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New business lights downtown

By BRIAN BOHNERT
STAFF WRITER
This weekend, a new business will look to brighten your day and warm your heart.
The Crafty Cottage, LLC., a new retail store specializing in homemade, hand-crafted candles, incense, diffusers and other home accents, will open the doors of its East Tiffin Street storefront to the Fostoria community Saturday.
The store at 105 E. Tiffin St. will have a grand-opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday. Mayor Eric Keckler and members of Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce will be in attendance to formally welcome the new business to the city, said Alex Hughes, Crafty Cottage owner.
In addition to light refreshments, the grand opening will feature a $2 raffle to enter to win a $25 Crafty Cottage gift card. As a way to give back to the community, Hughes said 50 percent of the proceeds earned from the raffle will go to the United Way of Fostoria.
Crafty Cottage, which has been in operation as an online store since 2012, offers a wide variety of hand-made candles, incense and diffusers of all shapes and sizes, carrying everything from small votive candles to larger, 22-ounce products.
Hughes and his fiancée, Jessica Harden, started the online business as a way to sell products to friends and family. Being parents of two young children, Hughes said he and Harden wanted to leave their children with a flourishing family legacy.
“I want my children to be successful, and this is something that I would like to leave to them,” he said. “When I retire and I can’t do it anymore, I want them to continue to run it and give it to their kids. A truly family-owned business.”
He said price is what sets his products apart from the likes of home-decor juggernauts Yankee Candle and White Barn Candle Company. Customers can spend anywhere from 79 cents on a single votive to $26.99 on a votive 100-pack.
“I have a 22-ounce candle for $19.99. A 20-ounce candle from Yankee is almost $30,” he said. “My biggest candle is cheaper than some of their smallest candles.”
The lighter price tags at Crafty Cottage are not a sign of lower quality products, Hughes said, adding all candles are hand poured and hand crafted, not churned out of a machine like his big-box competitors.
“Yankee Candle does not hand pour. Everything is done by a machine,” he said. “People like the attention to detail; the amount of effort put into something like that. When I’m designing a candle, and taking the time and labor to carve the candle, I’ve found that people like when passion is put into work.”
Customers can also request custom orders of specially-designed candles, which can take up to about a week to complete, he said.
The new storefront will also bring with it a new service: delivery. Anyone ordering Crafty Cottage products within Fostoria city limits will be eligible for free delivery. Those residing in areas like Risingsun, Bascom, Arcadia, Tiffin and others will have a delivery fee of anywhere from $7.50 to $15 added to their order.
Crafty Cottage also ships orders anywhere using FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service. Additionally, all major credit cards will be accepted on purchases.
Much like other stores, Hughes said Crafty Cottage will offer a loyalty program where customers can earn points for every dollar spent.
Those looking to sell candles, crafts or any other home decor product of their own will be able to do so with consignment opportunities through Crafty Cottage. Hughes said anyone interested in selling their own products in the store can do so in exchange for a 50/50 split of the sales.
Expanding his business is also on the agenda. Hughes said he has applied for a revolving loan fund grant through Fostoria Economic Development Corporation in order to both cover renovation costs and hire three to five people.
Crafty Cottage will be open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on The Crafty Cottage, LLC., or to browse the store’s selection, visit www.craftyllc.com or email info@craftyllc.com. Orders can also be placed by calling the store at 419-436-7109.

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