HOW CANDELLES CAME TO BE
Before Candelles was even a seed of an idea, our founder and owner Kelley enjoyed candles so much that she started dabbling in making them at home for herself, and quickly fell in love with the process. She found it incredibly therapeutic creating something bright and beautiful from raw, all natural products.
Even as a child, Kelley always had a very bright, creative spirit. She was a big dreamer and entrepreneur in the making. As a young girl, she spent her days playing "office," designing menus for her newest make-believe restaurant, or setting up an evolving series of lemonade stands in her family’s front yard. In high school, she was drawn to business courses and took every single one they offered. During her senior year, she asked her guidance counselor what she should major in to run her own business one day. She never doubted it was in the cards for her.
A few years later, Kelley heard of Etsy and just knew she wanted to create and sell something on this emerging marketplace. She thought candle-making would be the perfect avenue since she already had the passion, supplies, and skills. In the cold weeks of February 2013, Candelles was born.
Simply put, Candelles was not an overnight success. Kelley felt like she had flopped within just a month or two. After producing a wood wick candle that just didn't stay lit, Kelley's burgeoning operations were put on hold after the money she had invested into this project had depleted from refunding all unsatisfied customers.
A few months later, Kelley was hit with some of the most heartbreaking news of her life. Her grandmother, whom her family called Honey, was diagnosed with cancer. Honey was the rock of her entire family, and someone who was cherished by many in her life. Without hesitation, Kelley dug out the candle supplies from her closet where her business dream was just tucked away, collecting dust. She used those excess candle supplies to set up a fundraiser for Honey, offering candles in five scents that she felt represented Honey best. Kelley switched over to a cotton wick, designed a simple "sweet as honey" label for them, and all of the profits were to go directly to assisting in funding Honey’s growing medical costs.
Sadly, Honey passed away just weeks later, before all of the candles were even delivered to each of the sweet souls who purchased one. It had been less than a month since her diagnosis and it had swept her away so quickly. It felt like the brightest flame had been extinguished.
Kelley was devastated, but after reflecting on this experience, she was in awe at the kindness of people, and she loved being able to share just a little bit of light in exchange. Honey was always such a light in the lives of everyone she met, so it just felt extremely fitting.
Passionately embracing this happy outlet, Kelley decided to rebrand Candelles and continue to build her dream in Honey's honor. Eight years and over 150 candle scents later, Kelley and her partner CJ now house Candelles in a 7,000 square foot warehouse, selling our candles both online and in over 350+ stores nationwide.
Needless to say, Kelley is living out her daydream on a daily basis now, and she has her sweet guardian angel to thank for that.