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Flint, MI–Lindsay Decker founded Flint Candle Co. while at a personal crossroads in 2015. She had just finished a soul-searching road trip around the country, and was trying to figure out where she wanted to take her life next.
“My mom was selling vintage items in a couple local antique stores, and one of them had mentioned that they didn’t have any candles in the shop,” she said. “And my mom said, ‘My daughter is creative, she can figure that out!’ I picked up some supplies and started learning, Googling everything and watching videos on Youtube.
When she started, she didn’t expect it to go anywhere beyond a hobby and side-gig. A way to make some extra money.
“I ended up really liking it,” she said. “There’s a science to it that’s really fun. I was immediately hooked.”
Decker said she finds the process therapeutic.
“That’s half the fun of making candles, making a physical object with your hands that you can enjoy later on. It’s so good for your soul.”
Soon after learning the process of candle-making, Decker opened an Etsy shop to sell her products. They also became available at the Flint Farmers Market as well as the Flint Handmade shows, a local nonprofit organization that works in handmade crafts and goods.
This year, however, marked a big change for Flint Candle Co. In the beginning of 2020 they upgraded from an Etsy store to a full-fledged company with their own online store, and expanded their staff to a full team.
“Almost the entire operation has changed,” said Decker. “At the start of the year it was just me in my basement with one table. Now, there’s about ten different people working with us in different positions. We’re elbow to elbow using every available surface to make candles.”
Decker said they saw a big boost of support months back when quarantine began. “At the start of the pandemic, everyone was home and spending their stimulus money and so online sales went up,” she said. “We immediately needed more help. We were packing orders seven days a week.”
“It’s just expanded so much,” she said. “We’re making products almost as fast as we can sell them.”
On top of making candles, Flint Candle Co. also makes incense and wax melts. Decker said the response for those products outside of just candles has been great so far.
The holiday line of products recently launched with a batch of winter-themed candles and wax melts. Different fragrances include “vanilla and fir”, “lingonberry wreath”, “ginger spiced cookie”, and more. They will also be releasing special green jars for the candles for the holidays.
Flint Candle Co. also has a special collaboration with another local business planned for “Small Business Saturday”, the day dedicated to supporting small businesses that is scheduled each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The team will be announcing more information soon.
Decker said that many crafting and handmade events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, and that they plan on helping promote other small businesses this year during these tough times.
We’re planning to do our own sale and provide a shopping guide for other small businesses we love,” she said.
Decker said that Flint Candle Co. has several plans on the horizon they are excited about. Next year they are looking at rebranding their products. “Everything that we’ve got right now has been the same sort of branding for the last five years,” she said. “The craft paper labels we currently use are just based on me ripping up butcher block paper and handwriting labels out because that’s all I had at the time when I started.”
Now, Decker said the team is working with a graphic designer to come up with an aesthetic that reflects their love and roots in Flint. They are also working on new packaging for wax melts to cut down on plastic use and make them more sustainable.
Another dream of Decker’s is to have their own retail space. Decker said she would like to restore an old building and keep it from being torn down to use as their own space.
“We have a really good team, and I’m excited for us to grow in the community,” said Decker.
Flint Candle Co. can be found online at https://flintcandleco.com/. In addition to online stores, their products can be found in-store at a number of Michigan locations, including A Bit Of Earth inside the Flint Farmers Market and Totem Books. A full list can be found on their website. You can follow Flint Candle Co. on social media at https://www.facebook.com/FlintCandleCo and https://www.instagram.com/Flintcandleco/.