Who would believe that one day a teenager by a lack of money would be able to create the largest company of scented candles in the world? This is exactly how Michael J. Kittredge began his journey as an entrepreneur.
The year was 1969 and Kittredge had led hitherto a common teenage life in his high school. Involved in a rock band Kittredge had his first disappointment when his dream of success guitarist evaporated by the end of the band. Disappointed that his dream was over, Michael was seen without money, without many hopes and to make matters worse it was Christmas time.
"I was 16 -year- old kid," Kittredge reflected in an April 2007 interview with Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine. "My rock band had just broken up, I had no money, and I needed a gift for my mother." It was in trying to find a solution to his problem that Michael began his unexpectedly career that although it was not a rock star, would turn into a successful entrepreneur.
No money to buy the coveted Christmas gift for his mother, Michael instead relied on his own resourcefulness. Kittredge looked around, and started collecting scraps on your home. It was with old metal bowls, used crayons, old milk containers and fragrances that Michael produced his first candle. Although the problem had been solved in time for Christmas, his mother did not receive a gift.
The entrepreneur side of Kittredge prevailed. The candle was eventually sold to a neighbor for US$2.00, and from that point Michael's life began to change. After selling his first creation Kittredge made a candle gift for his mother, but the urge to turn it into a business that generate profit remained in his mind.
Michael despite the lack of experience in business and had no money, but he believed in his idea. He began to divide his time between the venture and his high school. Although many believe that the idea is not nothing but a 'lemonade stand on the sidewalk’, Kittredge wanted to grow.
In order for this to happen in a faster way, Michael proposed a partnership with his cousin. He would pay him US$1.00 per hour in order for him to help in the production of candles. Made in the garage of his home, the partnership of Michael started making candles for not only family but also for friends and neighbors. All customers also participated as suppliers of empty milk cartons since they had been 'forced' to have a significant increase in consumption of milk.
The company was named by Michael Kittredge Candles, but soon changed for The Yankee Candles, because Michael believed that a stronger name would attract more customers and partners.
When he finished high school, Michael joined the University of Massachusetts while his candle factory was still working in the garage of his parents. Back that time; it was difficult to discern if the house were the home of Kittredge's or if it were a candle factory. Michael then gained an ultimatum from his parents: 'his factory would have to get out of there'. The only thing that his...