How social enterprise Eleventh Candle combines human-trafficking mission with candle sales in new shops.
Eleventh Candle Co., a social enterprise dedicated to hiring women who have survived human trafficking, exploitation and addiction, plans to open its second and third locations soon.
The company will open its second site as a free-standing kiosk at Polaris Fashion Place across from the Apple store on Oct. 5. Its third location is expected to open Nov. 1 as a temporary store at the Mall at Tuttle Crossing by the downstairs Starbucks.
The nonprofit candle-making company’s first location opened in April in the Madery, a “maker and market space” aimed at providing a home for a series of social enterprises, in the basement of the Kilbourne Memorial Building, 752 High St., on Worthington’s Village Green.
Eleventh Candle sells candles at the Worthington location and employs survivors of human trafficking and addiction in making the candles there, too.
Former hospice nurse Amber Runyon, CEO and founder of Eleventh Candle Co., decided to start the company after a visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, convinced her that she had to help women who had survived to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction.
“I just Googled the cheapest company to start, and it was candles,” she said. “I’m a nurse by trade and have no business experience, so it seemed the way to go.”
In addition to selling candles, Eleventh Candle’s Polaris and Tuttle locations will offer educational materials about human trafficking.
“As I always say, one candle can make a difference,” she said. “With our retail shops at high-visibility locations like Polaris and Tuttle, we will be able to exponentially touch more people and bring our message to millions locally. We are both raising attention to this escalating social issue and being a part of the solution.”
The candle company plans to set up 10 more retail outlets in the Midwest over the next three years with funding, production space and other operations underwritten by COhatch, the co-working company based in Worthington.
At its new locations, Eleventh Candle will offer its 11-scent candle collection, room sprays, cards, gifts subscription boxes and apparel. In addition, Eleventh Candle will host candle-making parties at the Polaris location and at the Madery location for customers who want to pour their own candles to create their own scents from 40 fragrances.
The Polaris and Tuttle mall locations will offer grand-opening specials during the first week they are open. Other sales will be offered at the three locations as well as online at eleventhcandleco.com at various points during the holiday shopping season.
The above article by Tim Feran first published on dispatch.com in Sep, 2018.