Have you ever wondered what was in that wax that your candle is burning? How does it create the particular scent it is emitting? Well, it depends on where you got the candle from. Unfortunately, some candle companies use ingredients that are far from ideal. As they burn, chemicals are released into the air and then you end up breathing that in. This was part of the basis that started the company Wick’ed. This candle company focuses on creating quality candles that have no harmful additives and produce no offensive chemicals in the air.
Samantha Schacher started the company with the assistance of her husband, Mark. When they were getting married, they had trouble finding the types of candles they wanted and that was more motivation to start the company. Things had gone well, the biggest issue they kept running into was generating profit. They were able to land some deals but nothing seemed to work. They needed to do something or the business might fail. This is where Marcus comes in.
Wick’ed on The Profit
The Profit Season 3 Episode 15
Marcus meets with the couple at their “warehouse” which can hardly be described using that word. Usually, when you think of a warehouse you think of a large facility with dozens of employees working. This warehouse couldn’t even fit one dozen people inside. He takes a look at their products and he has some mixed feelings about the operation. Candles is a pretty niche market for one thing. Also, there were product issues including the candles not looking new, even though they had yet to be sold. And why had they yet to be sold? Well, the couple is having a hard time selling, as Marcus suspected. However, they did land a major deal with Urban Outfitters. Finally, Marcus disagrees on their pricing, he thinks the candles should be about $10 cheaper than they’re selling for.
At this point in the episode, Marcus talks to some of the employees and continues to deal with the couple where some new information is revealed. Many of the employees take some issue with Mark, he is a bit overbearing at times and his methods seem to have a lot of madness and not much logic. It becomes understandable why Mark does feel so personally responsible for the success of the company. He is $16k in debt of his own money, outside of the company’s debt. This makes Samantha worried as she was mostly unaware.
Marcus sits the couple down to give them his pitch. He takes out the financial records and goes over them with the couple. Mark and Sam both seem nervous, Mark complains about his clammy hands. What Marcus finds is that, while the company started out doing very well, things have slipped over the past year or two. Debt has increased and revenue has slowed. Marcus finds that they are currently working with only about $600 in the bank. He says that, when considering that, the company should be viewed as a start-up. The couple pushes back on that assertion, but they know Marcus is correct. He isn’t saying that to bother them, and he is still excited about the business and the future. He gives them his offer: $200k for one-third of the business. He is going to be calling all of the shots, too. The couple is happy to accept his offer.
The three new business partners travel to Candle Delirium, a huge candle store owned by a friend of Mark and Sam’s. Marcus is disappointed to find that not nearly enough Wick’ed candles are being sold at the huge location. The owner explains that it is because of the specific nature of the candles that he can’t stock them in bulk. Mark pushes back on the assertion, attempting to justify the reasons for this. Marcus has little patience for it, he knows that he is going to have a lot of work to do with Mark to make him into a capable businessman.
Mark continues to be a problem when the three partners go to Modern Candle to try to set up a connection with the big candle manufacturer. They’ll be able to outsource most of the production to Modern Candle. It seems like a perfect match, right? Wrong! Because Mark knows the owner of Modern Candle, he’s a former employee, and they have had “issues” in the past. At this point, Marcus explains to Mark in a very matter-of-fact way, that business partnerships do not need to be perfect matches made in heaven. They offer exactly what the company needs, so Mark will have to swallow his pride and simply work with this person he is not too fond of. Mark agrees in the end, the two companies have a deal.
There are issues with Mark continually with regards to design. He is stubborn and would rather keep the aesthetic he likes, rather than shooting for larger appeal. Marcus struggles with this kind of thing throughout the episode. He takes the couple to Chicago where they meet with Market Ready, a distribution company. A deal is set up between the company. A few days later, Marcus checks in with Modern Candle’s owner, only to find that Mark had never finalized the deal. Marcus is not happy.
After a pretty heated back and forth where Mark reveals some of the deeper reasons why he doesn’t want to work with Modern Candle, Marcus can calm him down and talk him into working with the company after all. Mark is reluctant, but eventually, he agrees and the deal is finalized. The group takes another trip over to NYC where Marcus hopes they can land a deal with another major distributor. The episode comes to a crescendo when Mark makes the pitch to the NYC distributor with his new design. He knocks it out of the park, showing that both Mark and the company are in a better place and have a better outlook for the future.
Life After The Profit
The company is now known as Biren & Co. The changes that they have made to design and the overall approach to the business have improved things dramatically. Many of their products have become more affordable and it appears that the company is doing far better now than before Marcus became involved.
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