OTR pop-up shop will sell a unique Valentine's Day gift: Handmade candles

WCPOPublished: February 9, 2018
Published: February 9, 2018

We might not always conceptualize Valentine's Day as a consumerist holiday in the vein of Christmas and Black Friday, but it is: Americans spend about $18 billion on V-Day gifts every year. For a business that can tap into the romantic zeitgeist, February is a great month. But how does a small business owner create a niche amid the onrushing tide of mass-produced flowers, chocolates and perfumes? "Don't get me wrong -- it was a struggle in the beginning," said Erikka Gray, owner of District 78 Luxury Candles.  But she found a way, and she hopes her weekend pop-up shop on Vine Street will inspire Cincinnatians to get their sweethearts -- or themselves -- a handmade, heartfelt gift. Gray's first candles were the ones she made for guests at her wedding, and she still sells the exact blend of fragrances she used then: Grapefruit and sage, which became the first of her 10 business's signature scents. "(My wedding guests) had more requests for me, like, ‘Hey, do you have one that smells like this or one that smells like that?'" she said. Her company blossomed from there.

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