We love that a big part of making zulily happen every day, is learning about interesting companies that are making products to change the world. One of our favorite stories is that of CLARO Candles, a Seattle-based company that makes candles that give back. We spoke with Brett Kolomyjec, co-founder of CLARO Candles, about why he started the company, how they choose their non-profits to work with and even his favorite candle. Get CLARO Candles now on zulily.
Tell us about what makes CLARO Candles unique?
CLARO Candles are unique because they each have a story that matters. CLARO is a Latin word for bringing light to darkness, and that’s exactly what these products do. Each product is made with the highest quality, all natural ingredients and give to the most urgent causes on earth. Every time you purchase a CLARO Candle, you are helping to bring light to children, people, and causes all over the world.
How did you come to found CLARO Candles? What was the inspiration behind the idea?
About two years ago myself, and one of my best friends and business partners, Jeff Bethke, were in Uganda working with a local orphanage there. There we met a lady who was selling candles and next to her candles there was a card that said, “light a candle and be the light in the life of a child.” The message associated with the darkness of social injustice, and the light of someone helping to push back against that tragedy, was so powerful to us that we thought others would be willing to join a story where light is brought to darkness and peoples’ lives are changed through the purchase of an everyday, timeless product.
How do you choose the non-profits that you work with?
Almost all the nonprofits that we work with are either ones that we have traveled and worked with directly, or are run by close personal friends/colleagues of ours. We love working with people and organizations that we know we can trust, and those whom we can personally testify for the effective, amazing work that they are doing.
What is your favorite candle in the collection?
This is a very difficult question. We ALWAYS go through seasons where we prefer different candles because they are all so fantastic! Overall though, I would say that my favorite is the Whiskey + Oak, which is the Love candle from our Vintage Natural Collection, while the Satsuma + Honey Almond Freedom candle is definitely what’s burning most often in Jeff’s household!
What’s next for CLARO Candles?
At this point we really aren’t totally sure. If that’s acceptable to even say! Two years ago we had no idea that we would be in the candle business, but this year alone we’ve been able to impact more than 10,000 people with the giving of our product lines and we are so proud of that. We try to be really intentional about enjoying the ride, celebrating the impact that is happening in the here and now, and not looking too far into the future, that we miss the adventure we are on day to day. We hope to become a nationally-recognized consumer brand, but ultimately what’s most important to us are the stories of the people that our product helps, and the stories of the individuals who support our mission by purchasing our candles.
Why did you decide to partner with zulily?
zulily is such a great opportunity to share our story with people. zulily cares about delivering great products to customers and we love that. We know new CLARO customers through zulily will be served well and that’s amazing.The opportunity to share Claro with the zulily family is always truly a blessing.