EDGEWATER — A business that got its start at the annual Edgewater yard sale has opened its own shop in the neighborhood, and the owners hope to revive a local retail corridor.
Edgewater Candles opened its store Friday at 1050 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. It is the first store for the business, which got its start six years ago from the sidewalk outside owners Stephen Pearlman and Mark Towns’ Edgewater home.
The couple began making candles as a hobby before debuting their products at the Edgewater Yard and Sidewalk Sale in 2016. They expanded to the Edgewater Farmers Market and local street festivals, including Edgefest.
Edgewater Candles can be found at local retailers, street fests and its online store. The business also has a “candle camper” van from which it sells its products. But the dream was to have their own store, the owners said.
“We aim to be a vital part of our community,” Towns said in a statement. “We view running our small business as an opportunity to challenge ourselves every day to bring something beautiful to the world.”
Edgewater Candles’ Bryn Mawr Avenue store stocks its line of locally made candles, aromatherapy products and wooden scent diffusers. The brand has nearly 30 candle fragrances and recently debuted a zodiac collection, with 12 scents inspired by the astrological signs.
The store will also hold events, including candle-making classes, according to the business. The first series of classes begins in August.
The LGBTQ-owned Edgewater Candles opened in the historical Bryn Mawr Avenue shopping district that has been battered by the pandemic and construction on the nearby Red Line.
Bryn Mawr Avenue has lost anchor businesses, including Francesca’s and Nookies. Earlier this year, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said he is seeking additional police patrols of the area to combat disturbances on the retail corridor.
Pearlman and Towns have lived near Bryn Mawr Avenue since launching Edgewater Candles. When deciding to open a physical store, the business owners sought to stay close and contribute to Bryn Mawr Avenue’s revitalization, Towns said.
“We have seen the changes the street is going through and dreamed of opening a store here,” he said. “We know we could have done well in nearby Andersonville or Granville [Avenue], and we love those areas, but we wanted to be part of the brightening of Bryn Mawr and help not only our namesake neighborhood but our neighborhood.”
Pearlman and Towns spent seven weeks updating the store, including adding a new ceiling and floors and giving it a paint job.
“The response from the public has been absolutely incredible,” Towns said.
Edgewater Candles is open noon-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
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