A Worthington resident hopes to give back and spread a message of sustainable living with her nascent candle company.
Brenda Refice, 51, started R&R Candles, based in her Worthington residence, in February after leaving her career as a social worker and a nurse.
R&R Candles offers 20 scents and creates candles from locally recycled cans, wine bottles and other materials, Refice said. All of her bottles and cans she receives from neighbors and friends, she said.
"I always tell people: Not only are you getting a candle but you are indirectly and directly helping the environment," she said.
Refice's wax, oils and other materials are locally sourced, making her an Ohio Proud partner, which is awarded by the Ohio Department of Agriculture only to companies that source more than 50 percent of their materials from Ohio.
Refice said she wanted to start a business in which she could enjoy the product and "could bring rest and relaxation to others and make them feel peace and harmony."
She estimates she has sold 300 to 400 candles thus far and said she has made significantly more.
She said she has no investors and has put all her own resources into her company. She currently produces all products out of her own home in Worthington.
Refice also does not have any employees: She does everything from designing labels, making the candles and fulfilling orders.
"It's just me doing everything and financially, I didn't go take a loan out; I just did it," she said.
Her most popular items are her beer-can candles that feature colorful labels and advertisements. Many of the cans are from Ohio-based breweries.
Refice said she donates a percentage of her proceeds to charities each month. She said as her company grows, she hopes to be able to donate more to Ohio-based charities.
Thus far, she has given proceeds to the Licking County Humane Society, Colony Cats (& dogs) in Dublin and Fur Kids R Forever Friends of Pepper in Port Clinton, she said.
"Because I'm new and starting this, I may not be able to give very much to them at the beginning, but I would be willing to revisit them down the road so I could give more," she said.
Refice's products are sold at several central Ohio stores, including the Morgan House in Dublin, the Burlap Sunflower in Hilliard, Annie's Wine Cottage in Powell, Ellen Sea Art & Antiques in Powell, the Keller Market House in Lancaster and the Ohio Art Market in Westerville.
Kendra Heinlen, owner of the Morgan House, said she recently started carrying Refice's products. She said that they fit with the theme of the items she already carries.
"It's a unique item and a lot of the (beer-can candles) that she carries are Ohio breweries," Heinlen said.
To learn more about R&R Candles, go to randrcandlesllc.com.