This company never had a business plan to start. I was not planning to start a business because I am perfectly okay with my full time job as a Flight Attendant. It never crossed my mind, besides starting a business comes with stress, expense and just pure headache. How and where would I even start? I have no business background, none in my family does. So, this is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.
I knew how to make candles since I was a teenager. I learned it from a Home Economics subject in my gradeschool days. This is where the boys go out and plant vegetables or do carpentry or anything electrical. While us girls stay in the classroom where we learn how to cook, knit, sew, etc. The candle making course stayed with me until adulthood. I make them for my personal use. I also make them as gifts for friends and relatives during the holidays. That’s all there is to it, nothing more nothing less. Until one day when I decided to bring a scented 2 oz candle with me on my trip, where I will be spending 24 hours in Philadelphia. I wanted my room to smell a little nicer and cozier. I had no idea that the scent was lingering around all the way down the hallway. A knock on my door woke me up. I then answered the door and it was one of the housekeeping ladies. She asked, “Sorry to interrupt, are you by any chance burning an incense?” I replied, “No, I am burning my home made candle. Is there a problem?” She replied, “Yes, you are not allowed to burn anything in your room, anything with flame is not allowed. I apologize.” Then I said, “Okay, no worries. I’ll blow it out now. Sorry about that.” As I was about to close the door she said, “You said it is home made? You make candles?” I said, “Yes, just for personal use.” She then asked me, “What scent are you burning? It smells really nice.” I replied, “The scent is Gardenia and Jasmine.” She then exclaimed, “Oh my God, Gardenia and Jasmine are two of my favorite scents! This may sound a bit odd, but is it okay if I ask you to make me a jar of it? I will pay for it and I will pay for shipping too…”
Wait, What?! What is happening here?! I was stunned. Anyway, let’s get this story short, I ended up making her a jar for $25 plus $8.95 shipping. This made me think hard, “Hmm, this can be something special.” Next thing I know, I was applying for a business license, buying product and liability insurance, buying supplies and materials, and the rest is history. This is how 676 Candles Co. was born.
Below are some of the pictures I took when it all started.
I attended a candle making class in Portland just to kind of smooth out the skills and knowledge that I already know.
My very first work station. Now, it is 20 times bigger than this. :)
These were my very first orders ready to be shipped out. I was beyond excited! I wrote personal notes to each customer thanking them for their love and support. (I still do)
Our first packaging (yuck?!) Oh my, look how much we have evolved.
This is our first big batch for our very first Farmer’s Market at Brentwood, California.