The Pulse: ‘Joy and Light’ brings both to your shopping experience.

Joy and Light offers handmade candles and soaps along with a collection of other artistic creations.

Joy and Light, the new shop on 226 Craven St. beside the Isaac Taylor House and across the street from Blush Boutique, is a relaxing environment, filled with the glorious synthesis of the innumerable aromas that emanate from its in-house handmade soaps and candles.

A corner display shows some of the inventory available at Joy and Light.

You’re sure to find treasures at prices you can afford here. The candles range from $20 and under, and the soaps run between 5 and 7 dollars.

For the bath, Sparkling Bath Postille, a.k.a. “Fizzies,” are made with cosmetic grade fragrances, while the Dead Sea Salts contain pure therapeutic grade fragrances. Lavender and Lavender Eucalyptus Dead Sea Salts are available. Olive oil soaps have fragrances names evocative of N.C. and the south, like Red Clay, Outer Banks, and Fig Tree.

If you’re into wax melts or would like to be, this is your new headquarters. You can purchase your own wax burner from the shop and then mix and match sheets of wax melts in every imaginable fragrance.

In addition to its own wares, the shop offers really cool merchandise that other people make, like milled soaps, essential oils, and handmade cards. They sell carved wooden boxes shaped like bears, cardinals, and hummingbirds that feature contrasting woods and secret compartments. Admirable hand-beaded jewelry by Elisa Lynn have a special display near the back of the store, while you can find canvas or pewter likenesses of retablos by the entrance.

Sunlight filters in during a moment between customers at Joy and Light. Photo by Randy Foster of New Bern Now

Joy and Light opened on April 9, and is owned and operated by Ross Sinfield and John Van Dyke. Partners in business and life, they’ve been making candles and soaps in some capacity since the early 90s.

Wall and table displays highlight candles made by New Bern Candle & Soap.

At first it was a hobby. Then they sold a few at a local restaurant, which prompted them to go to a few street fairs. There, they were inundated by requests from reps who wanted to represent them and their products.

“We’ve always been really lucky,” Sinfield said.

There may have been luck involved, but that doesn’t belie the facts that they create high quality merchandise at affordable prices, and they work really hard.

Windchimes and flower adorned tree branches hang down from the ceiling of this historic place, which used to be so many other things in its previous incarnations.

“It’s the oldest commercial building downtown,” Sinfield said.

Indeed, it has been a city hall, fire station, Civil War hospital, and most recently, The Red Shoe Studio Gallery.

Sinfield is enjoying his new shop.

“I like being here on the sunny side of the street,” he said. Joy and Light brightens that little spot on Craven Street even more. You should head down to the shop and check it out for yourself.

Joy and Light

  • 226 Craven St.
  • Store hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
  • 252-288-9362

Sarah Foster’s “The Pulse” column will arrive Saturday mornings. It is about spending money in the New Bern area. The Pulse should be checked every Saturday morning.