but I created our own signature blend of coconut soy wax. I wasn’t happy with anything that came straight out of a box, so I made my own blend. And then I tested and tested (and tested!) the wicks until I got the perfect burn. Each scent also went through several rounds of testing until the moment it triggered memory. I went through months and months of testing before we found the perfect burning candles. We’ve taken so much care and time with each piece of the candle making process so that people can enjoy a beautifully crafted and burning candle.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Tucson and the surrounding area is full of incredible gems. There are a million places I’d take someone, but if a friend was visiting Tucson, here are my favorite spots. I would first take them to see water in the desert. There is something magical about finding running water in the desert. We’d start with Seven Falls in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. First grabbing coffee and a bite to eat at Cafe Passe downtown (their lattes and brunch are delish). I’d pack lunch for the hike. The pools at the base of the falls host gorgeous views and a perfect spot to eat and maybe get in a little sun nap. After the hike, we’d grab pizza at the Arizona Pizza Company. So delicious after a good hike.
Another place we would visit is Tumacacori near Tubac. It’s a beautiful historic site that is best visited early in the morning. It’s a perfect spot to walk through and listen to the birds. There is a reach of the Santa Cruz that is right next to it with beautiful mesquite bosques to walk through. Afterwards, we would grab food at Wisdom’s Cafe just down the street. Their margaritas are the best I’ve had!
And our last stop during their visit would be a hike up to Romero Pools at Catalina State Park. The views are unbeatable as you hike up through Romero Canyon in the Santa Catalinas. I’d also pack a lunch for this hike. The best part is getting in the water and relaxing before the hike down. Afterwards, we’d grab beers and food at Dove Mountain Brewery. Their back patio is so relaxing
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All of my friends and family have been incredibly supportive and encouraging along this wild ride. I’m forever grateful. And my partner, Tim, has especially been supportive since the very beginning. All the late nights and planning sessions, engineering and 3-d printing our wick jigs, testing candles, scaling our candle studio, and just all around emotional support through it all. His efforts and support have helped CICADA grow immensely. I feel so lucky to have a partner that loves late night hustling as much as I do. It’s fun to chase dreams together. Thank you for all the love and support, Tim.
Other: tik tok: @cicadagoods