ManCans was the creative idea that spun out of his sister’s fundraising sale. When learning of the candles she offered, Main realized that men wouldn’t want to purchase the feminine scents. From there, his parents recognized the innovative thought and supported the development of the business. According to Main, they also had a lot of cooperation and support from those around them.
“We started it in November; we started making candles. Thanksgiving weekend we started selling them to family and friends for Christmas gifts and it’s kind of just taken off from there,” Main explained.
The scents developed are truly masculine, too. They include fresh cut grass, new mitt, coffee, bacon, dirt, sawdust, New York style pizza, grandpa’s pipe and campfire. Since March, they have sold 9,000 candles nationwide - a number Main is very proud of.
“I just thought it would be a joke and nothing would really come out of it. It’s actually been way more successful than anybody ever thought it would be,” Main continued. “When I originally started, we had three scents. We had grass, campfire and new mitt.”
ManCans has a philanthropic element that seems to trump any other component of the business. According to Main, they buy thousands of soup cans at a time from grocery stores. They then donate the cans of soup to soup kitchens, and later receive the empty cans to make their candles. They have donated 11,000 cans thus far.
“It’s different, it’s unusual and it’s for a good cause. About 50 cents of every candle sold makes its way back to a soup kitchen,” Main added. “We do some sample tests around our community and then see what people think about it. If there’s a good response to it, then we would put it in stores and see how it does in the first three months.”
Originally, they ran the business out of their home in Marysville. Due to its rapid success, they have moved it to another location and hired two employees to assist in making the candles.
“We have around three stores a day wanting to know about our wholesale rates and whether they can carry our candles in their store,” Main said.
The name of their business was another creative opportunity for the family. They wanted it to incorporate the soup cans, but they also wanted it to be funny and easy to remember. ManCans served all of these purposes.
Main also noted that his family didn’t have a lot of experience running a business, but they had friends that were willing to guide them. Main also did a lot of researching and reading books, work that has certainly paid off.
“I think the best part is knowing that I started a successful running business as a teenager,” Main added.
ManCans has done something in months that it takes other businesses years to achieve. They have managed to serve the community while offering an exciting new product. The manly aroma that fills the customer’s home is just icing on the cake. And while Main isn’t sure what the future will hold, he is happy to maintain the success they already have.
To purchase a candle, visit http://www.man-cans.com. The website also offers a list of stores the candles can be purchased at. The Marysville locations include Khristo’s and Worth Repeating.
Published: October 22, 2011