#dayinthelife of Great Bear Wax Co.


Today’s #dayinthelife spotlight is on Great Bear Wax Co, a candle company that prides itself in creating natural candles from locally sourced ingredients.  Jake Carnley, the owner, tells We Shop American his story, the operations and inspirations for making the candles, and how the company came to be. Plus, be sure to REGISTER HERE for a chance to win a candle from this great maker.



1. What’s the inspiration for your name?

The name Great Bear Wax Co. came directly from the constellation that contains the Big Dipper. I have spent the last 3 summers in the mountains of Northern California working at a camp and one night I walked out of my cabin and saw the Big Dipper and immediately felt a connection with God and with nature that I had never had before. I felt the vastness and beauty of creation and realized the intentionality that God exercised when creating man. I knew that when I started this project that I wanted to name it something that meant a lot to me, and Great Bear Wax Co. was the only name that kept coming up.


2. What pushed you to start your own company?

I started my own business really in an effort to find freedom. I desire a freedom to be my own boss and to make my ideas become a physical product. Starting a candle shop has been a dream of mine for the past few years but I’m not sure I ever thought that it would be a reality. I graduated from Auburn University in May of 2013 and left almost immediately for California. When I returned in August I decided that it was time to start the dream and in December I opened up shop online.   


3. Why did you choose your current product line?

I chose to work with local beeswax because it is one of the only substances that produces an all natural, healthy candle. I have also begun pouring organic soy candles, which I really enjoy working with as well.  


4. Where do you grab your inspiration for new ideas?

I am always being inspired. Many of my buds are creators and artists so they are always inspiring me. I live in a beautiful community that is embracing the arts which pushes and inspires me. Nature is a huge part of my life and I believe it is a never ending source of inspiration!  


5. What’s your goal for the company in the next 5 years…10 years?

I would like for Great Bear Wax Co. to have a presence in a community, to be a safe place for people spend a day learning about candle making. GBWCo would host community events. Having a store front in a community is my goal. This store front would have Beatles records playing 24 hours a day 😉  


6. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your journey?

Oh Lord, I have learned so much in the few months that I have been open. I think the main thing that I have learned is that your dreams are out there waiting for you. Its a scary thing to do, its not always easy to pursue your dreams but there is a huge reward waiting if you just pursue them!  


7. What key component has made your business successful?

Local. Supporting local. Creating local.   


8. Why is making by American hands important to you?

America is and has always been host to some of the most amazing creators in the world. There is a sense of quality that comes with the 3 words “Made in America.” We all know of American made products that have lasted years of use and years of wear.   


9. What ways have you benefited by focusing on “American-made”?

Like mentioned above, the sense of quality and the reputation that the words “Made in America” hold. I feel fulfilled keeping my products in America and working with local bee farmers. IT stimulates OUR economy.    


10. What message would you like to give American consumers?

The message I would give to American consumers is to make it a priority to buy American and of course to support local! The American dream is still alive and buy buying American you are helping support your brothers/sister’s dreams!

Buy Filed in: #dayinthelife