Founder's Story

Founder's Story

It all started when we had our daughter.  I needed a creative outlet while being "mommy" and decided to make soy candles.  Pregnancy has strange effects on our bodies and after I had our daughter my favorite candle gave me headaches - upon research I discovered it was a paraffin-soy based candle posing as a "soy blend" candle!  I began noticing headaches whenever I was around a burning paraffin candle, so I set out to create a soy version for myself and began selling them on the side in 2015.  Click here to read more about soy vs. paraffin candles.

It took over a year of testing to get the chemistry right and I almost gave up numerous times!  At this point I was a part time foot surgeon, stay at home mom (she went to work with me), and trying to figure out this side gig candle business.  I had no clue what I was doing!  My background is chemistry and science, medicine and surgery.  My business experience consisted of econ 101 in college and life experience of being around my family's business growing up.  But as a college graduate there's one thing you know - how to learn.  So with some knowledge from books, some learning under fire, and a bit of courage I continued to plug away and figure things out as I went.

What was once "Southern Momma Candles" grew and expanded slowly and I started to get glimpses of a bigger picture idea.  I saw the opportunity to eventually expand our product line beyond candles.  So we rebranded the company to IRON+PEARL (you can read more about the rebrand here).  

As the candle business grew I saw an opportunity for more growth and officially hung up my scrubs to pursue the candle business full time.  We grew to be in around 50 retailers across the USA, from NY to CA and I am still amazed at how far away our candles have adorned homes.  

When the pandemic hit in 2020 we were starting our expansion plans.  We had moved into a warehouse and were planning ways to grow and reach even more retailers, as our retail waitlist was continually growing and our production could not keep up.  The pandemic caused supply chain shortages and hiring concerns that kept us from proceeding.  We kept waiting for the tide to turn, when we found out that we were expecting a baby! Talk about a tide turning, haha. 

We decided to close the business temporarily in 2021 so I could again be home and focus on family.  Being able to be home with baby is one of the greatest blessings, but I am looking forward to slowly return to the business and grow IRON+PEARL into all I envision for it.  Stay tuned for a re-opening date announcement very soon, and subscribe to our email list here to be the first to know!

 - Cristi, founder IRON+PEARL

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