Hat Creek Candle Co.: From Kitchen-Based Hobby to Industry of the Year: Hat Creek Candle Company Accepts Award

Contact: Kari Barnes
Hat Creek Candle Co.
Phone: 920-262-9995
Fax: 920-206-8473
E-Mail: [email protected]


(Watertown, WI) – The Hat Creek Candle Company was recently recognized
by the Watertown Chamber of Commerce as the Industry of the Year for
2004. The award is presented annually to businesses that have expanded
or improved their facilities and made other contributions to the
community in areas such as added employment opportunities.

Hat Creek Candle was started in a Watertown kitchen in the fall of 1999
by two women who were looking to make some changes in their lives. One
of the founders, Kari Barnes, was introduced to the candle making
process by her Aunt and was inspired by the artistry of combining the
various colors and fragrances to the hot wax. Not long after
experimentations began, Kari approached her long time friend and former
college roommate, Wendy Sallam, to help her develop the idea into a bona
fide business. At that time, Wendy was teaching elementary school, had
just given birth to her first child a few months earlier, and was hoping
to find something that would give her additional freedom and flexibility.

Over the past six years the pair have faced many challenges from the
exhausting startup days when the candles were mixed and hand-poured, two
at a time from aluminum saucepans and a used Nesco Roaster, to the
noticeable economic downturn and slowdown of the wholesale marketplace
in 2001, to the establishment of a thriving home-party division known as
Hat Creek Home.

“The most significant decision we’ve made was to move away from the
wholesale market and establish our Home Party division, Hat Creek Home,”
stated Barnes. “It (the decision) really redefined the business,” stated
Sallam, “Our business has allowed us the freedom and flexibility to
spend more quality time with our family and friends, and through our
home party opportunity we are excited and honored to be able to extend
the Hat Creek opportunity to other women who may be looking to make some
quality of life changes as well.” The largest concentration of
consultants is currently in Hat Creek’s home state of Wisconsin, but
‘Hat Creek Fever’ has also spread to 10 other states including: Alabama,
Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri,
Georgia and California.

For a period of time, the women located the business in an airplane
hangar in the village of Sullivan, and in August, 2004 the company moved
back to its birthplace in Watertown. The business is now located at the
corner of Third and Dodge streets in the city and is the anchor for the
South Third Street business district. The new facilities house Hat
Creek’s manufacturing facilities, administrative offices and a much
anticipated new retail store.

For additional information, visit the company’s website,
_www.hatcreekcandle.com_ or call 920-262-9995.