It began with a simple doodle to pass time while waiting for a friend to give her a ride.
That simple 20 minutes of killing time however, resulted in being named the winner of the Sparks Fly Candle Company contest to create an Oakdale-themed candle.
“I was bored and I wanted to draw,” recently announced winner Sarah Lawson said. “I thought I would just draw a boot and a hat. I was just doing it for fun.”
Fun proved to be beneficial.
“I think I did it in like 20 minutes,” she continued. “I didn’t think I was going to win. So I’m glad I picked something worth it.”
Oakdale grown, as they say, Lawson also has a love for candles as well as a background in art. Two things which worked to her advantage as she completed the submission form which was generated for the contest launched by the local company in February.
“I know her candles are sassy, so when it said what’s a line that would describe Oakdale, I said …A town that would make the rodeo a holiday,” Lawson explained. “Then I thought what does Oakdale smell like? I thought of the bars. I thought of H-B and Battered Beaver so there’s bourbon, thought there’s rust and there’s dirt. Smells like country music in here and it smells like oak.”
That being said, Lawson pitched the scents to be used for her candle submission as oak, leather, bourbon and country music.
“When everyone talks about Oakdale, it’s always Oh, go to H-B, let’s go to the rodeo grounds, that and tractors and a bunch of orchards,” she continued.
First learning of her submission win, Lawson shared she was not only surprised, but thrilled that she had elected scents which she feels truly embody the 95361.
“I was definitely fangirling. I was very freaking out,” she said of first seeing her submission as an actual product. “It’s very cool.”
On Friday, March 25 she was presented with a “Winner’s Basket” by Sparks Fly owner Kayla Roslan, who stopped by The Leader office to deliver the goods. The basket was complete with a variety of gift items/certificates from local businesses, as well as the first of the contest-winning Oakdale candles.
“I got the first one and it smells like the Oakdale Cowboy Museum,” Lawson said. “It’s leather. There’s a leather smell to it, with bourbon and oak and country music. Definitely the leather’s very prominent.”
Lawson also happens to be a new staff member at the Oakdale Leader, a position she stepped into in December of 2021. The Oakdale High School alum shared the move into public life has been a bit of a shift from what she once envisioned.
“I kept telling myself, I used to be wanting to be invisible and just do my work in high school,” she confided. “Just do my stuff, not be known. Now I work for a newspaper where you search my name and my articles pop up and now my name is on a candle.”
She’s hopeful the new signature item will do well.
“I’m excited for her to sell them,” she said of Roslan adding her Sparks Fly creation to the inventory. “I really think you smell Oakdale when you smell it and I’m glad I got to pick the right scents for that.”