My Story: Brenda Hunter, CT River Candles

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What could an Information Technology Manager and a Candle Maker have in common? In my case, it's the person. After twenty-eight years in the IT field, I gave up a very good salary to make candles. I remember my boss saying when I gave my notice, "This is it? You're going to make candles?" It's funny recalling his perplexed expression.

My decision did not come without forethought. While starting a new business is exciting and rewarding it also takes financing. It my case, I had some money saved for startup costs and also had the support of my husband.

The Misstep turned Inspiration

There were aspects of working in technology that were rewarding and challenging. I enjoyed the diversity of the field. However, as my career changed from being a technician to managing twenty-two employees daily, it wasn't as rewarding and it was often stressful. I realized I made a wrong turn in the path between becoming a manager versus remaining a technician. Today, I do take on consultant projects from time to time to get that familiar feeling, but most of my time is spent growing my candle business.

A Familiar Journey

As I began testing and researching the process of candle making, I found that it was challenging in similar ways to technology. Basic knowledge of the craft was necessary but it also involved some troubleshooting. Each candle scent required its own round of testing to make sure the wick and burn were correct. The candles had become my new workers and they were very cooperative, never called out sick or filed a grievance- while I found the right combination of ingredients to produce a wonderfully scented and appealing candle.

When my candles were ready for primetime and I was ready to begin selling, I needed to come up with my business name. I begin thinking about our life, our town and how it related to this new path I was on. Our house is located near the Connecticut River and we are fascinated by how beautiful it is. Then it came to me, CT River Candles, could this be it? It did have a nice ring to it, why not? What candle wouldn't want to be named after such a beautiful river? I began designing labels and showed my husband my first candle complete with my new business name. He was thrilled with the name and agreed it was the perfect choice.

Protecting the Dream

Now it was time to protect the business I had invested so much time and energy creating. This is when I turned to LegalZoom to file a Federal Trademark on my business name. It was so easy to navigate through the process on the LegalZoom website. Their professionalism and communication was incredible and the price was even better. As for my company, it's progressed from a hobby to my candles being sold in 10 Connecticut stores. I also have an established online store www.ctrivercandles.com and have been fortunate to sell my candles throughout the United States as well as internationally.

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CT River Candles