|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (September 2012)|
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Yankee Candle Company was started in South Hadley, Massachusetts when Michael Kittredge, originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts created his first scented candle Christmas 1969 from melted crayons as a gift for his mother. Neighbors began expressing interest in buying his creations, and Kittredge began producing them in larger quantities. The company itself was founded with help from Donald MacIver and Susan Obremski, who were high school friends with Kittredge. MacIver helped fund the start-up business with earnings from his part-time job. Candle production grew considerably after Obremski's father devised a "heated room", which enabled cost-saving liquid wax deliveries at the first factory site in Holyoke. Obremski's invention of a turntable taper wheel allowed production to double, while at the same time decreasing the need for more labor hours. In 1975, she managed the first Yankee Candle Shop located where the Village Commons, South Hadley now stands.
The company slowly expanded and moved to South Deerfield in 1983.
After a cancer scare in 1993, Kittredge started handing the company over to a friend and employee. In 1998, he sold the company to New York-based private equity company Forstmann Little for $500 million. Forstmann took the company public in 1999, and in 2001, hired Craig Rydin as a CEO. Rydin launched a major advertising campaign and the line was picked up by mass retailers Linens-N-Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond, pushing sales to their highest levels yet. Kittredge remains the company's chairman emeritus.
During the summer of 2006, Yankee Candle purchased[dead link] Illuminations, a Petaluma, California-based, multi-channel retailer of high quality candles and home accessories. Although the two companies were similar, the names were separated, with Illuminations being aimed at a different demographic.[dead link] The Illuminations brand and web store were phased out in early 2009.
The original founder, Michael Kittredge, has since moved on and created Kringle Candle, with his son Michael (Mick).
In October 2012 Yankee Candle Europe launched their Consumer Direct website,http://www.yankeecandle.co.uk offering their full range of products direct to consumers following the successes of their U.S colleagues.
Yankee Candle's flagship store, which opened in 1989, is located on Routes 5, 10, and 116 in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. It features all available Yankee Candles as well as kitchen and home accessories, New England crafts, gifts and collectibles, a toy shop, picnic grounds and a "Bavarian Christmas Village" filled with decorated Christmas trees and a toy train that runs through to Santa's Workshop, where animated elves and an 'assembly line' for wooden vehicles surround Santa Claus's desk. Visitors can dip their own candles in a specially equipped area, make wax molds of their hands, or create their own unique candle. There is also a candle making museum. The shop's award-winning Chandler's Tavern serves American cuisine and fine wines.
A second flagship store was opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2005. At 10,000 square feet (930 m2), it is about 1/3 the size of the South Deerfield store.
Yankee Candle Company markets an array of products, including candles of various scents and sizes, scented wax tarts, candle accessories, votive candles (Samplers), votive candle holders, tart warmers, jar toppers (for use with the Housewarmer line of candles), reed diffusers, Electric Home Fragrance units (scented wall plug-ins), car scents, room sprays, Good Air products, and more.
- "Yankee Candle Today". Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- "Historical Timeline". Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- Whelan, David (2004-01-11). "Letting Go". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- Yankee Candle Profile - BostonJobSource.com
- "The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. Agrees to Acquire the Illuminations Brand". Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- "Yankee Candle and Madison Dearborn Partners Announce Completion of Merger". Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- Yankee Candle sold for $1.75b to consumer products firm
- Kittredge. "Yankee Candle Catalog." Introduction to Yankee Candle. Comp. Susan Kittredge. Holyoke: Marcus Printing, 1975.
- MacIver, Donald. Telephone interview. 10 November 2006.
- A Day of Production at Yankee Candle. Dir. Obremski. Perf. various. 35 mm slides. Yankee Candle in-store video monitors, 1975.
- Yankee Candle home page
- Yankee Candle UK
- Yankee Candle historical timeline
- Illuminations owned by Yankee Candle
- Yankee Candle Retailer in France