Project: Collar City Candle, a small-batch artisanal manufacturing company producing high quality candles, soap, and one-of-a-kind scented wax vessels for plants
Who: Josh and Jamie Wallbank
Collar City Candle is a small-batch artisanal manufacturing company producing high quality candles, soap, and one-of-a-kind scented wax vessels for plants. Owned and operated by husband and wife duo Josh and Jamie Wallbank of Troy.
Jamie's background in marketing and management mixed with Josh's experience selling plants and flowers helped turn an impulsive holiday gift of a candle-making kit back in 2004 into an innovative business. Every Saturday we sell at the Troy Makers Market, a partnership between the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market and the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District.
A description of the proposed project
We chose the name Collar City Candle because of the rich manufacturing history of our beloved city and felt it captured the essence and passion of who we are. Our weekly presence at the Troy Makers Market and our many collaborations have put us on the fast track of growth so the next step for us is to change the legal structure of the business from a partnership to a corporation, trademark our name, and copyright our scented wax vessels.
How would the grant money help?
Collar City Candle would use the grant money to help cover the costs associated with incorporating the business, trademarking the name, and copyrighting our invention. Though our legal fees will likely exceed the amount of the grant, the funds will prevent us from tying up our own capital so we can maintain our current production schedule.
We've reached a milestone where it's become apparent we need to have this foundation in place to continue growing. It's also very important for us to protect our ideas and unique products from imitation while giving our company the proper structure to expand and bring in employees to foster our growth.
We like to think part of what differentiates us from the rest of the candle producers out there is that the art of candle-making found us and we've pushed it to new levels. We've spent the past 12 years perfecting our craft and couldn't imagine a life together without making candles. We take pride in knowing this company is a culmination of our love for each other and the products we create.
Our invention of the scented wax vessel for houseplants was derived from a simple mistake where something went very wrong and we realized the huge potential to bring together our love of candles with plants. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have found a passion that we both share while strengthening our ties to the local community. We've built a brand by staying true to our desire to produce unique items and working with other businesses that inspire us. In the next year we intend to host more "Craft & Draft" candle-making workshops, sustain our current collaborations while forming new ones, and take on at least one market per month in addition to our weekly presence alongside the Troy Farmers' Market.