Jimmy’s Candle History Part 1

Jimmy History Part 1

In the early 90’s I had a custom clothing business…and hated it.  In the mid 90’s my friend and I started a company named Design Initiative Group, DIG. We took some items to market, other people’s creations: rolled beeswax candles, scented “dream pillows”, cool hammocks, and one item that we would make if we sold any…a small votive cup that we hand applied gold leaf, oxidized which created a beautiful candle cup. The little votive cups were just an afterthought, but we sold a hundred at our first show in Dallas and the same in Atlanta- we could easily make these ourselves in our spare time. When we attended the San Francisco Gift show the Nordstrom buyer came and ordered 4,000 of these little votive cups!!! After she left the booth, we jumped up and down like little girls…until it struck us that we were going to have to MAKE THEM OURSELVES! We had never seen 4,000 of anything… Oh, BLEEP!!!

We made them in the heat of Texas summer in a carport…gold leaf all throughout the neighborhood – not kidding. The Nordstrom buyer was specific about the fact that it had to have a “poured, fragranced candle” inside. We were only selling them as a candle cup, not filled with a candle. Well, at the time because we were so excited for the order and we didn’t really know better, we didn’t charge for the additional candle…nor did we understand the production process involved in making these little decorative candle cups. We worked for two long, hot months and somehow shipped the order on time.  We probably didn’t make a penny, except due to the fact that we did the labor by ourselves. The candles were a hit and they reordered…and yes, we were still too stupid to charge more for the second round…pretty – maybe, but not smart.

So we taught ourselves how to pour candles, expanded the line and immediately stopped selling other people’s stuff…and became a candle company in the first six months of being in business. That company became a moderate success…and I became like a mad scientist.  I wanted to work on all the issues that made candles not burn well – and correct them.  I learned everything I could about waxes, wicks and fragrance.  The year or so before we closed the business down, I started hearing about something new…something called “soy wax”.

(to be coninued…)

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