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Touch of magic enhances this candle-maker’s global success

 Touch of magic enhances this candle-maker’s global success

It took a lot more than merging wicks and wax to build Coventry Creations into a mega-selling candle company.

Founder (and self-proclaimed witch) Jacki Smith’s successful venture also required a dose of magic and a lot of sweat equity to build her hobby into a company that annually sells hundreds of thousands of candles around the globe.

Ironically, a rough financial stretch in Smith’s life launched the joy-spreading company in the early-90s.

“When I needed $20 to fill my gas tank, or I needed a meal because I didn’t have any food, people would step up and help me out,” Smith recounted. “It was about that time I was starting to make candles out of kits. I was always a crafty person; my favorite gifts as a child were craft-related projects.

“To show my appreciation to these folks who were helping me out, I started making them candles, dream pillows and mixing up herbs and oils for them. I also started adding blessings to the candles. People would tell me they’d never seen anything quite like what I was giving them.”

Every Coventry Creations candle comes with a blessing and a little magic

Six months later, Smith started taking her candle-centered creations to store owners, who bought her products faster than she could assemble them.

Cross-country move

When a massive recession devastated Michigan’s economy in 1992, Smith and her then-husband (they have since divorced) moved to Washington, where he had applied for a machinist job at Boeing.

“Literally the minute we stepped off the plane in Seattle, the headlines read, “Boeing to lay off 30,000 employees’,” she said. “I had brought four boxes of my candles with me, so I went out and sold them all. That turned out to be the pivot point for me of transitioning from making candles as a hobby to turning it into a business.”

Smith had printed her phone number on the backside of each of the candle labels. When she and her husband returned to Detroit from their unsuccessful journey to Seattle, there were three messages (one from a person in California, another from Las Vegas and another from Ohio) on her answering machine – all from tourists who had purchased candles from her in Washington.

More than anything, this proved to her that her blessed candles had mass appeal.

Flash forward 30 years. Smith’s Ferndale candle factory produces approximately 2,000 candles every day and sells roughly 400,000 in an average year.

Among the countries that imports the most products is China, Smith shared.

Never a dull moment

In addition to candle-maker, her job title includes teacher, author and witch. The third item is no joke – she has been officially initiated into the community of witches and is a member of a witches union, a part of her life that brings her great pride.

“I love being a witch; it’s like a vocation,” she explained. “It’s like being a teacher, or a sister or a mom. If you go back in history, the term witch has a negative connotation. But if you go back even further, the word witch means healer or wise person – someone who can use the tools around them to create change, healing and blessings.”

The wide selection of Smith’s incredibly-popular products can be found on her company’s website. To purchase Smith’s newest book – The Big Book of Candle Magic – click here.

Smith’s candle-making company has survived multiple recessions, a pandemic and personal adversities thrown into most successful entrepreneurs’ paths.

“Let’s just say I’ve learned how to scramble,” she said, chuckling. “Owning a business, you never travel a straight line; it’s always a rollercoaster.”

She her wide selection of candles are made from botanical scents.

“At one point, we tried food-scented candles – chocolate and coffee were two of them,” she remembered. “But after a while, I was smelling chocolate and coffee so much, I couldn’t eat or drink them any more.”

Smith described the smell that greets visitors when they walk into her factory as a woodsy, floral scent.

“I have to admit, it smells pretty darned good,” she said.

Judging by her magical 30-year journey, it’s a lot like the sweet smell of success.

If you own a business that you would like featured on, please contact Ed Wright at 734-664-4657 or

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