Fragrances from Crowe's® Candles
When we started this business 34 years ago, our motto was “Guaranteed to be the best candle you will ever buy!” This is a motto we have never wavered from and continue to stand behind.
We began as a family owned and operated company, and in order to maintain our dedication to making a great candle at an affordable price, we have remained family owned and operated.
All of our raw materials are ordered here in the United States.
Candle-making business celebrates 10 years
By DONNA HICKMANDaily Journal Staff Writer Oct 1, 2001
FREDERICKTOWN -- If Marie and Steve Crowe are out to keep their company's secrets, they've got the perfect place to do it. You can't find Crowe's Candle Company near Fredericktown unless you're looking for it.
You have to travel deep into the heart of Madison County (so deep you're almost in Bollinger County by the time you get there) and over a couple of narrow bridges with signs that warn they're impassable during high water. Then down a gravel road, you'll find the white farmhouse with the warehouse in back where candles are made.
"My mom made candles and I started making them in the 1970's," said Marie. "I just made a few for friends to start out and then I sold some. We started the company in 1991 after we sold at the Azalea Festival. The business seemed to take off after that."
Crowe's Country Candles, in the canning jars with the lids on top, became a hit. They've since changed the name to Crowe’s Candle Company, but the product remains the same.
What started out as a home business that allowed Marie to continue to care for her family, has become a family-friendly business that allows the Crowes to be with their grandchildren. The whole family helps the business thrive from making the candles to sending out their newsletter and keeping up with orders.
"We used to go to about 47 craft shows a year and we traveled in a van with four kids and crates full of candles," Steve explained. "Now we do about 20 shows and we ship our candles to all 50 states and five countries."
Almost every day of the year, while many of their neighbors may be pouring their first cup of coffee, Steve is pouring wax for candles. He works about 12 hours a day.
"Everything we do by hand," Marie said. "Steve's dad makes, cuts and hand-tabs the wicks. I put the labels on. Kendra Couch comes in every afternoon and puts the lids on the candles and adds the fragrance labels. Then she puts them in the boxes to ship."
Distributors order the candles to re-sell in their own shops. There are even independent distributors who may have home parties with Crowe’s Candles. The candle company's web site is located at www.crowescandles.net and orders may be place there, too.
The Crowes make candles in 68 scents. The most popular scent is vanilla, followed by cinnamon and Christmas spice. The newest scents are apple, banana nut bread, hazelnut, plumeria and tranquility.
"The scents were suggested by our customers," Steve explained and added with a chuckle, "I've got about another thousand suggestions."
Steve mixes all the scents from oils. It's a job for which he admits he received little training. His wife claims it's a God-given ability.
"He has a phenomenal sense of smell. Steve can eat something and tell you what the spices are in it and then re-create it almost perfectly," Marie marveled. "It's not something we ever imagined he would do."
Steve was operating their farm of more than 300 acres and working construction when he was hurt on the job a few years ago. Doctors said he couldn't return to his construction work which had been the mainstay of the family's income.
"I called my mom and worried what Steve was going to do and she said, 'Don't you see this is God's way of getting Steve involved in the business full-time?' and I guess she was right."
Steve admits he loves what he does.
"I love going out and talking to people at shows. I love the business. I am a blessed man," he said. "God is responsible for this business because it's something I never dreamed I'd do."
Marie started making candles in the first place, she says, because she couldn't find a candle that burned the way she wanted. Now, confident of her own product, she sells her candles, "Satisfaction Guaranteed."
"We have an unconditional 100 percent guarantee this is the best candle you'll ever buy," she explained. "If for any reason, you are unhappy with one of our candles, you can take our candle back where you got it and exchange it for another one of our candles. That's true even if you just don't like the fragrance."
She says Crowe’s Candles burn evenly and give off a fragrance within 15 minutes.
The largest of the candles, the pint, burns 100 hours and costs $8 from the company. Every day, the Crowes make 500 candles of various sizes, from pints to half-pints, votives and salt shaker candles.
The fall is their busiest season for craft fairs, though they say the demand for the candles never seems to wane. They look forward to setting up their booth at Kimmswick during the annual Apple Butter Festival Oct. 27-28. They'll also sell in Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois and various shows around Missouri before year's end.
But the Crowes are quick to say they don't measure success in just dollars and cents.
"We could be huge," said Marie. "We could be a bigger business than we are. But we want to maintain control over what we do and as long as our hands touch each candle, we feel good about what we're doing.
"If someone wants to do crafts as a business, I would tell them to pick the thing they love most and believe in it and give it your heart and soul. Ask for God's help."
And, Steve added, "Keep your priorities straight."
In every box they ship, they send a message about their own priorities. It's a letter called "My Precious Friend" that talks about how much Jesus wants to be a part of every life.
"We couldn't have done this without his help," said Marie.
"By sending this in our product, we're sharing more with our customers than just our candles," said Steve. "We're sharing our hearts."
Over the years, the most frequent question by individuals is about our scents and the fragrance it produces. Choosing a scent is purely a matter of personal preference, but it helps to know what factors to look for in Crowe’s Candles that you’re considering.
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