Today we’d like to introduce you to Christoff Visscher.
Christoff, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started Cantrip Candles after coming to the realization that I didn’t want my schedule or self-worth being determined by others. Between the gauntlet of audition rejections as an actor and constantly being scheduled for shifts as a sales associate, I wanted more control over my life. The actual idea for candles started when I was playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons and a player spilled beer on the table. Fortunately, we were all located in a tavern within the game, and the smell of beer only added to the atmosphere. This sparked the idea that I could increase immersion in the game through scent!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think that anything worthwhile comes easy and I’ve certainly had my struggles, but I have been blessed with some doors opening at just the right time. When the candles became more of a business than a hobby, I started hitting the pavement to find retailers that would be willing to stock my products. Due to the niche market of fantasy-themed candles, I was focusing on game stores in specific. Los Angeles is FULL of amazing game stores like Geeky Teas & Games and Emerald Knights Comic and Games, both which were willing to give my candles a chance. Those high-profile stores taking a risk on my products quickly helped make Cantrip Candles a respectable name in the tabletop industry.
Now, as the business continues to grow, I’m starting to really notice the growing pains that come with success. Hiring employees, managing inventory, and working to continue expanding the fragrance line are all really difficult plates to juggle. You’ll have to check back in a few years to see if I navigated this new storm effectively.
Cantrip Candles – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Cantrip Candles are 100% soy wax candles designed for use with tabletop adventures like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and other roleplaying games. Our fragrance line includes scents for dungeons, taverns, forests, and even bakeries! Players can light a candle about an hour before game night and transform the room into their chosen scent, adding to the immersion at the game table. I think what sets us apart from other candle companies is the fact that we strive to make the scents as accurate as possible. Too often do you go to a store and find candles that smell nothing like they are named for. When folks smell our candles, they usually react with something along the lines of “holy crap that smells just like old books!” I’d say that that’s what makes me most proud- seeing the reactions people have after smelling the candles for the first time.
We’ve recently started adding more accessory-based items to our online store like pins, tote bags, and spellbook themed matchboxes.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is tricky, especially in this city. On one hand, you can define success as being able to pay rent. Being able to survive in Los Angeles on the profits of candles isn’t something I take for granted at all. Success can also be determined by how you compare to others. It’s a concept that plagues this city and often makes us doubt ourselves because there’s always someone doing something bigger and better.
I gauge success on how I feel about myself when I’m alone in a room. If I’m able to really look back at what I’ve done so far without needing anyone else to offer praise or advice, then yes, I’d say I’m successful. It’s also important to set goals for yourself, be they financial or creative. Being able to track your progress on a timeline is a great way to make sure that the business is gradually moving forward.
- Our 6oz candle tins are $14.50
- Our 16oz glass candles with included metal dice are $32.99
- Our enamel pins are $10
- Website: www.cantripcandles.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cantripcandles
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cantripcandles
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CantripCandles