BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: ‘We decided on the spot we were going to go for it’ 

The following is an interview with Amanda McRae, co-owner of Marblehead Candle Company, conducted by Discover Marblehead. In 2020, Amanda and her partner, David Adkins, were inspired by their love of candles and their love of Marblehead to create Marblehead Candle Company. Learn more at

Tell us about Marblehead Candle Company. Marblehead Candle Company was a pandemic- born business. David and I both came from the restaurant industry, and like so many other people were out of work for quite a while. For many years we had thrown around several business ideas of things we “should do,” all of which never came to fruition. Then one day the idea of Marblehead Candle Company came up in conversation and we both loved the idea so much that we decided on the spot we were going to go for it and see what happened. 

Amanda McRae and David Adkins founded Marblehead Candle Company. COURTESY PHOTO

David and I really love this town and we may have a slight addiction to candles so it felt right to create something that would embrace both. All our candles are hand-poured in small batches at our studio at 128 Washington St. using 100% soy wax and clean fragrance oils, so when you burn one of our candles it’s free of things like carcinogens, mutagens and other toxins. Each scent in our collection was carefully crafted to recreate your favorite memories of life here on the coast. 

Our vision for Marblehead Candle Company was to create a long lasting, high quality, great smelling candle that people would love but that they could also feel good about burning.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? Truthfully, I don’t think anyone has ever really given us any business advice. To be fair, we didn’t leave a lot of opportunity for advice to be given when we were in the beginning phases of building the business. Prior to the Marblehead Candle Company launch we kept the entire business a secret from everyone, not even our family knew! It wasn’t an easy secret to keep because we were excited about what we were building but we knew if we were to share what we were doing that inevitably we would get a lot of input or advice from people. We already had a clear vision on what we wanted the business to be, that as first-time business owners we didn’t want to end up confused or overwhelmed or even influenced into changing. So, we did everything behind closed doors until we launched. 

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? Chandler Hovey Park, aka Marblehead Light, is definitely our favorite spot to spend time in Marblehead. It’s just so peaceful and beautiful there, especially in the summertime. One of our favorite things to do in the summer is get Marblehead House of Pizza and eat picnic dinners there. 

What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? Hmmm … something that would surprise people about us…good question. Well, David was a professional surfer in his younger years and as far as I go, that’s a tough one. I’m not sure there’s a lot that would surprise people about me! If I had to pick one thing, I would say that I’m quite the introvert. I feel like as a business owner when most people interact with me, I am circumstantially extroverted so it would be hard to know otherwise, but at my core I am a total introvert. I guess you could call me an outgoing introvert!

The business spotlight is a weekly feature published in partnership with Discover Marblehead. Discover Marblehead is dedicated to the promotion of Marblehead. Our mission is to highlight local businesses, tourism, community events and attractions through social media, email marketing and community outreach. To learn more, visit

Melissa Stacey
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