Our Candle Story: From Stovetop to Studio

Before Antique Candle Works was born, creator and owner Brittany Whitenack grew up in an Indiana country home that held a long passion for vintage and antique style.  This, combined with a love of candles, inspired Brittany to make some of her own.  After a few gifted candles were well received by family and friends, the possibility of starting a new artisan business began to look like a reality.  Brittany quit her job, and in January of 2014, created a plan for her business.

The name, “Antique Candle Works,” was derived from the model that is still followed today: vintage inspired, artisan, quality candles, hand poured with love.  From the 20th century coffee tins, to the longer burning soy wax made from American soy beans, every aspect of the candles is expected to provide the best product possible.  Brittany knew the importance of this even when the candles were made only four pounds at a time on her stovetop.  By the end of 2014, stores carrying Antique Candle Works candles expanded from a few local shops, to several other states.  This moved production from the kitchen to the basement, and called for an upgrade to a homemade, eight-pound melting pot.  Then, in the fall of 2015, Antique Candle Works moved to a commercial space in Chesterton, Indiana.  This was the perfect location to support 20-30 wholesale partners because it was an industrial, old factory space that beautifully expressed the vintage theme of the business.

Antique Candle Works experienced the most growth so far in 2016.  Brittany moved production to a new commercial studio in Lafayette, Indiana, where she and her husband, Dan, had met in college at Purdue University years prior.  In Lafayette, Brittany and a small team of candle makers that include her brother, Ed, and a local Purdue student, Jaycie, hand pour and package thousands of antique and Mason jar candles to 70 wholesale partners and hundreds of retail customers in The United States and Canada.

In the early days of Antique Candle Works, candles created from vintage tins, Ball jars, and other antique vessels were the main focus of the business.  Now, Mason jars are the highlight of the business and antique candles are featured in monthly sales.  The farmhouse and vintage theme that is expressed in all of the candles sets Antique Candle Works apart within the field of candles, as well as the dedication to produce excellent, hand crafted pieces that add more than just enticing fragrances to a home.

Creating Antique Candle Works from the bottom up has taught Brittany that the ability of an artisan or handmade business to do well should not be underestimated.  She started with only a passion and a plan, and three years later is the owner of a successful business.  Handmade products are a proud vocation and carry a certain charm that mass produced goods simply cannot achieve.  The small business world has provided Brittany with incredible customers, several of whom have become friends, the ability to be in charge of a fun working environment, and connections with many people that would have not been otherwise available. 

Although there are many features of the handmade business that Brittany loves, one of her favorite aspects is smelling the sixteen inviting aromas every single day, and this is exactly what Antique Candle Works wants to give to you.

 

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(Photography by Lindsey Galloway and Heather from The Southern Hydrangea)