The First 30 Days!

Riley's Candles

We're not in the candle business...We're in the dog-saving business... We're on a mission to save as many dogs' lives as possible!
Thank you Sam Browne 🦖 for helping us out with the copywriting on our new tagline!

It has been 30 days since we kicked off Riley's Candles first Brick and Mortar retail store in beautiful Traverse City, MI. It has also been 30 days since we went live with the e-commerce store at!

To say it has been a whirlwind would be a huge understatement! It has taken an army to get this small business off the ground, including contractors, vendors, lawyers, partners, graphic designers, local business members, the local media, and all sorts of other folks I'm leaving out. Most importantly, though, the amount of help from friends, family, and peers has blown me away! Thank you very much to everyone for your help and support. I would also be remiss if I did give a huge thank you to our employee #1 Marlee Harrison!

The store has been amazing to watch come along, from a roughed-out interior, to a beautifully finished retail and studio space. The logo was redesigned entirely, and the website was built from the ground up. We have so much further to go, but in writing this, it is fun looking back on how far we have come!

Riley has shipped candles to 17 different states around the country so far and is just getting started. He has even shipped a few over the pond to our friends in London at Lloyds! We have made many new 4 legged friends at the store and love having folks come in with their pups to say hi, support Riley's cause, and tell us their story. Dog lovers are truly the best kind of people and have huge hearts.

The most important thing we have done is making our first donation since opening in Traverse City to help a local pup who was in need of emergency surgery on their knee. We will give updates in more detail in the next newsletter and on Social Media.

Overall, it has been almost 6 months since stepping back from insurance, the only industry I have ever known, to start this adventure. During the first few months, I wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into. Everything seemed to cost twice as much and take twice as long as planned! I have several folks who have acted as mentors to me throughout the process and have been a huge help in keeping the ball rolling in the right direction.

I have been studying lots of other Social Impact Businesses throughout this process and it is amazing the effect a small movement can have on the world. I can't explain how excited we are to make our impact on the world with Riley's Candles. It's been the biggest learning experience, the most humbling experience, and the most rewarding experience I have been a part of in my professional life.

One of the companies I have been following along with is TerraCycle and I think their founder sums up my feelings perfectly with this quote!

“The challenging part is in the beginning; its a leap of faith. But I think the most important thing is to just do it. Start.”
- Tom Szaky, Founder of Terra Cycle


We would be honored to have you visit us in-store or online at We are accepting bulk orders for corporate gifts at, and we are taking orders online for gifts shipped throughout the US to be delivered by Christmas if ordered this week!

Follow along at Riley's Candles and updates posted regularly by Josh Hart AIS, ASLI, AU 💭.

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