Zack Roybal describes himself as "a kind of entrepreneur person who's always looking for business ideas."
When he started seeing the responses his friends were having to the informal candle-making events he was holding in his residence, an idea popped into his head.
"People were really gobbling it up," Roybal said. "They were coming back to do it again and telling other people about it."
At the time, Roybal was living in Canal Winchester, and he began holding candle-making events in 2016 at the Shade on the Canal restaurant there. That same year, he started Winchester Wick, a business in which he sold candles he made in his kitchen.
The candle-making events, which gave people the chance to pour their own candles, grew in popularity, and Roybal began holding them at other central Ohio restaurants.
Roybal, 29, now lives in Grove City. On Aug. 31, he opened the Chandler, a retail store at 4048 Broadway in Grove City's Town Center.
Customers can buy the candles Roybal makes or stop in to pour their own candles.
Groups of people can participate in candle-making workshops and sit at a candle bar to mix and match from an assortment of more than 80 fragrances to create their own candle recipe.
"There's an endless variety of fragrances you can create," Roybal said. "I think that's what's so much fun for me: to watch people find that fragrance that's perfect for them.
"Your nose knows when you've hit the right formula."
Mike Fagan is an investor in the Chandler and helped Roybal with creating the interior of the store. He also participated in the candle-making parties Roybal held before going into the candle-making business.
"We both like burning candles at our house, and it's fun to test different mixes of fragrances to come up with something different and unique," he said.
He finds a lot of satisfaction when people buy and enjoy the candles sold through Winchester Wick, but Fagan said he's looking forward to giving people the chance to discover the pleasure of pouring their own candles.
Up to three fragrance oils may be mixed to create a unique scent, Roybal said.
"You could take maple syrup and add it to the blueberry cobbler fragrance to create blueberry pancake candles," he said. "Some people might love that, and it might turn other people's stomachs. But it's all about finding the scent that creates the atmosphere you'd enjoy in your home or office."
Following up on its soft opening in August, the Chandler held its grand opening and ribbon-cutting event Sept. 14.
The Chandler is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Customers may walk in to pour their own candles, Roybal said.
"The Town Center is such an ideal location for a business like this," he said. "You come in and pour your candle. It'll be ready in about 90 minutes, and in the meantime, you can shop at other stores in the area, or have lunch at one of the local restaurants and then come back to pick up your candles."
The candle-making process involves five steps, Roybal said.
The first step is choosing the fragrance oils, he said.
"After that, you pick the vessel for your candle, and choose one of nine colors you want to use to make your candle," Roybal said. "Then you step up to the fragrance bar where we'll help you as you pour the candle."
The final step involves choosing a label.
"It's a pretty easy process," Roybal said. "I like to think of the fragrances as being part of a potion you're creating. It allows you to be a little like Harry Potter.
"It's a joy for me to see people's faces light up when they come up with a fragrance they love," he said. "Kids especially love the hands-on aspect of pouring a candle. It's something personal you've created just for you."
Roybal said he enjoys coming up with the fragrances because it is like being a chef tasting and testing recipes.
The Chandler's top seller in 2018 was Long Sleeve Autumn, a candle mixing magnolia teakwood with autumn woods "to create a nice fall fragrance," Roybal said.
More information is available at thechandler.co. or at facebook.com/thechandlercandle.