Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
Our names are Jacob and Stephen and we run our growing company, Calyan Wax Co.. We are young professionals who want to use our business drive and passion to make an impact in our community. We left our previous jobs to start this crazy journey of starting a candle company in hopes of giving lasting freedom and hope to local survivors of human trafficking.
What exactly is Calyan Wax Co.?
In the simplest terms, Calyan Wax Co. is a candle company. However, we see ourselves as more than just a company that makes and sells quality candles. We view ourselves as a funding resource for nonprofits deep in the fight against human trafficking. We want to bridge the gap between the everyday consumer and the nonprofits that are in need of funds to further their impact. Right now we are partnered with a nonprofit called Traffick911. Their tagline is “Freeing youth from sex trafficking”. In the past year and a half, Calyan has been able to donate over $23,000 to support Traffick911’s life changing work. We cannot speak highly enough about the Traffick911 team and the work they are doing. We are so proud to partner with them.
What inspired you to start Calyan Wax Co.?
Jacob started Calyan Wax Co. with the dream of creating a highly influential company that can be a sustainable funding effort for local nonprofits, specifically nonprofits working with survivors of human trafficking. Our goal is to build a sustainable business, donate as much money as we possibly can, and invite others along to see what we can accomplish together.
I guess you can say we are driven by a calling to serve others. We want to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
How did you come up with the name?
The name Calyan is a combination of two words, California and Vivian. California is where Jacob dreamed up the idea of creating a business that will not only offer an incredible product, but will also be a sustainable funding resource for local nonprofits.
Vivian is the name of Jacob’s mom. She has been a huge encouragement and one of the main reasons we can exist as a company. She has graciously allowed her house to be our headquarters, office, warehouse, and production shop for the past year and a half. The fact that she hasn’t kicked us out yet is a huge blessing. We can’t thank her enough.
You support survivors of human trafficking, can you tell us about that?
This is one of our favorite questions. We love talking about our mission and the work we are privileged to support. We partner with Traffick911 who is helping young survivors of sex trafficking experience hope and freedom outside of that life. Traffick911 does this by hiring advocates who are committed to counseling and encouraging youth survivors. These advocates are on call 24/7 and respond to crisis calls within 60 minutes. They arrive on site where a young person is being rescued from a sex trafficking situation and they do not leave until that young person is safe and has the care they need. The advocates will continue meeting with these survivors throughout the healing journey. They do not give up on these kids. Currently, the advocates meet regularly with over 70 local survivors of sex trafficking. They show love and give counsel. They empower and speak worth. Because of the faithfulness of these advocates, young survivors are starting to dream again and are pursuing a future that otherwise would not be possible.
Is there a favorite product?
It’s hard to pick a favorite. We are really excited about the new scents we have just released. The Cedar + Tobacco in the amber jar is probably our top choice right now. Also the Oakmoss + Amber never fails. We tend to enjoy the earthy and musky scents. But really we love them all.
What is your favorite part about running Calyan Wax Co.?
Great question. There’s so many things we love about running this company. We love designing new products with our customers in mind. We love production days where we get to focus on crafting the best soy candles we can. We love developing relationships with local store owners and entrepreneurs. We love hearing stories of how much people love the candles. But our favorite part is definitely getting to talk about our partner nonprofit, Traffick911, and their incredible work we get to support. There is real and tangible life change happening every day and we get to play a role in making that happen. We love sharing this with people and inviting them on this journey of seeing lives restored by simply enjoying a fantastic-smelling, locally-made candle. Our mission is what drives us and keeps us going.
What is your least favorite part about running Calyan Wax Co.?
Our least favorite part is definitely the less exciting behind the scenes work. For Jacob that includes things like data entry and ordering raw materials. For Stephen that includes anything regarding numbers and money. We keep ourselves balanced my making time for the things we love to do. In the end, the behind the scenes work is necessary to allow us to grow and share our products and mission with others.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Local markets/events, social media (Instagram and Facebook), and emails. Face to face interactions at local markets is probably the most valuable win. We can clearly share our mission and products and our customers get to see our passion for the candles and for giving back to those in need. We are also very active on Instagram. We keep everyone up to date on new developments and share videos of us making candles.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Wow there’s so much we could say. I’m sure this has been said before but don’t give up. Live for your dream and surround yourself with honest people that will cheer you on as well as gently correct you. For us there have been so many moments of doubt and discouragement. There have been moments of success mixed with anxiety about the future. We have to remind each other of the reason we are doing this. Our dream is to make a difference and to do as much good as we can with the life we have. Whatever your dream is for your company or project, it’s worth fighting for.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
Recently we have tried our best to focus on a proverb from the Bible. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
We believe the highest calling in life is to care for the needy. This company is our small part to play in speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thanks so everyone who took the time to read our story. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our passion with you. Please reach out if you have in any way benefited by what we’ve shared.