When Michelle Shreve-Stroud found out that she needed surgery, and had to take a break from her interior design business, it could have seemed like the worst case scenario. But during that recovery time a new dream was born, and Michelle could never have guessed that out of it a new business would crop up: candle making.
No, we’re not talking about an old nursery rhyme with a butcher and a baker… but Michelle is now officially a “candle stick maker.” Michelle started her company, High Point Candle, and now specializes in handmade, pure soy candles that can be customized to your very own scent profile. In fact, you can even make your own, handmade candles at their “candle bar.” Read on to find out how Michelle’s company was born and the kind of amazing local products you can find in her shop today. Plus, learn about what is sure to be your new favorite girl’s night out: candle making parties!
Q. Tell us about your company.
A. High Point Candle is a retail, wholesale and private label home fragrance company located in Millis Square. We specialize in pure soy candles as well as interactive, hands-on candle making parties in our “candle bar.”
Q. Why was it started and what was the vision?
A. We had a private label soy candle line in our old design studio that was being manufactured out of state. The product itself wasn’t fully meeting our needs and to get candles in a timely manner was a logistical nightmare. When we first relocated our studio to Millis Square in July of 2017, we knew we wanted to make a change. Soon after moving in, I found out I needed surgery and the search for an alternative candle manufacturer was no longer an immediate priority. While I was stuck at home recovering, I became bored with watching HGTV and reading magazines. I decided I wanted to figure out a way to manufacture the candles here in High Point. I used the time at home to do research, develop my own formulas and test product.
The result was High Point Candle. When we first started High Point Candle, it was going to be a holiday line to supplement my interior design business. We launched the line and opened to the public the day of the Holiday Stroll in 2017. The response was almost unbelievable. In addition to specific candle fragrances, we began getting requests from customers for other products such as hand soaps, room sprays and diffuser reeds that would coordinate with their favorite candle scent. It was then I realized I had created something special by offering individually customized products to my customers. I decided to focus on growing it into something more… something that was different from other candle shops. We spent the following spring and summer developing these additional home fragrance items and launched them with our Winter 2018 candles. During this time, we also debuted our interactive, hands-on candle bar parties where customers can come in and make their own candles in their choice of fragrances. These have been wildly popular for “Girls’ Night Out” and bridal parties, as well as for individuals who want to come in and make their own customized scent.
Q. What do you love about your work?
A. I have always had a fascination (my family would say an obsession) with fragrance. Creating new scents and quality products, meeting new people, hosting candle parties (with wine!!)…it’s a fun, creative and social business. What’s not to love???
Q. What is one thing people would be interested to learn about High Point Candle?
A. All High Point Candle products are made by hand in our lab at Millis Square.
Q. What are the highlights of working in High Point?
A. Even though High Point is host to Furniture Market and attracts people from all over the world, High Point still has a small town vibe. I find that very appealing after living in larger cities most of my adult life.
Q. Why did you choose to locate your business in High Point?
A. My husband, Sparky, is a lifelong resident of High Point. When we married in 2015, High Point became my new home. It was just another step in building our life here in High Point.
Q. How has High Point changed since you started High Point Candle?
A. I have noticed so many new, small businesses that have opened in the past few years. Collectively, these add so much to the city by creating new places to go, new sights to see and new things to do.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
A. Even though my husband helps out at the studio whenever he can, it’s basically been a one woman show. As our business has grown, I have realized I can’t do it all by myself and have had to bring in extra help, even if it’s family members. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, daughter and even my mother and father.
Q. How have the citizens and community of High Point supported you?
A. The people of High Point have been amazing. “Word of mouth” advertising has been at the root of our success. I feel very blessed to have had so many out there cheering me on and telling their friends about High Point Candle.
Q. If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out in High Point, what would it be?
A. Get involved! Get out into the community and meet the people of High Point. It’s the best way to become a part of the High Point community.
Q. What are you excited about for High Point’s future?
A. I’m excited to watch the growth and development. There are so many fantastic things happening in High Point right now. It’s a great time to be a High Pointer and a great place to do business!
Q. How can the HP Discovered Audience find you online?
Discover our High Points!
Photography by Maria West Photography