Shining Sol Candle Company was founded in 2012 by award winning musician, producer, and author Pete Evick. In addition to his role at Shining Sol, Pete works with Rock Icon and TV reality star Bret Michaels as his guitarist and music director, among other duties. While on a long overdue break from touring the world years ago, Pete developed an interest in candle making. While it started as a quiet hobby in his seemingly loud life, he also decided that starting an online business of some kind would help teach his kids the skills and thrills of entrepreneurism. In an ever-changing world where job stability has all but disappeared he felt running a business of his own would be an invaluable lesson for his children, and starting a candle company became the obvious choice; and so Shining Sol was formed.
Pete quickly developed the desire to create something new and different with this timeless art of candle making. As an added bonus, within the candle world, he could take part in helping stimulate the American economy. He found that he could contribute to the American farming industry by using soy wax as opposed to the most common candle making wax, known as paraffin. While that alone was enough to justify using soy wax, learning that soy is also clean burning and non-toxic when used in candles…well, that was just as important a reason. Supporting our country and our environment at the same time? You just can’t go wrong.
Next came the choice to use a wood wick instead of the traditional cotton wick. The wood wick crackles like wood in a fireplace (or campfire) and provides an incredibly relaxing ambiance. While there are several wood wick candles and even more soy candles on the market today, the combination of soy and wood wick is rare due to the complications that arise from being able to achieve a perfect burn pool when the two are combined. Pete was up to the challenge and called on Phil Niemerg of Candle Art to help develop the perfect wick. After months of research and development the team developed the right balance and formula for the “perfect” candle, and Shining Sol was on its way.
Pete soon after called on longtime friend Sara Rodriguez to come on board as a business partner. Sara has great artistic vision and passion in creating new and unique candle ideas, some of which are Shining Sol’s top selling products to this day. Together, they quickly created a buzz in their home state of Virginia and rocked the boat in the online candle community.
Pete brought long time friend and world class graphic designer Keith Sarna on board to give life to the Shining Sol vision. Keith worked for months on the original look and feel of the brand and eventually creating the perfect representation of Pete’s vision for Shining Sol.
The company was growing fast and at an unexpected level so the demand for a stronger online presence as well an expert in online marketing was needed. Pete was fortunate enough to know just the guy, childhood friend Deron Blevins. Deron’s 20+ year background in graphic/web design and marketing had successfully turned several small businesses into multi-million dollar companies. Deron had been keeping a watchful eye as Pete grew Shining Sol and had developed a great interest in what the company was doing. Deron joined the team and immediately began building a new online presence for the company and business started to grow to even higher unprecedented levels for Shining Sol.
It became clear that Shining Sol’s candles were something special, and in addition to the continued increase in new customers, repeat customers (the Shining Sol family) were growing even faster. Given the continued growth, the trio of Pete, Sara and Deron decided to take a chance and launch its first brick and mortar store in the Historic Old Town district of Pete and Deron’s hometown of Manassas, Virginia. Shining Sol now has a full staff which includes a social media marketing department and a sales team dedicated exclusively to spreading the word about Shining Sol to the entire world.
The passion for candle making grows every day with Shining Sol. The desire to continue making the best candles in the world is our only priority. Our production team continues to innovate, design and improve the candle making process. Our creative team, still led by Pete and Sara, work nonstop to come up with new and exciting scents and colors, all while remaining a handmade product of the USA.