Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 133
Northern Lights Candles
northernlightscandles.com / Annual revenue: $10-20 million / Headquarters: Wellsville, N.Y. /
Employees: 100 / Andy Glanzman, CEO: "We're really gung-ho when it comes to lean thinking."
a couple turned a hobby
into a multimilliondollar business.
by kat zeman
The dream was born inside of an
old New York farmhouse without electricity. It was there that Andy and Tina
Glanzman started crafting candles in
order to see at night. Soon after, they
started making them for their friends
and neighbors. They were a young
couple in love - and this was their
shared passion and creative outlet.
"I never imagined that you can
make a living by making candles," says
Andy Glanzman, CEO and co-founder
of Northern Lights Candles.
Feeling entrepreneurial, the couple took out a $500 bank loan secured
against a small 1950 John Deere Model
M tractor and launched a venture that
changed their lives forever. Almost 39
years later, the Wellsville, N.Y.-based
candle-making company generates
between $10 million to $20 million in
revenue annually with a growth rate
of more than 20 percent a year. This
growth rate is on track and expected
to continue in 2017 and for the foreseeable future, Glanzman says.
Northern Lights designs, manufactures and distributes about 600 different types of mid- to high-end candles
and accessories and distributes an
additional 200. Its national network
of retailers includes more than 4,000
specialty gift stores and boutiques.
In addition, the company makes
private-label candles for industry giants like Walgreens, Costco, Yankee
Candle, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby,
Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdale's.
northern lights designs, manufactures
and distributes about 600 different
types of mid- to high-end candles and
Northern Lights also sells its candles in about 20 foreign countries.
But a growing portion of the company's revenue comes from online retail
sales, which increased by roughly 74
percent in 2016.
"Our web business is growing like
crazy," Glanzman says. "It's the fastest-growing part of the company.
We're growing at over 100 percent
Glanzman believes that product
quality, high-end customer service
and a focus on lean manufacturing
have helped make his company a success. "We're really gung-ho when
MAY/JUNE 2017 manufacturing-today.com