We’re Colleen and Jeremy, the Midwest couple behind Cultivated Candle Co. Cultivated Candle Co. is a small business based in Columbus, Ohio, with our studio nuzzled in the art-centric Franklinton area in 400 W Rich. We create vintage-inspired soy candles with a punch of regal style and farmhouse freshness. We've always done things a little different than the rest; It was only natural that this carried through to candle-making! As history lovers and antique connoisseurs, one of our most popular candle collections is our antique candle collection. We take vintage pieces that have a story behind them and turn them into one-of-a-kind candles. We also have a variety of candles outside of our antiques - such as frosted glass and farmhouse mason jar candles. We believe in having your home be as enriching and healthy as possible, because of this we only use all natural soy wax and also refill our antique candles once they have burned out to continue to reuse and recycle the antiques.
What drew you to your craft?
Honestly, a love for history, science and home decor is how Cultivated Candle Co. was born. Candle-making is really a science and we first started as a small hobby. Then came in our passion for history and home decor. There are so many cute antique tins and glass candy dishes that simply don’t have much use. We saw this as an opportunity to bring a little charm from the past into modern home decor with our hobby; candle making.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
This is such a hard question! We recently celebrated our one year business anniversary and tried to answer this very question. We sometimes work with over 100 one-of-a-kind antique pieces on a monthly basis, but our Vintage Coffee Tin candles are consistently one of our favorites to make. It’s so fun seeing people react to different coffee brands that they haven’t seen for decades or that their parents and grandparents would have in the house as kids. We had one customer who commissioned us to find an IGA tin because her grandfather owned an IGA! Plus, making candles within antique tins never gets old and really fits into our love for history.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I (Colleen) wanted to be news anchor. I love public speaking and originally went to college for this. This changed to public relations and then post-grad entrepreneurship. The funny thing is, I was totally born to be an entrepreneur. I just didn’t see it until later and a big part of that realization was pushed by Jeremy; and I’m super thankful for that! It was just a matter of actually getting there, and I’m also thankful for my communications background that has really helped with our marketing.
What is your creative process?
Our creative process is really a cycle that goes from scent creation to finding the perfect container or antique and then finally to feeding off of the reactions and thoughts of our customer. Being connected with our customer then feeds right back into scent and candle creation. Luckily for us, during this whole process we are working in a 100-year-old factory (400 W Rich), learning about history and melting wax which all fuels our creativity and pushes us forward. A lot of our products have such a rich history and nostalgia, which allow us to get an inspiring peek into the daily life of the ‘20s through the ‘70s.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Simple - Start saving money! Too much money was spent on useless things, which could have been saved for starting a business. Simple, but the biggest thing I would change.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Local makers, artists and businesses are such a large part of making a community and a city vibrant, unique and desirable. The more that Columbus supports Columbus, or Ohio supports Ohio, the deeper and richer our city culture becomes.
Why do you love doing what you do?
Scent creation, candle-making and antiquing make our daily work feel surreal, but the customers are our favorite part about owning Cultivated Candle Co. Through daily messages, emails and more, we love interacting with our customers! We’ve felt overwhelming support for our simple little idea in the past year and we’re just so thankful for our fans. Like I mentioned, the whole business revolves around them! The process of candle-making and scent creation comes full circle when we see and hear how our customers and community react to our candles. We put so much thought into making our unique scent creations, our candle making process and what container those candles live in that finally getting them to our customer and hearing how much they enjoyed having their home filled is so fulfilling.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
Don’t wait for the right moment. Try to get started as soon as you can, even if it’s small! There’s never the “right moment” to get started on a business. If you wait, it’ll get harder and harder to start. If you have an idea, you are capable of starting now! And don’t be afraid to fail; remember you have to be a fool before you can be a master. Ohio is a great place to start a business.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
We are diehard Ohioans, which makes this question so hard! One of the best parts about Ohio is the diverse landscape. We live in downtown Columbus, in charming German Village. Our hearts are in the city, but we also love nature. Columbus is the type of city where you can go to a show at the beautiful and historic Ohio Theatre and in 20 minutes be surrounded by nature off the beaten path. Plus, Ohio parks are great! We can’t imagine living and running our business out of anywhere else.