Coventry History, According to Jacki
If we had a nickel for every time we were asked if our candles really worked, we could all retire. After celebrating our 20th anniversary this past August, we decided this is not only a valid question, but we have the stories to back up our answer: YES they really do work. Speaking of stories, we did a lot of reminiscing on how we started making candles, why we decided to make candles, and how we inadvertently launched an entire candle industry from one little idea. When the pictures came out we all roared at how young we were and how small the basement really was! We laughed about the days when we had false starts and big successes we weren’t quite ready for.
Those were the days when there was no such thing as “No.” We tried everything, at least once. Yes, I was a very young, idealistic 24-year-old studying magic, herbalism, aromatherapy and human nature. Put that together, mix in an unemployed holiday season and you get the first batch of Blessed Herbal Candles. This all happened on the full moon, of course, on my kitchen stove with about $100 in wax, oils and wick. The very first Coventry Creations candle of my life was poured, herbed and cooled under my watchful eye. Each candle was designed specifically for a friend in need, or a friend that had been there when I was in need—and this was my thanks to them for all the love and support. That 24-year-old version of me didn’t know what witchery she was brewing up that day, but the 44-year-old me does now.
There is something that is born of innocence that transcends our own personal fears and refuses to be blocked by them. That time of innocence—where magic and healing was my only motivation—still rings true in Coventry today. I was not a savvy business mogul who knew how to take a winning product all the way to the top. I was a young girl, following her dreams and intuition, taking daily risks and figuring it out as she went. I was a girl who didn’t understand that she was changing the face of candle magic and opening the door for many more candle makers to follow in her stead. There have been competitors who were savvier, tougher and even cheaper, but we were making candles for the love of the people they were created for. That is our special ingredient that cannot be copied.
There are many constants over the past 20 years that keep the Blessed Herbal Candles a calling for us, a way of life and a way of healing for our customers:
We make all of our products in a sacred space. It is important that we work in a place of healing and empowerment; important not only for our candles, but for our staff and our overall well being.
We pour the candles when the moon is right. What sign is the moon in? What phase it in? These are the questions we ask before any candle is made and we adjust the schedule and the blessing to incorporate the right type of energy to get the best result.
We hand pour all of our candles in small batches. We could accomplish this with machinery, but there is a love and a care that only comes from pouring candles one at a time, making each a unique experience.
We live and teach our message. This isn’t just a money making scheme for us, this is a way of life. Both Patty Shaw (co-owner of Coventry and sister) and I are authors and teachers of our spiritual paths. This is not a leave-at-the-office job for us, but a calling that keeps us working in many aspects of this magical world.
I think the biggest constant over the past 20 years has been our customers. Yes, we have remained a bestselling product in the majority of the stores that carry our line, but more importantly is that the Blessed Herbal Candles have inspired letters of love, success, support and, sometimes, heartbreak. Every now and again, when this crazy entrepreneurial life gets to be too much, we get a call, letter or in this day and age and e-mail from a customer that stops us in our tracks and confirms why we do what we do at Coventry. We run the race, mile by mile, for our customers and the magic they learn to create with a Blessed Herbal Candle.
During our 20th anniversary celebration we reminisced about our favorite customer’s stories, the ones that changed our lives. There was the story of the wild land that was about to be sold to developers until, after lighting a Vision Quest—Problem Solving candle, a bald eagle was found on the land—essentially designating it as a wild preserve unavailable for development. Then there was the customer who found her true love after using our candles, the student who passed her tests, the job seeker that got their dream job and the mother who got justice for her son.
Two other stories stand out in our memories and keep me going on a daily basis. A woman in end-stage cancer sent us a handwritten letter thanking us for making the Blessed Herbal Healing, and begging us to never stop as these candles brought her peace. Then the best story yet is from a woman who experienced much heartbreak trying to conceive and carry a child to term. She called to let us know that, with the help of the candles, she was able to deliver a healthy baby girl.
We can’t claim any of these as our success. We can only be honored that we could be a part of these wins, loves and moments of peace.
The Blessed Herbal Candles are doorways: we provide the energy, blessing and vibration; you add your own bit of spirit and make it magical. It is an honor to continue to be part of the web of magic that is being created all over the world by the manifestation of dreams into reality.
Stretch, Grow and Challenge!
President & Enchantress