I have been obsessed with candles for as long as I can remember. I've also been obsessed with pretty glassware and packaging for just as long. So, I decided to combine all of my loves into a business. My aim is to provide high-quality, safe products in gorgeous, reusable glassware and travel tins. My main collections will be consistent in their glassware (for example, the Hearthstone Collection will always be in concrete jars), but in order to squeeze in my love of all things glassware, my seasonal and limited edition collections will always change. My main collections will be available in black, white, or amber (depending on the line) with the occasional pop of color in seasonal or limited edition collections. I use a luxurious vegan, non-toxic coconut-soy wax, wooden wicks sourced from FSC certified mills, and fragrance oils that are phthalate free. All of my products are prop 65 compliant.
Candles, pretty glassware and packaging aside, what's the real, deeper reason you started this business? (Settle in because this is a doozy of a response. Feel free to walk away and pretend you didn't see it.)
Okay, okay, so it's more than all the pretty things. Of course it is. All of my fellow writers (and anyone dealing with rejection and/or heightened anxiety on the regular) will feel my pain here. I began this venture at a dark time in my life (and probably the lives of many others). I'm a writer and have been since I was a teenager many, many years ago. Writing was a hobby for me. One I stayed up late into the night for because I HAD to get my stories onto paper. There was no thought of a career; in my eyes, that was something for those untouchable people like Stephen King. Then, twelve years ago, I realized that I should take it more seriously. I went back to school, got a degree, had some short works published, and embarked on a new journey toward novel publication. In April 2020, just as the pandemic hit, I was selected to be part of a mentorship program with my fourth completed manuscript and finally felt like my writing was being noticed. I finished the program as the world steadily fell apart, and then proceeded to query agents who were spiraling into the same pit of despair we all were (yeah, big mistake; I know that now). Many fulls were requested, and I was over the moon with excitement. Now, don't get me wrong, I knew rejection was more than likely; publishing is a business chock-full of that. But I was SO excited because this hadn't happened on this massive of a scale with previous manuscripts. But the rejections rolled in (or I was just forgotten - still not sure which stung worse). Most said my novel was just too dark for them in these very dark times. Some said it just wasn't the right fit for them (a writer's favorite response). A couple referenced specific issues with a novel that was most certainly not mine (had I received someone else's rejection?). In the end, what I'd spent the last couple of years working so hard on ended up, more or less, being shelved. I'd been querying novels for five years, but something about this time around (I'm sure the pandemic had something to do with it) hit me so very hard. Things grew worse at home when we lost a loved one to COVID. It wasn't a good time.
I sank into depression and the panic attacks came often. Determined to claw my way out, I tried to remember what else I'd done in the past that eased my anxiety. Candles. Pouring candles had always been therapeutic for me. So, I bought a kit, poured some candles, and felt a release of the negative energy that had been building inside of me for far too long. I found bigger suppliers, poured a lot more candles, and fell in love.
Pouring candles dragged me from the darkness, and I hope to do the same for my customers as they provide themselves a bit of self-care when they spark a flame and see the light.
I knew when I started this business that I wanted to donate a portion of profits to various nonprofit organizations striving to make a difference in the world. Originally, I was going to narrow the focus to human trafficking, but I found myself discovering different organizations with equally great causes and decided not to limit the cause on such a grand scale. Each calendar year, the focus will change. For example, all donations made in 2022 went to organizations combating human trafficking, since that was my original intent. In 2023, in honor of the launch of the Bookish Collection, the focus will shift to literacy organizations. We will donate to a new organization at the end of each quarter and post that information on our website here.
Founder of Wicking It Up Candle Co. LLC