Colorful Creatives: Wrightwood Candle Company

Happy Friday! Can you believe we are less than one week away from Thanksgiving? This month is flying by and I’m nowhere near ready for the holidays. I haven’t even started on my Christmas list, though my husband and have decided to make a few creative, thoughtful gifts this year and purchase from small local businesses. It does help to have a creative husband who has so many hobbies and skills. Even as I write this he is accurately painting a miniature (1/32 scale) Mach 5 car that he 3D printed earlier this week, just for fun.

If you want to check a few people off your holiday shopping list, you have to check out Wrightwood Candle Company. This girl boss is living the dream. Her custom, hand crafted candles are beautifully made and the perfect gift for anyone on your list. I loved chatting with her about how she started her business, what keeps her motivated, and how she found an awesome and supportive community among other talented makers in Chicago. Check out her interview and be sure to follow her on social media!


 
 
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Hannah Perri | Wrightwood Candle Company

www.wrightwoodcandleco.com

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1. How did you start Wrightwood Candle Company?

Funny enough, candlemaking started out as nothing more than a hobby. I was working in recruiting at an awesome ad tech company in Chicago, and although I loved working in recruiting/HR, I had always imagined myself breaking away from my 9-5 job and working for myself one day. My mom always had candles burning in my home growing up so it was no surprise that I would love them just as much as an adult. When I decided to buy my first candle making kit, I figured “hey, at least I don’t have to spend so much money on candles anymore and can make them without all the bad chemicals.” Little did I know, this hobby would quickly turn into something I really enjoyed and was passionate about.

 
 

2. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I had always wanted to work for myself, but it wasn’t until I found candlemaking that I knew exactly how that would come to fruition. I am still learning more and more about small business ownership everyday and that is what keeps it so exciting!

3. When did you know it was the right time to go full time on Wrightwood Candle Company?

I am full-time with my business, and trust me, deciding to leave my full-time job before I started this company was not an easy decision. My husband and I had many long, thoughtful conversations about it. I ultimately felt like this was the “right time” in my life to do it. I felt ready to make a change and wanted to start my company before starting a family. I also wanted to make sure I was giving 100% of myself to whatever I was doing and feared something would have to give. I have so much respect for people that juggle starting a small business and their full-time work, and am very fortunate I was able to dedicate myself to this craft full-time.

4. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome with owning your own business?

There is quite a learning curve and it is an adjustment! I went from working below a manager with a great, supportive team around me to working on my own and managing the business, marketing, sales, accounting, production, etc. I had no idea about the legality behind starting my own company either. There was a lot to take in! Luckily, I have made friends with other makers in Chicago, am active in online candlemaking groups, and have done a lot of networking in general. Everyone’s advice and support has been amazing!

 
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5. What is your favorite & least favorite “hat” to wear as a business owner?

My favorite hat is being able to be creative and do whatever I want with my business! That is what makes it so fun. The possibilities are endless! I don’t know if I want to call it my least favorite hat, but I did have to step out of my comfort zone when I decided to participate in art markets. Although I am outgoing and enjoying talking with people, the thought of having to sell my products in-person to strangers intimidated me a bit. I am glad I overcame it though because I really enjoy them!

6. How do you stay motivated?

I am so motivated by all the other amazing makers out there. They’re incredible!


7. What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am in the process of building my website and developing a line of woodwick candles. I am hoping for a December/January launch for both. Aside from that, I have been busy creating candles for upcoming holiday markets, and I just recently partnered with The Morning List on a fun project. Stay tuned :)

Click here to check out our interview with Teresa Mainock last week on Colorful Creatives: The Morning List

 
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8. How do you start your Monday?

With a chai tea and my to do list. I work on my to-do list for the week every Sunday evening and then organize my week and what I have to work on Monday mornings.

9. Where is your favorite place to work?

When I am not making candles, it is my couch. There is nothing like kicking my feet up, turning on some calming music, and working away with my dog at my feet. She’s the cutest, by the way.

 
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10. What are some colors you are connecting with right now?

This time of year, I start to get excited over jewel tones. Ruby red, emerald green, yellow topaz, rich magenta, and sapphire blue. I don’t know if they’re still popular, but I love them!


11. What are some of your favorite textures/materials?

Anything natural or organic. When I come up with my event displays, I love incorporating natural wood elements, green plants, and galvanized metal.

12. Where do you look for inspiration?

Nature is a big inspiration for sure! I love the smell of walking through a forest, the way the leaves smell once they’ve fallen from the trees, the scent the air has after it rains, etc. All of it comes into play when I am coming up with a new candle scent!

 
 

13. What is something you could not live without?

Besides the obvious (family, friends, pets)...I would have to say Mexican food. I could eat tacos every. single. day.

14. Where is your favorite place to travel and with who?

My husband is my travel buddy! We recently visited Kauai and it was amazing. Other than that, we love visiting my aunt and uncle in Portland, Oregon. Sadly, we haven't been able to make it there the past few years. We are traveling to Paris and throughout Italy next summer so I have a feeling those will be in my top places soon!

 
 


15. What’s your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

EAT! But really. There are sooo many amazing places to dine in Chicago. I haven’t even scratched the surface. Aside from that, I love spending time near (or on) the lake in the summer.


16. Any inspirational books you recommend?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. It’s amazing!

 
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