Hobby turns into dream career for the founder of the new 1880 Candle Co.

The beautiful 1880 Candle Co opens downtown on Friday
The beautiful 1880 Candle Co opens downtown on Friday

Credit: Libby Ballengee

Credit: Libby Ballengee

Last weekend, the 1880 Candle Co. opens its doors to the public after an unlikely start just a few months ago.

Its owner, Shana Lloyd, is not from Dayton originally, but you’d never know that. Her dedication to helping victims of the Memorial Day tornadoes last year was commendable and long-lasting. Months after others went back to their normal lives, Lloyd continued her service work.

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Dedicating herself fully to Dayton’s recovery was fulfilling, yet taxing on both physical and emotional levels. It was suggested that she take up a soothing hobby to destress and let her mind and heart take a break. She decided to take up candle making. It had been of interest to her previously, but this time, she quite literally poured herself into it.

“While dealing with a year of anxiety and fear due to all of the tragedy in 2019, it was truly a way to just decompress and create,” Lloyd said. “Working in community outreach came with its own set of emotional challenges; creativity got me through it.”

Shana experimented with mixing soy wax with essential oils, along with leaves and petals from her garden. She was delighted with her creations and started sharing them on social media.

Shana’s commitment to making sustainable candles is what makes them so special. Along with hand pouring organic materials in small batches, she up-cycles vintage glassware to serve as reusable vessels for her custom candles.

1880 Candle Co. opens downtown on Friday, Aug. 7.
1880 Candle Co. opens downtown on Friday, Aug. 7.

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Soon, friends and family wanted her creations for themselves, and for gifts. Shana, a natural entrepreneur who ran her own successful photography business, decided to host pop-up events and then in January, created an online storefront for her candles.

When it came to deciding on a name and a logo, she was inspired by her beloved historic home in the Huffman Historic District. Shana and her husband John have been very involved in helping clean up and beautify the neighborhood, going to great lengths to make it feel like home.

The Lloyds home was built in 1880, thus becoming the namesake of the company. Then the “perfect” logo was designed, and just like that, Shana’s pastime went from a hobby to a full-time business.

The beautiful 1880 Candle Co. opens in downtown Dayton.
The beautiful 1880 Candle Co. opens in downtown Dayton.

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Credit: Shana Lloyd

As the business grew quickly in just a few months this winter, it became clear to the Lloyds that making the candles in their kitchen was no longer tenable.

“I would restock and be sold out in an hour,” Shana explained. “People have been buying them from across the country, not just here in Dayton.

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Shana looked for a space that made sense for her new shop, which she found on the ground floor of the Front Street Artist Studios & Gallery.

“When I set out searching for a storefront, I didn’t want traditional, and it was important for me to further embed myself in the artist community,” Shana explained. “While anyone can make candles, these are true art! I’m excited to be part of the Front Street community. It is the perfect home.”

In the midst of the ramp-up to the opening, Shana had an unexpected opportunity: making 1,000 remembrance candles for the vigil in memory of the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting. No small ask, yet Shana’s commitment to the community kicked in, and with a little help, was able to get them all created in time.

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The1880 Candle Co. made custom candles in memory of Oregon District victims.
The1880 Candle Co. made custom candles in memory of Oregon District victims.

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Credit: Shana Lloyd

The remembrance candles are part of the 1880 Candle Co’s Candles for Care movement. Since the candle company launched, Shana has created candles for nonprofits and fundraisers, including The Victory Project, YWCA Dayton, and first responders working on the coronavirus crisis.

Now though, Shana is dedicated to her store opening and creating a safe shopping experience. Shana is not creating any candles in advance, so customers won’t be able to pick up candles and smell them.

1880 Candle Co. opens downtown on Friday
1880 Candle Co. opens downtown on Friday

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Credit: Shana Lloyd

Instead, shoppers will be picking out their vintage glassware in person, and smelling the scents via disposable smell strips. Shana will then hand make the candle, with the handpicked glassware, scent and flowers.

“This concept is now being launched at our Front Street location and we’ve created a touchless and digital experience for shopping that I’m excited to share with my customers,” Shana said. “We’ve had to pivot and re-envision given the pandemic, but we’ve created something safe and fun.”

How to go?

The shop is located at 1001 E. Second St. BLDG 100 - Door C-D - Studio 1525 (ground level).

For future store hours, visit www.1880candleco.com/shop-info

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