Wisconsin Candle Co. smells like home

Store moves to a bigger location in Waunakee
Wisconsin Candle Co. smells like home
Photo by Timothy Hughes

What started out as a kitchen table project in 2012 has grown into a company supplying 60 small shops and boutiques in Wisconsin, the Boston Store, Sendik’s and its own brick and mortar store.

Deb Riphahn started the Wisconsin Candle Co. to create products that wouldn’t trigger her environmental asthma or others’ sensitivities. Through trial and error, Riphahn taught herself how to make all of the products, starting with candles, and eventually beard oil, fragrance sprays, soaps, lotions, scrubs and more.

“It just sort of takes on a life of its own,” Riphahn says. “You start to make lotion and soap and other things and the complementary products that all go together.”

The company outgrew its location in Sun Prairie, so Riphahn opened up a larger store in July in Waunakee. Inside the cozy store, simple white candles with brown labels sit upon shelves against cool-colored walls. In the back, customers can watch the products being made.

Despite having orders of up to 5,000 candles at a time, Riphahn and her team continue making small batches of 25 to better control elements and ensure quality ingredients. The candles are 100 percent soy with cotton-core wicks and no additives, keeping things as pure as possible.

Many of the candle fragrances keep with the company’s Wisconsin origin, such as Kettle Moraine Forest, Wisconsin Lilac, Door County Cherry Blossom and Cranberry Fest. An entire line of candles is based on Madison’s Yahara Chain of Lakes, reminding people of the scents of home. “Nobody loves Wisconsin like people from Wisconsin,” Riphahn says.


A Wisconsin Favorite
With a brandy old-fashioned candle, it’s hard to distinguish the scent from the real thing. $18Wisconsin Candle Co. smells like home

Get a fresh clean feeling with an all-natural cranberry seed foot scrub. $12Wisconsin Candle Co. smells like home

Monsters Beware!
Scare away those closet and bed monsters with Monster Spray, a citrus room aerosol guaranteed to prevent bad odor (and monsters). $6Wisconsin Candle Co. smells like home

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @minniemickeygirl.