NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has hurt many companies, but is it also providing a boost to others.
The demand for candles is high across the country. With millions of Americans doing their jobs remotely, many are using candles to help signal the end of the workday and transition the home office back into a home.
E-commerce site Etsy says searches for candles have tripled in the last three months when compared to 2019.
Kathy LaVanier, vice president at the National Candle Association, says they’ve never seen an increase like this before. Their members sell 85% of the candles in the U.S.
LaVanier said there’s been about a 30% increase in demand for candles since the pandemic started.
“As far as manufacturing goes, I know most of us are running 24/7. We are struggling to keep up with demand,” she said.
The National Candle Association estimates the candle industry is worth $3.5 billion in the United States, with millennials being the biggest consumers.
Keila Olea and Marysa Wentzel were furloughed from their jobs at Disney World in mid-March. Like millions of Americans, the roommates found themselves buying more candles for comfort. That sparked an idea for a new business–Violent Delights Co. The two now craft candles inspired by scenes from their favorite musicals, including Hamilton, Anastasia, Moulin Rouge, and Newsies.
Their business quickly took off on Etsy and through word of mouth.
“The day of, at 11 a.m., we were like, ‘Okay, we’re officially open.’ And within that first hour, our phone didn’t stop ringing,” said Olea. “We’re definitely doing better than we ever thought.”
Part of the appeal they said is that scents can spark memories.
“We can’t go anywhere right now. We can’t visit our families. We can’t travel places really, so if one of our scents can take you somewhere else while you’re at home, I think that that’s kind of what any candlemaker is hoping for,” Wentzel said.
A little bright spot for so many still stuck at home.
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