Get to Know a Wedding Favor Vendor: Candle with a Cause

We have something a little bit different to share with you today; our first Wedding Favor Vendor interview with Mitch of Candle for a Cause. Enjoy!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Candle With a Cause is a four-year-old company located in Columbus, Ohio. My business partner, Carlos Arango, and myself have dedicated years to growing an organization that not only keeps glass out of the trash, but also gives back to the community in a variety of meaningful ways. We offer the highest quality candles available, using the absolute highest quality sustainable products available. We believe that by offering an amazing candle made with sustainable products that benefits local organizations, we can make a real impact on the world. We are not just trying to succeed in our venture; Candle With A Cause is trying to prove that it is possible to succeed in the for-profit business world while making a real impact in the community. We would love to see other companies follow suit.

LOCAL: Our candles are custom designed for the non-profit organizations that are featured on each label. Every detail from the scent of the wax to the type of bottle used is designed to raise funds and awareness for our partners.
SUSTAINABLE: Our candles are made of post-consumer glass and filled with cosmetic grade soy wax, utilizing core-less cotton wicks primed with vegetable oil.
MEANINGFUL: 25% of the net proceeds from each candle is donated directly to the nonprofit doing excellent work for and in our community.

We now offer customizable wedding candles! The couples can custom design the label with a photograph or graphic of their choice as well as font and copy. They can choose the scent blend that we custom create in-house. Last but not least, they can choose from our list of non-profit partners to determine how the candles benefit the community!

Our candles make amazing centerpieces as well as gifts for the attendees. Leave a meaningful memory with those you love by gifting them a Candle With a Cause featuring your wedding information and photograph! Feel good about your purchase knowing that 25% of the net profit is benefiting the non-profit of your choice!

Read the full interview after the cut!

Get to Know a Wedding Favor Vendor: Candle with a Cause (1)

How did you get into the business?

We saw local bars and restaurants throwing away tons of glass everyday. After doing some research, we found that less than 20% of the glass used by Ohio businesses was being recycled. We wanted to do something about that and decided that candles in recycled glass with a tangible community tie would be a great way to do it! We wanted our efforts to contribute back in meaningful ways. After much trial on candle production, we pitched the idea to a local no-kill animal shelter, Pets Without Parents, and they became our first partner! The rest is history.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is when someone tells me how much he or she loves his or her candle. Almost all of our customers are repeat customers. Once someone gets one of our candles, they always continue supporting our non-profit partners and recycling efforts through the purchase of our candles.

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If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?

My favorite offering is probably our new line of custom wedding candles because our candles get to be part of someone’s most important day. The arrangements are at their best and everything looks amazing. All of this, coupled with the fact that our candles benefit the non-profit of the couples’ choice, make them just that much more meaningful. I love that.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?

The candle industry is extremely competitive. It takes very thick skin to survive in this field.  A product is not enough, which is why we embedded the opportunity to make a real impact within every element of our candles. We are offering sustainability and community support as part of the immediate experience and long-term results. We truly believe this is the most socially and environmentally friendly candle on the market.

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What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

Carlos and I both like to build things. I work on classic cars and motorcycles nearly every minute that I am not working at CWC. I also love to hang out with my basset hound (resident office dog) T-Rex. Carlos designs all kinds of furniture and buildings. He is an architect by education and likes to put those skills to use as much as possible. Carlos is also very interested in sustainable agriculture. He spent time as a Vista with Americorps working with the Franklinton Gardens, a sustainable urban agriculture non-profit.  We are both working to build a sustainable farm and camp-ground for ourselves, which is an exciting new project.

Any great stories from working with a client?

Kinder Key of Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been an amazing partnership. They have a huge membership base, which has made it possible for them to sell the candles as well, which raises more money for their organization than our 25%. They specifically benefit the heart hospital at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which helps children survive the heart disorders they are affected by. That is just awesome.

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What makes you different from others in your field?

We are more than a candle company. We are sustainable. We recycle for businesses that wouldn’t otherwise. We benefit community organizations doing great things in the world! LOCAL. SUSTAINABLE. MEANINGFUL.

Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

I really like the fact that I see more people buying local and buying sustainable. I really hope to see that trend continue. Since you are spending quite a bit on your wedding, why not make it meaningful? Buy American made. Support organizations that support your community. Have your purchase be of something that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Get to Know a Wedding Favor Vendor: Candle with a Cause (9)All Photos by Matt Reese Photography

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?

Look at smaller companies. The big box corporations can’t offer you the quality or attention that your wedding deserves. If you work with a small business, the owner will give you his or her personal attention. That is how we work, and that is how couples can really get the best experience available.

Thanks Mitch! For more about Candle for a Cause, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Mitch? Add them to the comments below!

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