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A burning passion: Creating change one candle at a time

Door County Candle Company announces transition to a philanthropic focus

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June 1, 2023

CARLSVILLE – Up in Wisconsin’s peninsula, the heart of Door County Candle Company (DCCC) is set ablaze with a new purpose – to give back to organizations in need.

Christiana Trapani, the owner of Door County Candle Company, announced recently that the 30-year-old company is shifting to a philanthropic focus.

Trapani said her desire to give back started last February when DCCC launched its Ukrainian candle initiative aimed at raising money for Razom for Ukraine – a nonprofit delivering life-saving services to Ukrainian people affected by the ongoing conflict with Russia.

It was that, along with supporting other organizations, that Trapani said she wanted “to be full on philanthropic, not just (with) some candles.”

“That all got me thinking about why I love doing this,” she said. “I love that our candles are agents of change. People are agents of change, and I love that people want to help and make a difference.”

Candles Creating Change
Naming DCCC’s philanthropic extension, Trapani said, came fairly easily.

“We were saying ‘Candles Creating Change’ for a while,” she said. “I want that to be what we do – candles creating change. I want all our products to mean more than just a candle product. I want people to hold it and feel they truly are part of something bigger, something positive.”

Trapani said making the move to become a fully philanthropic company took about a year.

Any time a customer purchases a soy or traditional candle, votives or wax melts, Trapani said a portion of that sale will go to various charities and nonprofits the company chooses. 

// Trapani

“I will choose (the organization) monthly, approximately,” she said. “Our first one is supporting disabled veterans (through the Travis Mills Foundation)… then we’ll announce the next one, and we’re going to keep people updated on our site and social media.”

Trapani said organizations eligible must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit within the U.S.

“They can (do) work around the world, as long as they’re based in the United States,” she said.

On top of the Ukraine candle, which Trapani said has led to more than $1 million in proceeds donated, there are a variety of other organizations DCCC has raised funds in the past for as well.

“We launched a candle for Hurricane Ian,” she said. “We raised a little more than $14,000 for the American Red Cross. And then we did one for UNICEF for the earthquake in Turkey – we raised a little more than $8,000 for that.”

Trapani said DCCC also started to support local organizations.

“We call (the fundraisers) Support a Cause,” she said. “We launched a local Support a Cause. Every quarter, we pick a nominated local Door County nonprofit to support.”

The importance of giving back
As a business owner, Trapani said “it’s so important” to give back.

“Businesses all have a platform to share messages,” she said. “I think it’s important to use those platforms as a way to help raise money for different causes and help causes in your community. It’s a necessity, and it’s crucial to give back and do as much as you can.”

Trapani said buying the business nearly two years ago was a huge catalyst for her giving back.

// Trapani said when she took over Door County Candle Company nearly two years ago, she knew she wanted to find a way to give back. Photo Courtesy of Door County Candle Company

“This business, for me, is a platform to use to bring out the best in people and bring out the giving side and the side of people giving back… I always hear people saying they didn’t think one candle would make a difference… and I always tell them, ‘Well, one candle, plus one candle, plus one candle is what it gets to,” she said.

And, with pride and passion for philanthropy, Trapani said, comes pride and passion for the products. 

“They’re handcrafted, they’re the highest quality ingredients we can get, from the wax to the fragrances,” she said. 

At the end of the day, Trapani said the candles are so much more than just candles.

“Candles are symbolic for light and hope and unity,” she said.

For more information on Door County Candle Company and its philanthropic efforts, visit

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