It all started in December 1969. I was sixteen, and had a big problem; just days remained before Christmas, and I was broke. While considering my options for Mom's gift, inspiration struck. I gathered my childhood crayons and found an empty quart milk container. I melted them in a pot on the kitchen stove, poured the hot liquid into the carton and added a wick "borrowed" from a candle in our dining room. The broken bits of wax from that ill-fated dinner candle went into the milk carton as well. Several hours later, my first candle sat proudly on the kitchen table.
A visiting neighbor admired it and asked me, (to my astonishment), if I d sell it to her. I did for $1.36, and instantly spent the proceeds on a box of proper paraffin at the local grocer's. Thus armed, I made two more milk-carton candles, sold one and gave one to my Mom for Christmas. Again I reinvested my profits in more wax. Friends and neighbors enjoyed my simple candles and continued to purchase them as swiftly as my family could drink quarts of milk and orange juice!
By 1973 my hobby had turned into a one-man business. Blocks of wax and boxes of finished candles nearly filled my parents cellar and garage. At their not-so-gentle urging I moved my operation into a former paper mill in nearby Holyoke, Massachusetts. For the next year or so, I worked alone. I would pour candles in the morning, then change into my sales clothes for an afternoon of sales calls on gift shops. That night would often see me finishing and wrapping the morning's production.
Eventually I could afford to hire help, and by 1982 the Yankee Candle Company employed over thirty workers. We occupied all three floors of the mill and had no room to grow. Our first-floor retail store was catching on, but the inner-city location made it difficult for customers to find us. It was time to seek greener pastures.
In August 1983 we broke ground in rural South Deerfield, Massachusetts, twenty miles to the north. Our new 1,600 square foot factory store opened in November, with our factory slated for startup three months later. Worries about moving to the country were quickly put to rest, our ten-space retail parking lot overflowed with customers on our first day! And to think, it all started with a gift for my Mom . . .
Today, with over 150 fragrances, Yankee offer the world's largest and most compelling selection of candle and home fragrance scents. In addition to the renowned Housewarmer® line of scented candles, they also provide a wide range of seasonal and specialty scented candles, home fragrance products, car fresheners and candle accessories.
Along with the regular introduction of new Yankee Candle® products and fragrances, they have also grown by adding other brands to the portfolio, including Beanswax brand of pure, natural candles and related products + Home Remedies and added to the premium scented candles, candle accessories, and other home decor products.
With every fragrance Yankee Candle introduce, thier reputation is on the line. It is not enough for a Yankee® fragrance to be as good as competitors' scents. It must be better, because it's what you expect of Yankee Candles …Each fragrance has to possess the realism, accuracy and pleasantness of the true flower, food, fruit, place, or experience that inspired it.