This week, I visited Rosemary's Candles & Crafts at Shipshewana Flea Market booth 446. Rosemary and her husband Joe have been selling here for the last eighteen years! I had the chance to talk with them about their story and about what makes their candles, crafts, and primitive items so popular.
Rosemary and Joe are from Decatur, Indiana. They were high school sweethearts and have been married for 48 years! They started out by selling for a non-profit, and later bought the business from them and began handpouring the candles.
When they first set up at the Shipshewana Flea Market, Rosemary sold her handmade dolls. After Joe retired, they started selling their candles which have been such a hit at the market.
"This is a family business," said Joe. "We have our son and grand kids to help us."
All of the candles are handmade at their shop and fully scented - plus the price is right! They sell their candles at the Shipshewana Flea Market for just $7 a piece, or 2 for $12. With so many scents to choose from like toasted hazelnut, oatmeal cookie, banana nut bread, vanilla bean, and pearberry, it's hard to pick a favorite!
One of their most popular scents is called the "Fall Trio." It has a layer of three amazing fall scents - Strudel & Spice, Caramel Apple, and Amish Harvest. If you love sweet smelling candles, this one is for you! I personally love this scent, because whenever I burn it, it smells like I've been baking all day...but surprise -- It's just a candle!
Rosemary's Candles & Crafts also carries a variety of flame-less candles. They have melts, tarts and crumbles, all in amazing scents that will fill your home with wonderful smells!
Rosemary and Joe stay very busy as vendors. Aside from setting up at the flea market on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, they also have a weekend store in Decatur and they participate in all the major festivals across the Midwest.
"This is a seven day per week business," said Joe. "We take January & February off to rest, but aside from that we stay very busy!"
Aside from their candles, Rosemary & Joe also sell wood crafts, painted stars, birdhouses, holiday decor, and more. The lighted owls are a flea market favorite as well as wooden snowmen and pumpkins - most handmade.
"We only buy to resell it if we can't make it, like, for example, the metal windmills," said Joe.
Since Rosemary & Joe have been so successful at the flea market, I wanted to ask if they had any advice for new vendors.
"This is a lot of hard work, but don't give up! It takes a while to build up a customer base. Be sure to adjust your product as needed and offer more than one type of item," said Rosemary. "Just don't get discouraged!"
Make sure you stop at booth 445-446 to see Rosemary, Joe and family at the Shipshewana Flea Market every Tuesday and Wednesday, May through September. You can also visit their website at rosemaryscandlesandcrafts.com, or find them on facebook!