Couple open candle shop at Luverne’s Mall on Main – The Globe

LUVERNE — Jesse Booker had dabbled in candle making as a hobby for several years, giving them as homemade gifts to family and friends.

Then, when he suddenly faced a lot of free time at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his partner, Shawna Marshall, began ramping up production of their soy-based candles and wax melts to 100 %.

“It just started in our garage,” Marshall said with a laugh. “Now we have our candles in four different stores – they really exploded in a few months.”

Building on the success of their hobby business, the couple are now opening their own store in downtown Luverne. Vasshaus, which is a combination of the Swedish word for reed and the German word for house, was a word suggested by Booker – who speaks semi-fluent German – and Marshall said it sounded like the perfect combination of casualness and elegance.

So far, they’ve developed a year-round collection of 15 different scented candles and melted waxes, with 10 additional scents in their seasonal collections. All products are soy-based, which Marshall touts as clean-burning and environmentally friendly.

While Booker focuses on the science of candle making, Marshall adds creativity. She researches scents and scent combinations and creates the blends, and they both hand pour the candles. They currently offer jar candles in 3.5 ounce and 9 ounce glass jars, while melted waxes are available for purchase in 2 ounce tins.

“As we progress through the year we will have larger candles,” Marshall said, adding that they also plan to add votive candles to their product line.

In keeping with the eco-friendly orientation, Vasshaus Candle Co. also plans to implement a recycling program. If people return their jars and boxes of candles, they can get a discount on their next purchase.

“We can clean it all up and reuse it,” Marshall said.

Vasshaus Candle Co. will open at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Mall on Main, 219 E. Main St., with a three-day Grand Opening Celebration Groundbreaking Ceremony ending Saturday with door prizes, selected sales and coupon offers.

“It’s going to be a pretty awesome thing, I think,” Marshall said. “We just have a lot of work to get there.”

Their store was previously occupied by a clothing store, and Marshall said they were working not only on their storefront, but also on fitting out their back office space.

“The location is a good size for what we want to do,” she said, adding that eventually they would like to offer candle-making classes through community education.

With two young children together — Julien, 4, and Avery, 1 — and Booker’s three children visiting for the summer — Cayden, 12, Natalya, 10, and Colton, 8 — Marshall said the store will include also a children’s corner so they can be with their children while they work.

Marshall is excited about the location, which is under the same roof as Reborn Home Furnishings.

“Our candles look great with Reborn’s (goods),” she said. “Customers can stop at both stores. They complement each other very well. »

In addition to their retail store in Luverne, Marshall said they will continue to sell Vasshaus Candle Co. products at Serenity Gifts in Worthington, Wildflowers in Luverne, Mo’ Than Antiques in Currie and Haisch Pharmacy in Canton, Dakota. from South.

“It took a long time, it was a lot of work; it’s also a passion project,” Marshall said. “We appreciate it – it doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing something you love.”

Originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Marshall moved to Luverne eight years ago. She works full time at the Southwestern Mental Health Center and is a member of the Rotary Club. Booker, meanwhile, moved to Luverne six years ago from Tennessee. He works full time at Raven in Sioux Falls and also teaches at Luverne Street Music.

“We love Luverne, and we’re happy to be a part of (the community) in this way as well,” Marshall said.

With their busy schedules, Marshall said her mother would initially help out in the store. Eventually, they hope to hire an employee.

Vasshaus Candle Co. will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Marshall has warned that hours could be reduced in the first month as she rearranges her work schedule.

Elizabeth J. Harris