Martin & Company Designs is a Redlands company that provides graphic and fabrication design of the products of local businesses. It is owned by Adam Martin, a third-generation resident of Redlands. He had spent many days of his youth with his grandfather, learning about warehouse management and the principles of a successful business, all of which he used in his career of managing a local warehouse.
When Adam Martin made a few candles as Christmas gifts for family and friends, he was premiering a new business. The candle business began when one of the candle recipients posted a photo of the gift on social media.
Martin decided to produce candles for the people in his hometown. He realized from his grandfather’s example that he had work to do: design, production and marketing. The warehouse where he worked closed in 2011. He made his first batch of candles in November 2011.
“A friend had shown me how to make single candles.” Martin said. “When I went to a candle manufacturer to learn more, I realized their process was to make dollars from mass production.
“My dad had taught me in my growing-up years that everything in a successful business was made to last with quality, not by quantity.
“If I put my name on it, what I made was to have quality and the price had to meet the demographics of our area. ‘Money’s worth’ is our marketing plan for Martin & Co. Candle Company.”
In honor of his grandmother, who had worked for Pure Gold citrus company, he selected citrus packaging to represent Redlands. His first candles were aromatic with the scent of orange blossoms.
“The only constant in our candles is 98 percent soy wax and 2 percent bonding agent.” Martin said. “Working with the manufacturer of this wax, we don’t use any over two months old, which keeps my constant quality.
“Wax can easily be damaged by condensation, heat, etc. We give away any that do not meet our finish standards of non-bubbly tops, which rarely occur. We have given them to nonprofit organizations such as women’s shelters.”
With the Martin family still involved, the candle making -- all done in house in its seventh year -- is led by designer Adam Martin, who works full time. The variety of scents in the wax is seasonally limited and the marketing plan includes placing certain scents where they sell.
They have more than 50 seasonal scents, including “Christmas Tree” for customers who want the pine scent in the room that displays a synthetic tree.
Martin said he is constantly seeking inspiration of scents in Redlands as they change during the seasons. He has developed many from the trees, flowers and shrubs, native and imported.
The company also produces special orders for Loma Linda University Medical Center and for bridal shower gifts, weddings, special events, and others all receiving the same attention commercial customers, such as Nectar, a clothing shop on East State Street, and the Olive Avenue Market.
A greater variety of aromas is available at Gerrards, including pumpkin spice, bayberry forest, fallen leaves and apple jack. Some scents have been recommended by Redlands residents.
Adam Martin said that his design company partners with small businesses to help keep Redlands a “destination spot.”