Alicia Reisinger

Did I ever see myself run my own candle business? Probably not, no.

Before I started Wax Buffalo, I worked full-time in video production. Capturing stories all over the country was a huge passion of mine.

But then, I got pregnant. And my life would never be the same again. 

My baby was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate.


Safe and Healthy

The surgeries for cleft lip and palate are timed out very precisely. My girl getting anything as simple as a cold could throw off the entire timeline.

As any parent would, I immediately started researching how I could help her outside of the surgeries. And a cleaner environment was one of the ways.

It was then that I learned candles were filled with toxins and sludge. While candles smell great, they are bad for the lungs, and they were actually the cause of my chronic headaches. But, that’s a different story.

Even though I had a thing for candles, I knew there was no chance I’d burn those candles in my house again. I needed to keep my baby safe and healthy.

With some experience of making candles (the toxic kind), I decided to give candle-making another shot though.

But, this time with essential oils.


Moving Our Product

After making more and more “healthy” candles, I started giving them out. Mainly to close friends and their families, because I wanted them to live a healthier life too.

Well, one of my friends had a shop here in town and talked me into selling my candles there.

Truthfully, that terrified me.

The fear of giving this a shot and possibly not selling a single one laid heavy on me. After all, nobody wants to get disappointed, right?

It took some serious convincing, but eventually, I gave in – a dozen of my candles went up on display in his store.

And after just a few days, they were all gone. Sold out!

I know, I know, it’s just 12 candles. Not that crazy. But it marked the the start of my business, Wax Buffalo. 

In that moment, I started believing in myself. It was the first milestone.

Back then, I was the only employee at Wax Buffalo. So filling out an order for another dozen took me nearly a week.

After putting my now two kids to sleep, I stayed up until almost 3 A.M. every night making candles. The business started growing fast.

Over the years, Wax Buffalo has gotten to places I never thought was possible, including Whole Foods.


Getting Into Whole Foods

Dealing with a major brand is intense. The process to get into Whole Foods was a long one, but well worth it.

After bouncing around from buyer to buyer at Whole Foods, I sent in samples to their office. Next, I could only play the waiting game.

Then, one day, a phone chime notified me of an email that could change everything. It was Whole Foods telling me the future of my business.

“We love your candles. We want you in all of our Midwest stores,” it said.

This was one of those life-changing moments that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.

Just reminiscing on that moment now gives me goosebumps. 


Our Growth

The expansion we’ve seen in my eight years of business is staggering. I went from making candles by myself after I took my kids to bed to now having a team of 11 and selling our candles in over 80 stories. 

It’s crazy to think about it. 

No part of this journey has been easy, but I’m so grateful for every up and down during this entire adventure. And I can’t wait for the next eight years.

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