A gift shop located in downtown Lafayette since 2006 has created a "business within a business" that is gaining popularity with candle lovers.Traci Bratton, the owner of Walnut Street Traditions, is spending more and more time making soy-based products for the Hoosier Candle Company, which she launched a year ago.
"I make the candles. The signature item is wax melts, which are real popular right now," Bratton said. "I decided if I was going to sell so many other brands of candles I should find out how they're made.
"I didn't know they would take off like they have. Mine outsell the other brands I've carried for years."
Available in more than 50 scents, Hoosier Candle Company candles are available in jars ranging in size from four to 48 ounces. The wax melts are priced at 25 cents each, and Bratton said she sells more than 1,000 of them a month.
"In a six-hour time frame I can make 1,000 melts. I have a production line set up in my basement," she said. "The 48-ounce candle is in a Ball jar, which is made in the United States. So start to finish, it's made in the U.S.A."
More selections are added to the line of candles every month and future plans call for online selling.
The logo for Hoosier Candle Company includes an old photo of a small girl standing in a wheat field.
The girl is Bratton's mother, Paulette, when she was a child, standing in a farm field that was owned by Bratton's grandfather.
"My uncle said, 'I do hope you're selling soy candles.' My family is a farming family," Bratton said. "The picture of my mother -- that was the inspiration."