Candles by Tarraza
2655 Main St. (Route 6A) #22, Brewster
For our December Anything But Ordinary feature, we interviewed entrepreneur Tarraza Millard, who founded a soy candle company, inspired by her concern about toxic chemicals used in conventional candle production.
How did you get started in this business?
I started my business in November 2018. As an avid candle user, I became frustrated with buying cheaply made and uneven-burning candles. So, as an artistic, do-it-yourself kind of person, I decided to teach myself how to make them at home. Once I started reading about how toxic candles were and how they were making people and animaIs sick, I knew I had to find a better, healthier way to enjoy them. I learned that other candles can have toxic materials such as paraffin, which is a petroleum by-product, and not to mention all the chemicals in the dyes and the scents. In addition to that, there can be lead, zinc, and copper used in the wicks to hold them up. So, even if you’re burning a “soy candle” it can still have nasty ingredients! I researched all the different techniques and found methods with natural supplies that worked for me. I slowly perfected the art and started to sell them at craft fairs, festivals and shows. I received such positive, encouraging feedback on the quality of my candles that I decided to make it an official business.
As I began this journey of entrepreneurship I was fortunate enough to come across an organization called EforAll (Entrepreneurship for All) that had recently started a Cape Cod chapter. I participated in the business accelerator program, which is a free crash course on how to start, run, and operate a business. Through that program and the connections I made, I was able to completely understand how to manage my business and all of the hard work it takes to be an entrepreneur. I was even able to win some seed money through the program to help my production costs.
What makes your products unique?
My hand-crafted, all-natural candles are made with 100 percent biodegradable soy grown right here in the US, so it helps sustain the farmers in our nation. I also use hemp wicks, vegetable-based EVO dyes, and my scents are skin safe. So, in addition to not making you sick, my candles last significantly longer than most other candles because I have removed all the toxins that just disintegrate in the air. I also offer refill options to locals and anyone visiting the Cape for an extended period of time. Bring in your own container to the store to be filled or bring back any one of my containers for a refill at a discounted rate. I also customize by combining your favorite color and scent for a one-of-a-kind candle. Refill, reuse, recycle, rethink!
What’s your customer service like?
I ship all over the continental US www.candlesbytarraza.com and, in 2021, I opened a store in partnership with Green Road Refill at Foster Square, in Brewster. Come visit where you can smell and see all of my candle variations, as well as all the earth-friendly offerings Green Road Refill has. My candles make great gifts for all occasions, seasons, and celebrations.
What is the best part of your business?
The part I like most about owning and operating my own business is that I can be as creative as I want. I can also do things on my own terms and time. I enjoy what I do, and I love interacting with people and making them happy so sometimes it doesn’t feel like work.
In addition to expanding my product line to include massage candles, I hope to have multiple locations in the future and maybe additional business partnerships. I love to create and think outside the box, so anything is possible!