The Creative Stories Project: Hearth and Hammer in Batavia/Chicago, Illinois

The second installment of The Creative Stories Project is up! I'm so excited to announce December's makers and Land of Lincoln natives, Annie and Andy of Hearth & Hammer, a duo of crazy talent, and creators of  literature-inspired scented candles. Not only do Annie and Andy have the cutest house (just wait!), they also have killer products and awesome personalities to match. They were nice enough to let me come to their home and learn about the process to share here, so enjoy! 

December's Spotlight: Hearth & Hammer

Upon my arrival at Annie and Andy's little bungalow in Batavia, Illinois, I was immediately welcomed with smiles and offerings of fresh coffee from the french press. Annie and Andy are easygoing, soft spoken, and full of midwestern hospitality. Good people, end of story. 

Annie gave me a tour of her studio while we chatted about the events that led to the creation of Hearth & Hammer.

 Annie started making candles while dabbling in a whole lot of DIY for her wedding to Andy, her high school sweetheart (cue the awws), a few years ago. Homemade candles, she said, were the favor of choice for guests even though she didn't know much about the process. After a realization that she really enjoyed making them, she began experimenting with new scents to gift to friends and family. Wanting to be unique, Annie decided to create scents based on her favorite classics, thus combining her love of literature and candle making. Once she saw some success, she moved onto selling at a vintage and craft market of sorts in her hometown and Hearth &  Hammer was born.

Annie works in a small room on the ground floor of their home. It's sparsely decorated, except for small prints for inspiration and an old door that's been crafted into a desk. The space is light and airy and conducive to productivity.

Andy, a graphic designer by trade, is the brains behind H&H's beautiful branding. From the logo, to the site display, to each individual candle label, Andy's your man. Seriously, he's good. Just take a look at their website: Swoon worthy. What's more, you can see the branding is 100% authentic and reflected in their home/work space, with rooms elegantly furnished with the perfect vintage goods and old books obtained during their travels around the midwest. It's a brand I absolutely want to get behind. 

Small town charms. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Annie and Andy and strongly encourage readers to procure some of their limited edition holiday scents before they're gone. For a complete list of stockists, visit:, and pick one up for everyone you know (Christmas IS just around the corner). 

Shop Hearth & Hammer:


Sneak Peek: A Family Session at Home (LaGrange Park, IL)

I really love working with families in places that are familiar because there's something beautiful about capturing that familiarity, making it tangible with photographs. And what space is more familiar than your home? This shoot was fun and featured the whole family at home, and at the playground up the street. Enjoy!