Every year since 1987, the month of March has been designated to honor women and their various contributions around the world. Women's History Month is a full month to recognize and celebrate women of the past, present and future. In the spirit of this solidarity, we would like to honor the founder of Colonial Candle, Mabel Baker, the first woman to start a candle company.
Mabel Kimball Baker, a home economics teacher at Hyannis Massachusetts Training School, grew up hearing stories about pilgrims making candles from bayberries native to the eastern United States. In the year 1905, she began gathering berries from the bushes that grew along the Cape Cod coastline, determined to make her own candles. With practice and dedication, she started making hand-dipped tapers in her tiny kitchen and giving them as Christmas gifts to her family and friends. Mabel was married to Walter Durell Baker, the owner of Hyannis Department Store, and on September 11th, 1907, Hyannis became the first store to sell her candles to the public.
What initially began as a way to create handmade gifts quickly grew into a booming business, and Colonial Candle Company of Cape Cod was officially founded as the first U.S. candle company to be owned and established by a woman. In 1910, word of Mabel's candles had reached the big city and a large store in Boston purchased an entire year's supply of Colonial Candle tapers.
Mabel Baker retained an active role in her company until she was 93 years old. But the business she had built from the ground up had only just begun. With a legacy of female empowerment, and American ingenuity and pride, Colonial Candle continues to grow with the hopes that our candles may illuminate the lives of our customers for generations to come.