Depress Me Not brings joy to Renton, one candle at a time

Divina Casila turned making candles to help her cope with depression into a thriving local business.

In Renton, Depress Me Not Candles has become one of the biggest small-business vendors around. For owner Divina Casila it’s not just a way to make money, it’s a calling.

“I started Depress Me Not Candles because I suffered from domestic violence a few years back — it took a toll on me and left me depressed,” Casila said. “Candles were something for me to turn to in those dark moments. I can just make my own candles and create something beautiful to help me cope in that situation.”

Casila was able to leave her abusive relationship, but being a single mom to three kids was tough and left Casila working three jobs, which she said put her into an even deeper depression. She started making candles to help with her mental health over a decade ago and eventually re-married, which allowed her to find time to make candles for others.

“If this can help me deal with my anxiety and depression, than it can help others,” she said. “My goal is to spread this same message of hope and positivity to every customer that purchases my candles.”

Casila, who lives in Fairwood with her family, took over her husband’s home office and turned it into her own candle-making studio, where she uses coconut and apricot creme wax, flower and plant accents, wooden wicks and personalized wood-lasered messages to give customers a small piece of happiness.

“Each candle also has an encouraging message and affirmation inside the lid as a reminder that even when life gets tough, there’s still beauty in the world,” she said.

While she only hand-pours small batches to sell at a time, Casila’s candles come in a wide variety with their own special names, such as “Why Be Moody When You Can Shake Yo’ Booty?” and “My Story Is Not Over.”

As far as her most popular candle, Casila says it’s her apple harvest-scented candle with the phrase “What if I fall? Darling, what if you fly?”

A portion of the proceeds from Depress Me Not sales are donated to National Alliance of Mental Illness and the Vision House, a transitional home for families with children in Renton and Shoreline.

While most sales for her candles are made online at, Casila also sells her wares throughout Renton, either in downtown boutiques like Esme and Elodie or at city vendor events. She even makes special Depress Me Not diffusers for cars and homes.

As far as advice for those wanting to get the most out of their candles, Casila recommends trimming the wick before each burn and using candles with wooden wicks, since they have a smooth burn and don’t waste wax.

“There’s a lot of depression going on in this world right now,” Casila said. “But you look at that little flame, it helps. there’s still light and comfort in this world. Life is still beautiful.”

Varieties of Depress Me Not candles. Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Varieties of Depress Me Not candles. Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Varieties of Depress Me Not candles. Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing

Varieties of Depress Me Not candles. Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing