Teacher-turned-entrepreneur opens candle shop in Madison | Business

A new candle store opened in downtown Madison last week, owned and operated by Talia Waller, a Morgan County Middle School teacher with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Waller founded Catherine Ann’s Candles, which provides safe, all-natural candle products, after discovering harmful chemicals often used by the larger commercial candle industry. The name is in memory of his two grandmothers. Catherine is his maternal grandmother and Ann is his paternal grandmother.

“I wanted to create a brand that would honor them,” said Waller, who takes pride in making products that are unique, safe and made from all-natural resources.

“I decided to get into candle making when I started researching several harmful effects of candles made by several large candle companies. I thought it was important that people could enjoy the candles and not have to worry about ingesting harmful chemicals, ”Waller said in February as she prepared to open her downtown store. .

Waller’s first passion is education and she remains committed to teaching the arts of the English language to her high school students while making sure to run her own business. She grew up in Morgan County and was mentored by the Morgan County Boys & Girls Club, crediting the club for inspiring her vision for success. As a student volunteer at the club, Waller discovered teaching by helping younger children with their homework after school. She decided to pursue a career in teaching in college. After graduating, she returned to her hometown to put her studies into action. She is currently in her fifth year at Morgan County Middle School. She hopes to invest in the lives of middle school students in Morgan County the same way the local community invested in her as she grew up.

“Ever since I grew up in Morgan County and attended the school system here, I have always had a desire to come back and teach in the very community that has helped shape me and become the person that I am today, ”Waller said.

Waller thanks the Boys & Girls Club for introducing him to the passion of his life.

“Being involved with the Boys & Girls Club definitely allowed me to explore my passion of teaching and helping young children, and I was able to develop leadership skills,” Waller said.

Now Waller has honed the leadership skills instilled in him to start his own business.

Waller celebrated the opening of his store with his family and friends during the ribbon cutting on Wednesday, April 7. Catherine Ann’s Candles is located at 206 West Washington Street in Madison. To learn more about Waller’s new downtown boutique, visit catherineannscandle.com.

Elizabeth J. Harris