We are all on a life journey and sometimes God can take us places we wouldn’t expect to go. He prepares our hearts in such a way to be ready for our next stage in life. When I look back at the year leading up to the inception of Antique Candle Co., formerly Antique Candle Works, I can easily see how He was preparing me for something new.
My life NEEDED a change.
I graduated from Purdue University with a Management degree in 2012. My husband and I married during college and lived in our first home on campus (so fun!). Our friends said we were the cool married couple, ha!
After graduation, we left West Lafayette, Indiana and moved to the Chicagoland area. I accepted a position as an Assistant Store Manager at a Super Target. That store generated 63 million in sales/year and as a 22 year old, I was very overwhelmed. I worked so, so hard and gave all of myself to that job. I would come home and be utterly exhausted. This was so much harder than any all-nighter I had during college. My husband was working in the city and worked long hours as well. This continued for a year.
Then there was a low-point realization moment – I came in after closing the store one night and the sink was full of dirty dishes. It was beginning to smell. I didn’t have anything left to give and found some Lysol in the bathroom and sprayed the dirty dishes in the sink so the smell would dissipate for a time. I remember doing that – I was so ashamed. How did I get to this point? Everything seemed to be falling apart. I knew I wasn’t being a Godly wife, sister, or friend. I needed to do something that would honor God in all the aspects of my life, not just my career.
I left Target and began searching for another job. In the meantime, I took up a hobby – candle making. I always would buy a candle at the store as a little gift for myself and would find joy in a small candle. Then, I thought, it would be so fun to make candles! I spent a few months learning and perfecting the exact ratio of fragrance oil to soy wax; I now understand why there are many not-so-great handmade soy candles. The entire candle making process is very precise and can be difficult to master.
After a few months, the Lord began to reveal that I have the ability to offer these candles to others and even begin a legitimate small business. I wrote a business plan (thanks business school!) and planned to name my company, Antique Candle Works. I liked ‘Works’ because it implies something is being made and produced. Now, though, we are called Antique Candle Co.. Not only are we a company, but we are also a large and loved community that expands far beyond just those in the studio.
Despite how much we've grown and changed, every candle is hand poured with love today, just as they were 6 years ago.
It is now 2019 and it’s been 5 years since I founded Antique Candle Works. God has blessed this business and I want to give Him the glory for it all. I partner with hundreds of small brick + mortar shops who love their businesses, and I have the privilege of working with nearly 20 wonderful people who enjoy candle making as much as I do!
Because the Lord allowed me to deeply struggle at Target, I considered a different path... to begin a business. I am so thankful for this. It’s amazing to look back at God’s hand working through it all. He truly is a good, good Father.
What is the Lord revealing to you in your own life and circumstances? Are you willing to take a leap of faith and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading?
Thank you for being a part of the Antique Candle Co. journey.