NorthWood has grown a ton over the last few years, and it’s all thanks to you – our amazing customers! We’re so grateful for all of your business and support, and we wanted to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU!
As you may or may not know, NorthWood is a family-owned company with a small team working hard behind the scenes. Because we don’t share our faces here much, we wanted to take a quick moment to introduce ourselves and our business to you all!
How We Started
Our owner Brian grew up making candles with his dad from a young age. They always talked about starting their own candle-making company, but sadly they never got the chance to launch a business together. After his father passed away in 2010, Brian started a business plan for the NorthWood Candle Company. He launched his business at a Mall of America kiosk on the one-year anniversary of losing his dad.
At the kiosk, Brian sold thousands of candles and bath products during the busy holiday seasons. Although the candle business was very successful, being the maker, salesperson, marketer, bookkeeper, and owner left Brian with little time to enjoy the part of the business he liked the best – making candles.
Not only that, there was a constant struggle to find suppliers who sold high-quality products with the selection, customer service and turnaround time he was looking for. After living through the frustration of dealing with difficult suppliers, Brian was inspired to start his own candle supply company – the kind he always wished existed when he ran his business.
Brian spent months researching the best supplies and manufacturers available. After sourcing the best fragrances, wicks, wax and other supplies on the market, Brian launched NorthWood Distributing in 2016.
Our Business Journey
Brian started making candles out of a spare bedroom in his Eden Prairie apartment. After quickly outgrowing that space, the business moved to a 1,200 square foot warehouse space in Le Sueur, MN. In Le Sueur, Brian began selling candle supplies while continuing to make hundreds of candles each week. We also became busy enough to hire our first fill-time employee, who is still with us today as our Warehouse Manager!
After two more years of growth, our business transitioned to its current location in downtown Belle Plaine, MN. We’re located in the old Steffen Hardware building, which still has its original creaky wood floors that Belle Plaine residents will remember well.
While we started out with just 12 different fragrances, we now carry more than 450 different fragrances, 13 different types of wicks, 6 premium waxes and countless other products for making candles, soaps, bath bombs, body products and more.
As makers ourselves, we only add high-quality products that we would use in our own projects. We’re constantly on the lookout for new products that we know our customers will love!
Where We Are Now
In recent years, we have greatly scaled back our candle making endeavors so that we can focus on running our supply business.
A tremendous amount of work goes into running a candle supply company, but more than that, we wanted to step back in order to make room for the other amazing Midwest makers in our local market. A large percentage of our customers are also based in the Midwest, and we have no desire to compete with their beautiful talents.
Nevertheless, our background in owning and operating a successful candle company has given us a unique perspective among candle suppliers. As makers and business owners ourselves, we understand the frustration, joy, challenges and victories that come with operating your own business.
This perspective helps us understand our customers better as we strive to provide the best service and products on the market. We are always working on ways that we can improve what we do to create the best experience possible for you.
NorthWood Team & Values
We started with just one full-time employee, but thanks to your amazing support, we have been able to build a wonderful team who work on-site in Belle Plaine and remotely from their homes when possible.
Every time you purchase from NorthWood, you help us create more jobs in the community. Not only that, you help us continue providing better employment benefits for the staff who work for us.
We believe in paying our staff a livable wage that’s well above minimum wage. We also value having a good work-life balance by giving our employees flexible schedules and paid time off to enjoy doing things outside of work. Wherever possible, employees are also given the opportunity to work from home so they can spend even more time with their families.
We also value giving back to the communities that we are part of. NorthWood regularly donates to charitable causes that make our communities better places. On top of that, staff are given the opportunity to earn additional paid time off by volunteering for nonprofit organizations outside of work.
As a small business, it really does make a difference every time you make a purchase, leave us a kind review, or recommend us to fellow makers. Thank you so much for being one of our amazing customers!