At Mississippi Candle Co. we are real people with real big dreams and a work ethic that you couldn't imagine. We work hard, we work long hours, we laugh, we cry, and get overwhelmed. We have overcome so much since we started making candles in 2018. The biggest was fear and self-doubt. When I quit my full time job in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, I was scared but I only showed my fear to my husband. The second I sent my notice my body started shaking and my tummy started to burn like I was going to vomit. But I had to have faith that God had my back and that he was leading me into the direction I needed to take. When I quit my job in 2020 I had 14 wholesale accounts and we may have sold a candle or two online a month. Just because you throw up a website doesn't mean that you get automatic sales, you have to work harder on that than anything else. We now have over 200 small and large retailers that carry our products. It's crazy what a difference a year can make!
A little back story on me, Jessica, the founder of Mississippi Candle Co. I was raised in Foley, AL by a single mom who worked three jobs but still made time to coach my softball team, lead my girl scout troop, take me to dance, and was at every single small activity and big milestone. She is the true super woman. She had help from my grandmother who has super strength so I guess you could say I come from a long line of that. My grandmother is our backbone, she was the reason we were able to overcome the hard times. My mother and grandmother did everything for me as a child. I can't tell you how grateful I am for both of them. I was raised by women who loved me, they are strong, wise, they taught me about life and to care for others. We didn't live in a fancy house but I never once went without.
When I was 19 years old I regularly went to a tanning salon down the street from my house with my friends. We started to notice closeout sale signs all over the place. I originally wanted to buy one of their beds but then the thought came into my head to ask how much for the business. After several long talks with my mother and grandmother we bought a business. I became a business owner with my mother when I was 19 years old. I ran the business, she did the books. We did it together for five years until I finished college and met my husband and we moved to Gulfport, MS. We fell in love with the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The tanning business did well but it has "seasons" for doing well. Just like anything else really but even more so with tanning. (Support your local tanning salons, the small people need you too!) Then I started working for Verizon independent retailer.
I started working as a retail sales representative at a small locally owned retailer for Verizon. The question I was asked the most was, "Is this a real Verizon store?" I wanted to respond with, "No, we just sell mini computers to people who ask silly questions." but instead I answered their questions as, "We are Verizon Wireless independent retailer." Which than most walked out the door faster than I could get "independent" out of my mouth. At the time, I didn't understand why there was such a big "to do" over this issue. Now, I know that people are scared of "off brand" items. It's the difference between Great Value or off brand cheese and Sargento cheese. They expect less and are unfamiliar with the product. With our brand, Mississippi Candle Co. we strive to be a Sargento one day. We want to be known, we want to be heard. Our current customers know what to expect from our products. Great fragrance, cute vessels. great product and amazing customer service.
At Mississippi Candle Co. we strive to be original with all of our products. We add a twist of this or extra that. We look for unique vessels and we name our candles after cities and towns in Mississippi. How could you have Mississippi Candle Co. as a name and not do that? People love looking for their town in our collection at art festivals or even the boutiques and small businesses that sell our products. But with the popularity comes people who find inspiration with our products or name of our business like any other manufacturer. Someone put "Mississippi Candle Company" on a label and sold it to a local Mercantile and art festivals. Friends of family find inspiration with our logo, products and vessels as well. We love that people love our products. It means that we are doing something good, we are making an impact, and setting a standard.