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Hidden Gems: Meet Michelle Barnes of Glassell Candle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Barnes. 

Hi Michelle, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Gladly! Glassell Candle Co started as a way to add quality, non-toxic candles to the market. As a candle lover, I wanted to create scented candles that were pleasant and not overwhelming. I also wanted candles that were visually beautiful and modern. After a year of research and testing, including trying over forty scents and pouring many test candles, I created a formula and look I loved. Glassell Candle Co launched in February 2021. We created an online store and participated in many pop-ups and craft fairs to spread our name. We are now featured in two stores- Made to Last Market and Studio Colfax- in Denver and hope to partner with a few more.

With my background in social work, it was essential to incorporate an element of giving back into the business. We donate to help at-risk and homeless youth. Through my experience working with vulnerable populations, I have seen how much of an impact generosity makes. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
When deciding to start a candle company, I had no clue how much science and precision would be involved. The testing and experimentation phase took much longer than anticipated because we wanted to perfect the candles before releasing them into the market. My focus was to create candles that burned clean and smelled up a room without being overwhelming. One lesson I learned is the importance of brand awareness and social media presence for our online retail company.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Glassell Candle Co is a woman-owned candle company based in Denver. All candles are hand-poured and hand-labeled in small batches. Our values include customer commitment, sustainability, and community. We encourage customers to recycle used 4oz tins and repurpose 10oz jars. We recently launched a Recycle Program, in collaboration with Made to Last Market, in which customers can turn in five used 10oz jars to receive a free 4oz candle. One component of our business that surprises and pleases customers is the element of giving back. We donate to a non-profit organization that counsels and empowers at-risk and homeless youth. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Based on the growth we are experiencing, we anticipate opening up a brick and mortar store within the next five years. We foresee Glassell being a reputable candle company with a presence in retail stores throughout the U.S. As the company grows, we plan to employ youth who have experienced homelessless as a way to empower at-risk youth.

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