Excelsior Candle Co.

Morning Mug Series: Excelsior Candle Co.

Happy Women’s History Month! We’re celebrating with a special collaboration featuring Excelsior Candle Co., a woman-owned business based in Minneapolis.

Together, we’ve crafted a unique candle inspired by one of our best-selling blends, Toasted Southern Pecan. Established in 2014 by the incredible founder, Heidi Mueller, Excelsior Candle Co. is a candle and wellness brand centered on sustainability and intentionality.

A portion of all Excelsior Candle Co. sales go to Emerge Twin Cities, to support and empower single mothers. Learn more about Excelsior Candle Co., coffee & candles, and women’s entrepreneurship below. Don’t miss out on our limited-edition candles—grab yours before they vanish!

When did you make your first candle?

April 2014. I have a love for fire and my company was originally called Vintage Pyro. I previously worked in accounting, and my family encouraged me to pick something and stick with it. I told them I was going to make candles, they told me I didn’t really do that, but I love fire, so that’s what I chose. I made a bet with them that if candles didn’t work out, I’d return to my day job in a year. A year later I was able to quit my job and make candles full time.

How does your family history inspire your work?

There are a lot of entrepreneurs in my family, including a candy factory on my mother’s side. My family inspired my entrepreneurship; there is a strong spirit of entrepreneurship, independence, and hard work in our family that laid my foundation.

What grounds you? What ignites your creativity? 

Nature grounds me and inspires me.

What’s your favorite type of coffee?

I will drink any coffee that doesn’t have cream or sugar, but I like bold flavors. I opened and ran Captain’s Cove, a small coffee shop in Beaver Bay MN, in 2006- 2007. I tried everything and experimented when I worked there, I tried it all. It’s safe to say I love coffee. No coffee, no working.

Talk to us about bottomless candles and sustainability in candle-making.

When I started Vintage Pyro, reusing was an important feature, as I only filled vintage containers. I wanted to keep the recycled/reused piece as a part of the business as I evolved into Excelsior Candle Co. (which took its name from Excelsior, MN, where the business started out). Now, people can bring in their used container and get a candle for half off!

Walk us through your creative process. How do you come up with new candle designs and scents?

I get inspiration from Nature. The upcoming Grow with Me Collection is inspired by being in nature, gardening, and spending time outside. One of my current candles is inspired by childhood memories of my mother and grandmother pickling watermelon rind. I would eat all the watermelon and drink the juice and then they’d take the rind and pickle it. It was delicious. 

What are the benefits of soy wax? Why did you choose soy as the wax for your candles?

Soy wax is clean burning…it doesn’t leave soot on your walls, it’s renewable and natural, and overall healthier. And all of my soy wax is locally sourced.

Is there anything on the horizon for Excelsior Candle Co. that excites you?

We recently got into Walmart! Look for us online and in stores in 2024.

 What advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Go for it. Don’t be afraid to leap and build your wings on the way down. 

Tell us about your work with Emerge Twin Cities and supporting single mothers. How is community impact a part of your business?

I was a single mom at the age of 19 with twins, so helping other single mothers and parents get their feet on solid ground is important. Through my relationship with Emerge Twin Cities, I support programs helping single mothers become entrepreneurs, taking financial and business classes, and providing a network and community of strong, supportive women supporting women. 

Who are some women in your life who inspire you?

I have a really good network of women through the Business Women’s Circle; super supportive, savvy, and uplifting. Everyone has her own attributes. Being an entrepreneur can be isolating, so having a community can be uplifting. Having people to bounce ideas off of, or to know I am not the only one on the roller coaster rides, that’s important.   

Cameron’s believes that mornings are a special time when anything is possible. What do mornings mean to you?

Meditation, reflection, gratitude. Starting slowly and enjoying the moment. Mornings are like the warmth of a coffee, inhaling and exhaling, enjoying that moment, breathing in and taking it slow. 

How do candles play a part in your morning/grounding rituals?

I love candles, I love to burn them all the time. As soon as I get to the studio in the mornings I light palo santo to cleanse the space, then I light a candle. That’s how I ground myself. I take 10-15 minutes to be centered and calm. That’s how I start my morning. 

Thank you to Heidi for letting Cameron’s Coffee tag along with you at Excelsior Candle Co.

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