From its humble beginnings as a solo endeavor and Etsy treasure in 2011, Witch City Wicks has evolved into a thriving sanctuary in Salem's mystical downtown neighborhood. Nestled in this charming locale, a dedicated team now crafts captivating collections of aromatic delights that evoke the spirit of the witching hour. Join us in celebrating this milestone by meeting our founder and visionary, Liz Frazier, and hearing more of her story.

What did you do before launching Witch City Wicks in 2011?

When I was younger I worked various retail jobs, one of which relied heavily on visual merchandising (back then I had no idea just how beneficial that skill would be for me in the future when I opened up my own shop.) In the 90’s I worked as a bartender in various nightclubs around Boston, mostly goth and 80’s nights.

Soon after, I became a graphic designer and landed a job in an advertising agency, mostly creating online advertising (banner ads, emails and microsites). I worked in advertising for about nine years. When my older daughter was born, my priorities changed quite a bit. I was getting tired of commuting to Boston to work in an office and paying a lot of money for daycare. Ultimately, I ended up getting laid off from the agency I had been working at, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. I picked up freelance jobs, which allowed me to work from home and spend valuable time with my daughter. About a year after that, my second daughter came along, my freelancing days came to an end, and the candle business came to life!

How did you get into the candle-making business?

Witch City Wicks was kind of a happy accident. During the days that I was working from home I was spending a lot of time in front of a computer and most of the rooms in my house were filled with (cheap) candles. One day I decided candle making might be a fun thing to try out (anything to get me away from my laptop). After my first batch of candles, I was hooked! My kitchen became my work space and I started making so many that I was giving them away to anyone and everyone.

Soon I started selling them in person at markets and fairs and then a local shop began to stock their shelves with them. At the same time, Etsy was blowing up as a huge channel for makers and creators to sell their products, and from there, the business just continued to grow.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge for me has always been work/life balance and time management! Managing an ever-growing business, while also being the primary caretaker of two ever-growing children, wasn’t always the easiest. But the payoff was that it afforded me the luxury of having a flexible schedule. It was really important for me to be a present and invested parent and having my own business allowed that opportunity for me.

In the early days, when it was just me running everything, and I would cram work in any time I had a free moment. I’d work really early in the morning, then again at night and sometimes on the weekends. I still operate this way, even now! I was frustrated that I couldn’t dedicate the proper time and attention to the business, and even now, I still find myself spread a little thin. I’ve found that is just a normal part of being a business owner.

What do you love most about our fair city of Salem?

I’ve lived here for 20 years and Salem just has a charm that you don’t find anywhere else. I love all of the hidden (and not so hidden) gems that we have access to at any time (and probably take a little bit for granted). Salem has a long and fascinating history that is fun to dive into (besides, you know, witches). Having access to so many historical locations (Ropes Mansion, Witch House, House of the Seven Gables, etc) and also being a coastal town is just an amazing thing. We have an incredibly welcoming and creative community that you just won’t find anywhere else. Plus…Halloween in Salem really lives up to the hype! No one does it quite like we do.

What is your favorite candle scent?

This is a hard question… I’m not sure I can pick only one! I have to say that Holy Ground has a special place in my heart. It was one of the first candle scents that I blended myself way back in the beginning. It’s truly unique, and truly “Salem”!