What’s a couple that shares an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of home decor, science and history to do? Start a candle company that incorporates all of the above, turning out home decor pieces far from your traditional burn-and-toss candle.
“We both are very entrepreneurial minded,” says Colleen O’Morrow, half of Cultivated Candle Co. Joined by her long-term boyfriend Jeremy Diamond, the couple used their mutual interests as a jumping off point for their latest entrepreneurial endeavor.
“Candle making really is a science,” O’Morrow says. A little bit of magic goes into creating the different scents and color combinations Cultivated hand-pours.
Candles were also a mainstay for her growing up, and the one home decor piece her mom would splurge on. While shopping was done mainly for aroma, O’Morrow and Diamond wanted to create something that had more value and staying power than just a scent.
Enter history’s part in the Cultivated equation.
“The original concept started with, ‘Has anyone taken antique pieces and turned them into candles,?'” O’Morrow says.
People had antique pieces passed down from relatives, collected from sales, gifted from friends, etc., but what additional function could they provide besides being something to pretty to look at?
Scouring antique stores, estate sales and other online avenues, Cultivated Candle Co. sources vessels like 1950s tobacco tins, vintage Mason Jars, Indiana Glass and Carnival Glass and gives them new life as candles.
“People want pieces that bring a home together, and by combining those with candles you can really do that,” O’Morrow says.
Keeping with the theme of more than just something that smells good, Cultivated added more rustic wooden box candles to its lineup. Developed to be fire resistant, “We directly pour the wax into the wood,” O’Morrow says, making it unusual in the world of candles.
With the staying power of their vessels, Cultivated offers a refill program for their candles. Customers purchase the first piece at original price, then can order a refill online for $9 no matter the original size.
Cultivated’s scents, “They really stem from experiences that we’ve had in our life,” O’Morrow says.
A trip to Red River Gorge provided the inspiration for Antebellum, a fresh fir and mulberry mixture. Another offering, Speakeasy, calls on bourbon, butterscotch and pipe tobacco, while Monopoly has notes of vanilla. The names for the scents are outside the basic, with O’Morrow explaining that they pay homage to American history while adding another element to the vintage, cozy feel.
Cultivated primarily sells their candles online and at various trade shows throughout the region, and they are all hand-made from a studio at 400 West Rich. The only candle makers in the building, O’Morrow says working within the artist community has been great.
Having officially launched in Mid-October, Cultivated is focused primarily on individual sales to consumers and finding the right pieces that people want. Looking at wholesale opportunities isn’t far behind, though. Ultimately O’Morrow would also like to see partnerships with wedding or event planners to offer Cultivated’s customization as a unique branding tool.
For more information, visit cultivatedcandleco.com.
All photos provided by Cultivated Candle Co.