The FRIDAY FIVE: Chicago Candle Factory

Hey guys!

Tory here. Another installment of the FRIDAY FIVE. This blog series is just another way to offer a bit of transparency into our cool little world. Here, we will spotlight one of our amazing partners with five easyBreezy questions, so that you can learn more about their product, their story, and why we feel so strongly about having them be part of our crew. Today’s partner: Jared Wisbrod from Chicago Candle Factory (IG @chicagocandlefactory)

Chicago Candle Factory began as a sustainable art project in a kitchen, and they're proud to say they've remained one through their first stages of growth. The driving principle of this business is sustainability. Their candles are made in bottles they've salvaged from Chicago’s bars and restaurants and upcycled into functional art pieces that fill the home with pleasing aromas, warming light, and a little local flavor.


1. How did you get into this craft?

"I got into this craft as a result of boredom, cold Chicago winters, and missing working with my hands. I started making candles in my kitchen for fun -- gave them to some friends, and they were really the ones to convince me to start selling them."


2. What has been the most challenging about this experience? What's been the most gratifying?

"The most challenging is time management in terms of brain power. It is hard to know exactly what to focus on because there are so many things that need your attention and you don't have enough attention to give.  

The most gratifying is that I don't have a boss. I spent my life being told by teachers that I had to do things their way. I never did. It seems like it might work out."


3. If you could go back in time to when you first started and give yourself some advice, what would you say?  

"If I could go back in time I would probably go farther than the start of just this business."


4. Name the top three things that have helped you grow your business (e.g., social media, shows)? 

"The top three things that helped my business grow has to be 1) people, 2) people, and 3) people: The people who save me the empty bottles from bars and restaurants all over the city. The people who help me make candles. The people who have stores who helped me get them in from of people. Dan Weiss at Dollop was a huge help. He let me sell my candles at all of his Dollop coffee shops, five locations, all across Chicago. That was my first year of business, and that exposure made a world of difference. Also the people at the Randolph Market, they put on a great event, and I did the Holiday Market my first year in business. It was amazing and I knew I was on to something."

5. How do you define success?

"My favorite definition of success came from someone else.  They said 'what is success, success is when your no means no, and your yes means yes.'"  

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