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Success Story: Black Crow Candle

Q & A with Black Crow Candle

Where is your business?

It’s located in Canton, Illinois. I bought an old building that’s so large, it has 4 different addresses, all within the same building. The building houses Black Crow Candle, a store front, and a little wiggle room to do new things for the community.

Black Crow Candle.

Black Crow Candle.

How long have you been in business?

Black Crow has been in business for 13 years.

Can you describe the moment you first discovered your passion for creating?

I have always crafted. My Mom encouraged creativity. When I was growing up my Mom used curlers, and as a little girl, I would knit with the pins from the curlers. I have always been creative. There are pros and cons because my brain never shuts down. In my adult years, I started with wood and was a cabinet maker. As I got older, I realized I needed to do something that I could grow old doing. Voila, Black Crow Candle was started!

Shirley Franconi

Shirley Franconi, owner of Black Crow Candle

How does owning a store influence what you create for Black Crow?

You get an opportunity to listen to what the consumers want. My customers in the store help pick out the scents. We see what people like firsthand, and it influences me a lot.

What is some advice you can give a store owner that has really made a difference in sales for your store?

I do a lot of pop sales and a great deal of fundraising. I give back, whether I have a lot or a little. I want to give back. We have recently begun hosting birthdays for families that either can’t afford or can’t plan a party for their kids. We are blessing family’s forward.

We have recently opened a kitchen in our building where we allow the community to use it and try things at no charge. We are starting a new project where we have someone baking cupcakes and we are going to start bringing seniors from a local home cupcakes to help celebrate their day. I am amazed how the community wants to help. You just need to provide the right situation for people and they are thrilled to give their time.

What makes Market Square a destination for store owners?

Definitely the product selection. Market Square has some of the best local artists around. If you like quality handmade items, primitives, or farmhouse, Market Square is the destination.

How do you market your business?

We advertise on Facebook, and we use blast email. Social Media is where I get the best results, and I spend the most amounts of time and money in marketing. 84% of Americans have a phone or tablet in their hands most of their waking hours. Social Media is necessary for all businesses.

If you could hold the hands of any person, living or dead, who would you choose?

Definitely my Mom. She worked at Black Crow until the day she died and loved the business very much. My mom was everybody’s grandmother. She was such a nice lady. What a blessing it would be to hold her hand one last time!

What’s your favorite item that you make for Black Crow?

It would have to be the big bakery scented candles. The smell of a bakery takes me back to a time growing up and brings back so many happy memories. When I was growing up, my Mom didn’t work out of the house and when I came home I would walk in the house and smell something cooking or baking.

Warm scents of Black Crow Candle

Warm scents of Black Crow Candle.

What’s your advice for people who want to follow their passion like you do?

Never give up. It doesn’t matter if what you’re starting is small. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Even if it’s small, it will be challenging so you just must keep trying.

What is unique about Black Crow?

Our candles are about the scents, and just because I want a peach scent, doesn’t mean I want a peach color candle. Because of Black Crow Candle’s neutral color, our candles can go anywhere and everywhere. You can choose your scent because you like it, not because of the color. Our candles do take longer to make. It goes through 8 different time-consuming steps before it goes into a store. To keep us unique, I think it is important to go through these steps. It is a labor of love. Also, we don’t put our name and number on the candles, so we can protect our stores.

Where can people contact you to find out more about Black Crow Candle?

Go to our website, or they can check out our Facebook page.

Find Black Crow Candle at our wholesale show February 3-5, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.