Making It: Cleveland Candle Company Spreads Joy of DIY Candles

MAKERS: David Gin & Tanya McCollister, co-owners

BUSINESS: The Cleveland Candle Company

IT STARTED WITH S'MORES:  "The first candle that we actually mixed together was s'mores scented," McCollister said.

The duo began making candles as a hobby and gathered friends at house parties.

"From there we were like: 'What else can we create?'"

It turned out to be the first Cleveland Candle Company storefront located in Mentor back in 2015.

SCENT MEMORIES: Building on the idea of interaction, Gin and McCollister knew they didn't want the shop to just sell candles off the wall. 

"We really wanted it to be an experience-based thing. We believe that people want to create memories," Gin said.

They began bringing in groups to craft their own candles, curating scents from an expansive selection. 

"I think scent plays a huge role in your memories," McCollister said. "It's really cool to see people react to a scent memory. It happens almost on a daily basis." 

EXPANSION TO CLEVELAND: With locations in Mentor and Cleveland Heights, Gin and McCollister decided it was time to make the move to the company's namesake city, Cleveland. 

"After we opened the Coventry location, we knew that we wanted to be in an area where there was plenty for people to do," McCollister said. 

The company recently opened their third location in the Ohio City neighborhood.

"We feel like it's an very good artistic community. We wanted to be a part of the scene down here," Gin said. 

COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS: Beside bringing groups in for candle-making events, the team has begun partnering with local business to offer collaborative products. 

"If you're going to come make a candle a lot of customer will hang out in the area. So it's been fun to work with other businesses on the street and just kind of help the community," Gin said.

Partnering with local brewery, Fatheads, the team has created a line of beer candles. Gin said, "we do a line with their famous beers, Bumble Berry and Headhunter. The response has been awesome from people that not only like beer but also like candles."

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