For Greg Waddell, the idea of an entrepreneurial endeavor—creating a candle company —wasn’t on his radar until he and his wife Christine were shopping on the Isle of Skye during a visit to Scotland.
The couple kept noticing the same high-end brand of candles offered, and since he gave his marketing and design clients custom-made candles as holiday gifts each year, why not try to make a few on his own?
With research and commandeering his home kitchen as a manufacturing base, Waddell tried out his idea, making small batches of candles based on three “holiday scents.”
As the adage goes, one thing leads to another. That’s when Waddell’s fifteen-year background in PR at Washington College, creative director at Benchworks, and website designer at Waddell Creative took hold.
“I asked Jodi Bortz at Blue Canary Letterpress if she would print a few boxes for the candles. Not only did she do a great job, but she also suggested I try to sell them,” Waddell says.
Unsure if that was a step he wanted to take, he talked with Chris Tilghman at She-She (now Walnut and Wool), who challenged Waddell to make a line of scented candles for her shop.
In 2017 Lodestone Candles of Kent County was born with one retailer. Five years later, with many gift and trade shows from Philadelphia to Washington DC under his belt, Waddell and his team are filling wholesale orders to 75 clients internationally.
Waddell cites the success of his business with stellar mentors along the way, a willingness to learn from others, and an immersion into studying the ever-changing world of entrepreneurial business through the lens of his design and marketing experience.
When the world shut down during the pandemic in 2020, Waddell reached out to discover a thriving online marketing community discussing the pitfalls and solutions to product-based marketing.
Among the many resources inspiring Waddell along the way has been Apple Podcast’s “The Product Boss,” narrated by Jacqueline Snyder & Minna Khounlo. The duo invites guests to talk about their entrepreneurial successes and challenges each week.
“Their podcasts are about empowering people with product-based businesses who want to create their own life on their terms. It really helped me streamline things.”
Waddell says he’s anticipating a strong first quarter. And yes, his house has been liberated by moving Lodestone Candles to a new production facility in Chestertown Business Park.
The Spy recently discussed the Lodestone’s germination, success, and challenges with Greg Waddell.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. To find out more about Lodestone Candles of Kent county, go here.