Life in Our Foothills – January 2024 – Creating Your Own Cozy with Green Creek Candle Company
Published 12:49 pm Friday, January 5, 2024
It’s always interesting to hear the stories of how people make their way to our foothills. Ten years ago, Amanda and David Edwards were small-town folks happily living in Indiana. David, a mechanical engineer, was offered a job in the Upstate and in 2013 they soon packed up and found a small apartment in Greenville. City life was good, but country living was more to their liking.
Weekends found the Edwards family taking road trips exploring the Upstate and foothills in hopes of finding the perfect place to call home. On a drive around Lake Lanier, they decided to turn left onto US 176. They saw the mountains ahead of them and then drove into the picturesque town of Tryon. They became obsessed with the area. With two school-age children at the time, the quality of the local school system mattered. It didn’t take a lot of research before they realized that Polk County Schools are rated as some of the best in North Carolina.
From that chance left turn into Tryon, they started looking for a piece of country to call their own. In 2017, they settled into a home in the Green Creek community. Their love of the area became infectious. Amanda’s parents soon followed them down from Indiana, and it wasn’t long after that her brother moved down as well. Their enthusiasm for the area has unofficially made Amanda and David recruiters for Polk County. She said it feels like home here, and the family quickly settled in.
The candle making business is something relatively new to Amanda and David. Amanda has a degree in archeology and had been working as an assistant museum docent. That was back home. Here, Amanda was happy to take on the role of stay-at-home mom. But as her children were reaching high school age (the oldest is now finishing graduate school in New Mexico and her youngest is currently a senior at Polk County High School), she had more time to explore other options including some writing for Life in Our Foothills and working part time at the Polk County Library.
Candle making was just an every-so-often hobby, mostly making gifts for friends and family. It has only been in the past year that Amanda considered the idea of turning her hobby into a business. Her mother, an accomplished stained-glass artist, had been setting up weekly at the Landrum Farmers Market. She suggested to her daughter that she come join her at the market. They could keep each other company and perhaps she might even sell a few candles. It wasn’t long before Amanda was selling out. Amanda and David decided the time was right to ramp up their candle endeavors and out of that was launched the Green Creek Candle Company.
It takes more than an idea to launch a successful business. In addition to a business plan, a growing company needs space. They commandeered a room in their house and every inch is filled with the signs of their business. One corner is research and development, one area is set up for production, a set of shelves serves as their warehouse, and the packing and shipping department takes up what’s left of the space. The office is wherever Amanda plops down with her laptop.
It’s a busy environment. David, now working in Spartanburg, comes home to give Amanda a hand. His engineering skills help with figuring the various ratios of the fragrance oils needed to make just the right scent. Just like a scientific lab, there’s a lot of trial and error. These aren’t just essential oils where you plop in a few drops and call it a fragrance. Unlike the name-brand candles you might pick up from Amazon, the candles from Green Creek Candle Company are handcrafted to provide the right amount of fragrance to bring back a memory, help one relax, reduce stress, and even improve sleep.
Amanda and David take a lot of pride in their product. Instead of using paraffin which is a petroleum product that can produce smoke and even give some people headaches, they use soy oils to produce their wax. A quality cotton wick ensures a good burn, and they even provide instructions on how to take care of your candle. They also take pride in choosing just the right vessel for the candle, be it glass or a silver tin. Each candle container has an in-house printed label applied by hand and Amanda doesn’t send one out until she’s added her own personal note.
Amanda and David are a team. David handles the web work including photography and keeps the accounting up to date. Amanda is chief at everything else including the production. One day perhaps they’ll have a storefront. In the meantime, you can find their candles (over 50 different varieties) on their website as well as at the Landrum Farmers Market (in season) and in the Shops at LAM (Landrum Antique Mall) in downtown Landrum.
Word of mouth has been incredible, but that’s not by accident. Amanda works hard managing her social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. And when it comes to marketing, she’s always thinking outside the box. Having a great product doesn’t mean people will just come knocking. It takes patience and occasionally a lucky break.
Amanda had such a break this fall. She’s an avid reader, and especially enjoys novels by Jeneva Rose. When Amanda saw a Jeneva Rose TikTok complaining about this person named Scott…the gears in her mind started turning. Scott was trolling Jeneva to the point of being obnoxious. Amanda saw her chance.
She created a new fragrance just for the occasion and named it, “Scott Probably Hates this Candle.” She carefully wrapped up the new candle and shipped it to Jeneva Rose. Jeneva promptly recorded a special TikTok to thank Amanda and to pick fun at Scott. It was a thrill for Amanda to see her favorite author thanking her for the gift. Amanda reciprocated by uploading her own TikTok reaction video and the sales started skyrocketing. The two videos have already garnered over 300,000 views.
But Amanda knows that you can’t just assume that one bit of luck will carry you through. She’s constantly thinking ahead to what could be next. In addition to their big selection of fragrances, Amanda is now coming up with a book-inspired list of candles. Her motto for the Green Creek Candle Company is “create your own cozy.”
It’s a given that any one of her candles will do just that. But of course, there are too many great choices to stick with just one.
Where to Find the “Scott Probably Hates this Candle” candle and all the others:
All the candles and other items can be found on their website: www.GreenCreekCandleCompany.com
Email Amanda with questions at: email@example.com. You can also drop by the Shops at LAM and search for Amanda’s display table.