AOA Startup Grant 2018

Weird Beard Candle Co.

Startups2016 WeirdBeard RV mockup

Project: Weird Beard Candle Co., based in Troy, is a small batch, handpoured soy candle company that offers gender neutral candles with with scents and branding that appeals to pop culture aficionados.

Who: Mike and Crystal Capritta

Startups2016 WeirdBeard product overview

Short bio
Officially launched on March 1, 2015 by husband and wife team, Mike and Crystal Capritta, Weird Beard Candle Co. is a small batch, handpoured soy candle company that offers gender neutral candles with with scents and branding that appeals to pop culture aficionados. Crystal has run her own photo and art print business for over eight years, and her day job has her working out of Etsy's Hudson office. Mike has played bass in local post punk band Severe Severe while working several day jobs to support his creative endeavors. Both are natives of the capital district, who put down roots in Troy five years ago, and like to tell anyone who will listen how great their hometown is. #EnjoyTroy

Startups2016 WeirdBeard peanut butter coffee porter

A description of the proposed project
Weird Beard has hit the local / regional craft fair circuit pretty hard in an effort to grow the business and connect with their audience. In order to expand the craft fairs and events that Weird Beard can attend, they are looking to purchase a vintage RV that they can use to not only travel to these events, but also use as a mobile cooking station for making stock on the fly... a la Walt & Jesse's RV on Breaking Bad.

[The image at the top is an artistic rendering of what this future RV would look like.]

Startups2016 WeirdBeard the lumbersexual

While Weird Beard is hoping to focus on growth in 2017, each batch is still being made and poured by Mike in the kitchen of the Capritta's 1890 brick row house in Troy. Weird Beard has an amazing opportunity to travel the country to attend craft fairs and markets for 4-6 weeks straight next year. In order to do this, purchasing a vintage RV to cook and travel in is key to making this a reality. They'd like to purchase a vintage RV because it's more cost effective than a newer RV, but it also fits very well with the nostalgic vibe they like to incorporate into their branding. This RV would allow Mike and Crystal to bring their dogs on the road with them, carry a significant amount of stock and supplies, and if they sell out of anything in particular, the stovetop will allow Mike to make more stock as needed. Weird Beard is hoping that by traveling across the country to these markets, they can not only share their story, but also share the story of the current revitalization of their home base, Troy, New York, and be ambassadors for the Capital Region.

Startups2016 WeirdBeard say my name

How would the grant money help?
Weird Beard would use this grant toward the purchase of an RV from the late 1970s-early 1990s. Based on research, RVs from this time period can range from anywhere between $2,500-$7,000, depending on the size and condition. This grant would offer a significant portion of the cost and would really help make this dream a reality. Having this mobile maker space will also help Weird Beard scale the business as they continue to grow.

Startups2016 WeirdBeard mega mandarin

Startups2016 WeirdBeard saturday morning cartoons

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