arent the only items
on special at Christys Candles
classes also taught upstairs by Judi Owens
(December 2012) For nearly 25 years, Christy
Brogan has brightened homes throughout Madison, Ind., with her hand-made
candles. Starting with a few candles in her husbands video store,
she has grown a thriving business with a loyal following.
Along with her daughter, co-owner Regina Weber, Brogan uses her success
to support local artists, craftspeople, and more recently
those struggling with illness.
by Tess Worrell
Brogan (left) and
her daughter, Regina Weber,
operate Christys Candles.
Brogans success began one Christmas when she decided
to include candles to round out the baskets of baked goods she was giving
as presents to relatives. She had a few candles left over, and her husband,
John, took them to his store. To Brogans surprise, they sold immediately.
She decided to make more candles and took out a small advertisement
in the Country Sampler newspaper. Orders came pouring in. Though she
originally had her workshop at home and would work as she talked with
her children, she soon opened a store on Main Street. She outgrew both
the Main Street store and one on Clifty Drive and finally moved the
store to the home where she and John raised their children. She has
been at her current location on Michigan Road (just across from Taco
Bell) for about 13 years.
Brogan and Weber now pour candles six days a week. They begin by wicking
the jars, then pour the candles hundreds at a time. After
letting the candles sit overnight, they top off the candles to ensure
a beautiful finish. Known for their rich fragrances and 44 choices,
Christys Candles are a local favorite.
We offer candles of every kind, says Weber, 34. We
have tapers, pillars, votives and tarts. For those who like primitive,
we also do grubbies.
Though one room is filled with candles, Christys Candles has become
a full home décor store. Brogan stocks jewelry, scarves, aprons
and wood pieces all by local craftspeople.
I love Madison and want to promote the work of people here,
says Brogan, 53. We have such wonderful products, and people want
to connect locally. She also sells Signature Houseware stoneware
dishes, along with Wind and Willow soup, cheese ball and dip mixes.
by Tess Worrell
Owens teaches art of
all skill levels upstairs at Christys
Candles in Madison, Ind.
Brogan has expanded her support of local artists by opening
a full gallery in the upper story of her store. Paintings of local favorites,
such as Robert Saueressig, Carolyn Lopez, and Judi Owens grace the walls,
and wood pieces by Gary Taylor add beauty to the two rooms. Weve
had a great response. People really like having a gallery on the hilltop,
A third room of the second story has been turned into an art studio
with a full range of art classes. Owens offers classes for students
from 4 years old to adult. The childrens classes focus more
on water color, drawing and trying different media. The adults explore
acrylics, oils and mixed media.
A recent childrens class featured the children writing a poem
then illustrating with a variety of techniques taught by Owens.
I always try to introduce some element of art history for the
children. Though they likely wont remember what was said, it begins
to shape their minds toward art and makes the terms familiar for the
next time, says Owens. Classes meet for two hours twice a month
and cost approximately $20. Contact Christys for full details.
When Brogans husband contracted cancer, Owens and Brogan teamed
to offer a unique outreach through the art classes.
When my husband was ill, we saw all this art hanging on the walls
of the cancer treatment center. I finally asked who did the pieces and
was told it was by the patients, says Brogan. I learned
that it helped them to be able to get their feelings out by painting.
It was beautiful.
After her husband died, Brogan decided to put her experience to work
to help others. Christys Candles plans to hold monthly classes
to encourage those dealing with chronic or terminal illness to come
and take a breather from dealing with their illness by focusing on art.
The classes are free and open to anyone who would like to participate.
Brogan donates proceeds from her stores sales to furnish the art
Owens assures those considering the classes that they wont be
frustrated by having to do it right. We dont
even use brushes, says Owens. Instead, the focus is on using
color to express feelings to get them out when words wont
Brogan said she looks forward to greeting customers throughout the holidays,
both those who have been coming for years and those she will meet this
season. We love getting to know people and helping them find something
locally made that meets their needs, says Brogan. She said she
eagerly anticipates another year of brightening both hearts and homes.
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