Gilbert Sun News - 09.27.2020

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BUSINESS

Business GilbertSunNews.com

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

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Gilbert woman’s candle business burning bright ular scents are apple and maple bourbon, vanilla pumpkin marshmallow, and birthday cake. midst the chaos and uncertainties Not only does Harris rely on of the pandemic, Gilbert resident the help from her neighbors, but Amy Harris has been melting her said her family also plays a role in stress away. helping with the business. She’s pouring her extra time into a “My daughter likes to sample candle-making business, a dream that all the scents. She’s four so she has burned bright for her for a while. gives me her honest opinion,” said “I’ve always been a huge candle Harris. person,” Harris waxed enthusiastically. Harris’ said her 3-year-old son “My mom worked at Yankee Candle and enjoys handing the packages to always had candles around.” the mailman and credited her husHarris, who works full-time in public band who helps manage their kids affairs for State Farm, said she got while she works on the candles. inspired about a year ago after she had “It’s a family thing,” said Harris. purchased several candles and was frusHarris also honors other memtrated by their cost. bers of her family through her An idea flickered and she began digpartnership with Stephen Siller Amy Harris prepares another batch of candles in her Gilbert home. She donates a portion of sales to a nonprofit that helps Tunnels to Tower Foundation, a ging on the DIY-ing of candle-making. When COVID-19 hit, Harris said she families of the Stephen Stiller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, named after a firefighter who died on 9/11 (Pablo Robles/GSN Staff) nonprofit that helps families of was able to devote more attention to fallen first responders. starting the business. home more on the weekend when it’s start-up process had begun several “My father, sister and broth“I’m working from home right now been so hot.” months prior. er-in-law are all in law enforcement,” so I no longer have a commute to work, M.C. Candle Co., named after Harris’ “I researched different techniques, said Harris. “When we lived in Illinois, which saves me like an hour each day,” children Mali and Casey, officially learned about the types of waxes, wicks, we heard about a trooper killed in the said Harris. “We’ve also been staying launched in April, but for Harris, the and vessels. I joined candle making line of duty and the T2T Foundation groups on social media and started paid off the mortgage for the family. watching YouTube videos on the pro- I always had them in the back of my cess,” she said. mind.” It took Harris about six months altoWhen starting M.C. Candle Co., Harris gether to come up with a good process contacted T2T and said that within for the types of candles she was trying days, she had a contract set up with to create. them. She now donates 15 percent of all Once she had the basics down, she her sales to the group. said she recruited volunteers from her While Harris said the business has had neighborhood to find out how the can- its challenges – especially when it came dles’ different scents might play in the to the amount of time and resources it marketplace. took to figure out how to get the perfect “This was one of the hardest parts,” product – she said it’s been rewarding said Harris. ”I didn’t want to have too to see the business grow. many choices. Having other people’s “We’ve been way busier than what opinions really helped.” we expected,” she said. “People love Harris still relies on the same group of candles. It’s been extremely gratifying neighbors every time she launches new knowing all this time and effort has scents. paid off.” Amy Harris relies on neighbors to provide the sniff tests for new scents she creates for her candles. (Pablo Robles/ GSN) Right now, she said her most popInfo: mccandleco.com

BY MONIQUE SELEEN GSN Contributor

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