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Springfield, MO

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Reborn Co. retails in over 35 stores in Springfield
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
Reborn Co. retails in over 35 stores in Springfield

Made in the Ozarks: Reborn Co.

Posted online

Patty Johnson is stripping away the toxins and focusing on simplicity with Reborn Co. ingredients, only using soy wax and essential oils.

The scents, however, are all unique. Magic Library channels the world of Harry Potter. Road Trip is reminiscent of a journey on historic Route 66.

She hand pours candles in her south Springfield shop, which sold $100,000 in 2017, and has worked with 15 businesses on signature-scent candles since buying the business in 2016. Sales for 2018 were undisclosed.

SBJ: How is your business structured and what are the core products?
Johnson: We do candles, wax melts and car, truck and room sprays. We were totally surprised by how successful the business was. It was just supposed to be a hobby in retirement. About 80 percent of our business is wholesale and (the rest) retail. We are in over 100 locations in four states. In Springfield, we are in over 35 stores.

SBJ: What are the challenges and opportunities to manufacturing your candles in the Ozarks?
Johnson: There doesn’t seem to be anybody in the Ozarks that makes candle jars, especially the top quality kind. That would probably be the biggest challenge outside of the growth. We’re lucky if we have one day off a week. We feel very blessed by the opportunity and how much people love our candles. Each year, we’ve been growing by 50 percent.

SBJ: Were you inspired by another business or entrepreneur?
Johnson: Johnny Morris. We literally are a block away from where he started selling out of his dad’s store. If Johnny Morris started selling fishing supplies out of his dad’s store, that is very inspiring to me.

SBJ: What was the first thing you made?
Johnson: I’m from an Italian family in St. Louis. Both sides of my family owned restaurants. I had a catering business in the 1990s. I just always loved cooking and creating recipes. The candle business, it also involves creating recipes.

SBJ: Was there a moment when you knew this company was going to work?
Johnson: We were about two months into the process and I noticed that there was a million candle companies out there. I told my husband we have to come up with something to make us unique. We decided that we would come up with a candle and call it Ozark Mountain and instead of opening one jar of oil and scenting our candle, we were literally going to use as many oils as we could to make it smell just like when you’re driving in Branson. It really took off. At that point, I was hooked.

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