Adam Fetsch has a secret: He’s not a big fan of candles.
(We’ll give you a moment to process.)
Most have the same reaction to that apparent paradox: the owner of hugely successful grassroots candle company, Rewined, started by Adam’s walking up and down King St. with a pouch of his first batch of personally made candles, doesn’t keep any in his home. None.
“People wonder, ‘How can you be in this business and talk about passion when you don’t even like candles?’” Adam laughs.
He can talk about passion because Adam found it on his candle-making journey: What Adam loves is providing opportunities for people to do what they love.
Adam has worked every job in the restaurant business. In 2008, he quit his Beverage Director gig, got married and two weeks later moved to Charleston with his new wife, joking that it was an extended honeymoon. He knew he wanted to start his own business, but what? He saw all the empty bottles coming out of restaurants and thought about what he could do with them.
Today, Adam has Rewined, Produce Candles, and coming this September, Candlefish, an online retailer of the world’s best candles. Produce, which launched in January, is already in 100 stores including Anthropolgie. Candlefish will begin online in the fall and launch its first brick-and-mortar location in Charleston by Fall 2014. He and his team’s goal is to become the largest retailer of high-quality candles. In other words, candles with soul.
Because lofty goals are the only kinds of Adam-type goals.
“It makes us really happy when people come to our workshops and are really excited to learn what we do. We want to share that with more people.”
Adam’s team is encouraged and given the freedom to pursue the things they’re most passionate about. The intention is to have fun and create unique, thoughtful products in the process.
“Great work is a natural result of people doing what they love,” Adam says. “I have an amazing team. I try to keep up with them and support them in any way I can.”
Adam also supports the community. He hires new team members from South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department. These men and women—who have been out of the workforce because of a disability, drug and alcohol abuse, or incarceration—are now given an opportunity to work and value their jobs. He and his friend recently started a non-profit called Corpus Collosum, an organization that will provide entrepreneurial programming for kids who don’t learn in the traditional way, beginning this summer.
“School was always a struggle for me,” Adam says. “If I can reach some of those kids, it would make me feel good.”
Kind of like a candle.
Words by: Jessica Kenny
Photography by: Olivia Rae James