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Bridgewater Candle: Light a Candle, Feed a Child

When you’re an established candle company—competing against thousands of other home-fragrance brands—how do you stand out in an overcrowded market? For Bridgewater Candle Company, the answer came in a bowl of rice.

 

Originally founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1998, a time when several competitors were in a tough transition period, Bridgewater immediately made a splash, thanks to its clean-burning candles and accessible fragrances like Apple Pie and White Cotton. The company enjoyed rapid growth, and could have rested on its positive sales record.

 

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But management recognized the need to push the envelope, in alignment with the company core values “Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly,” and “Do things that matter.” In 2010, Bridgewater rebranded with its Light a Candle, Feed a Child Program, in which every container-filled candle sold results in a $.75 donation to Rice Bowls, a Christian nonprofit that provides food for orphans in developing countries.

 

Since $.75 can feed three meals a day in most of these countries, each container-candle purchase is feeding a child for an entire day. Says Bob Caldwell Jr., president of Bridgewater, “It’s pretty cool and humbling to look down our candle-production lines and know that each candle on line represents the life of a child who is being transformed through something as simple as a candle.”

 

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Bridgewater now sells a variety of fragrance products, from auto vent clips to fragrance oils and burners, reed diffusers, sachets, wafers and bars, and votive candles. But it’s those container candles that comprise the bulk of the business—and the positive change Bridgewater seeks to effect in the world.

 

While Bridgewater is proprietary about its ingredients, Jamie Pierce, marketing and PR coordinator for Grace Management Group, which reps the company, notes that they are chosen “on the basis of quality, sustainability, stability, and safety.” Bridgewater products, including fragrance oil, are all made in-house in the company’s South Carolina headquarters.

 

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The development process starts with trend and market research. A fragrance brief is created to capture the overall look and feel of the fragrance, and this is used by a perfumer to create several options. After being sent through an extensive paneling process and testing for safety and efficacy, the chosen version is then crafted into a finished product, the packaging of which undergoes its own design process—based on home décor and color trends—and opinion paneling before it ever hits the market.

 

This detailed process has led not only to company’s best-selling fragrances, such as Lavender Lane and Welcome Home (a mix of cinnamon, plum, and apple), but also to its range of holiday products, with festive colors and labels that make them ideal for gifting. The whimsical Mingle Collection, in particular, features a range of seasonal designs and fragrances in its Winter Funderland and Deco the Halls lines. And with products ranging from $3 to $24, Bridgewater candles and fragrance products are an easy, affordable addition to any gift list.

 

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To inquire about becoming a Bridgewater Candle Company retailer, visit the company’s Retailer Info page.

 

—Robin Catalano  

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