The holiday season is all abuzz for new business owner Sarah Jones.
While one might say that life as the mom of two-year-old twins and wife of a firefighter is enough to keep anyone busy, that’s not the case for the relocated Manteca native.
Jones recently opened Jones Candle Company on the west end of Oakdale. The newly opened business is at 1214 W. F St., Suite A2, Oakdale. Store hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Everyone has just been so welcoming,” the new business owner said. “Now with a small business, everyone is really rallying behind me which is so nice.”
The Manteca transplant shared the birth of her boys was just the nudge she and husband Brett needed to make the move to Oakdale earlier this year. And that move to Oakdale was also perhaps the nudge the candle maker needed to take her passion from internet to brick and mortar.
According to Jones, it was in August of this year that she and her husband were challenged by the home kitchen takeover of candle making. It’s a process which takes two days from start to finish and is done 100 percent by Jones. Noting her husband’s encouragement to find space (away from the home) to continue her endeavor, Jones stumbled upon the location she now calls ideal.
“Literally in one day I changed my mind and I jumped in,” she said, sharing that her online business, which was launched in 2018, was doing well.
Acknowledging the void in the community for a candle shop and potential need, Jones signed the lease and had the store ready in two months to be open for the holiday season.
“I really didn’t see myself having a physical location, until I saw this spot. I can have both worlds here,” she said of the production space, office space and retail space.
It may be fair to say five years ago she also didn’t see herself in the candle making business. Yet a simple article read in 2017 changed that as well. The article Jones shared noted a potential connection of paraffin wax to cancer.
“This is what triggered me,” she confessed. “I had no clue of this, nor did my family. No one I really talked to knew what was in paraffin wax. As soon as I got that knowledge I felt I couldn’t sit on that. I had to do something.”
As a self-described candle fan, Jones shared she threw out all of her candles, once she gained this knowledge. Instead she began researching, learning and producing soy wax candles in the spring of 2017. By November of that year she decided to try and sell the six-ounce tins to co-workers and family members for holiday gifts. The sales took off.
“Three years ago there wasn’t all of these candle makers,” Jones noted.
“Who I give this success to is word of mouth,” she continued. “Without people sharing and gifting my stuff I would not have new customers. That’s the only way this has been working and I’m just so grateful.”
But a cottage business doesn't grow and succeed without some hustle by the owner. Being creative with getting her product “out there,” Jones would host “pop-up” events in the banquet room of her neighborhood Mountain Mike’s Pizza so customers could experience and smell the products.
“I only did one size at a time,” she said of her initial start. “I perfected that craft, before I moved up to another size, because there’s so many variables to making a candle. It’s really a recipe. Each candle maker has their own recipe.”
Since that initial launch, Jones Candle Co. now offers a variety of sizes as well as scents and varying scented products as well, including wax melts and hanging diffusers.
“I just launched those and I can’t keep up with those either,” she admitted.
The products are definitely a labor of love.
“I pour every single candle myself,” Jones said of the process. “No one else has ever touched the candle making process than me. I do everything. I like to be on the ground floor. I don’t ever foresee letting someone else make my product.”
Now with two part-time employees the candle maker shared she plans to train team members on certain areas of the behind the scenes which will help her with the business.
“I love when people come and they’re excited to talk to me. When I’m able to educate them on proper candle burning techniques and (have) their mind blown, because that’s how I was three years ago,” Jones said. “Candles are supposed to trigger a memory. If you connect with a scent it’s going to give you a memory.”