<> Scotia-Glenville sophomore's candle business finds a home at local shop | The Daily Gazette
 

Subscriber login

Life & Arts

Scotia-Glenville sophomore's candle business finds a home at local shop

celebrate

Scotia-Glenville sophomore's candle business finds a home at local shop

Cellar Dweller partners with b.inspired
Scotia-Glenville sophomore's candle business finds a home at local shop
b. inspired owner Anne M. Brenner with Cellar Dweller owner William Schnore, November 15, 2019.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Plenty of millennials have taken part in the gig economy. Now, a local Generation Z-er is getting in on the action, too. 

William Schnore, a 15-year-old sophomore at Scotia-Glenville High School, has been making candles under his brand Cellar Dweller for a little more than a year now, and thanks to a partnership with Anne Brenner of b.inspired, they’re selling like ... well, you know the phrase. 

“We brought in a dozen [at first] and with William sharing the news, I sold out within a day,” Brenner said. 

She opened b. inspired last year at 104 Mohawk Ave. in Scotia. The home decor and gift shop features everything from candles to soap to blankets and more. Brenner is a Scotia native who, after a long career in public health on the West Coast, decided to come back to her roots and pursue her passion. 

“The idea for b.inspired came because I’ve always done home decor, interior design stuff on the side of my public health career. I also wanted to give back to the little community that gave to me,” Brenner said. 

Thus, when Schnore and his father walked into the store on a busy day just a few weeks after she opened the store, Brenner took the time to check out Schnore’s homemade candles. 

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER Items on sale for the Christmas season at b. inspired in front of her store on Mohawk Aveune in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Items on sale for the Christmas season at b. inspired on Mohawk Aveune in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.

“I was really impressed, so I said, ‘William, are you a senior?' ” Brenner said. 

At the time, Schnore was a freshman -- one with a good idea and the will to carry it out. 

He started making candles with his grandmother at a very young age. 

“She was an interior designer for a little bit. She made stained glass [and] she’d done candles. [She] and her three friends at some point ordered three tons of paraffin wax at the time and her basement still has some,” Schnore said. 

More from Celebrate 2019: Gifts & Memories

More than a year ago, Schnore began to get serious about making candles, hoping to turn it into a small business. He researched candlemaking with soy (rather than paraffin) and a wood wick. Within a few months, he’d worked out a hand-poured method and created his first line of candles. 

The biggest problem was coming up with a name for them. 

“My family just sat there and [we were] like, ‘What’s a good name?’ Because I had a pretty random name [picked out], Blitzlicht, that meant strobe light in German,” Schnore said. 

Since he usually makes the candles in his cellar, his family thought of the name “Cellar Dweller.” His logo, which Schnore created in Inkspace, shows a figure toiling away in a home surrounded by trees.

Each season, he works with Brenner to come up with scents and packaging ideas. 

“It’s such an interesting process because I’m afforded the opportunity to bring in exactly what I’m envisioning with someone who is creating it,” Brenner said. 

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER William Schnore’s scented candles on sale at b. inspired in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
William Schnore’s scented candles on sale at b. inspired in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.

They often swap ideas and strategize about what trends to incorporate into the design of the candles.  

“For the fall we introduced this tall green glass. We’re moving to brass containers because brass is everywhere. Then for the holidays, we’re going to do three small containers packaged and wrapped in cellophane,” Brenner said. 

While Schnore keeps up with candle trends and scents online, Brenner is also able to glean what she can from trade shows. 

For the holidays, Schnore is rolling out seven scents, including Christmas tree, holly berry, white birch, cinnamon vanilla, frosted juniper, mistletoe, cypress and bayberry. Some will be in plaid-wrapped containers to fit the style of the season. 

B.Inspired exclusively sells Schnore’s candles and while Brenner takes a small percentage of the sales for shelf space, the majority of the money goes right to Schnore. 

“Because I feel like he’s giving to the community and I need to give to him, I certainly pay the tax on it and I take a small percentage for shelf space, but William really gets the majority,” Brenner said. 

They range in price from $14-$28.50, and while Brenner can certainly bring in candles from other companies, she said she prefers to sell Schnore’s because of the community ties and the caliber of the product. 

“I think [it’s] the quality. . . . I mean, they’re wonderful compared to a lot of other stuff that’s in candles. It’s just soy with a wood wick. It burns clean, it burns flat,” Brenner said.

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER Anne M. Brenner, owner of b. inspired in front of her store on Mohawk Aveune in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Anne M. Brenner, owner of b. inspired in front of her store on Mohawk Aveune in Scotia Friday, November 15, 2019.

Cellar Dweller candles and the partnership with b.Inspired have also become part of a recent bolstering of Scotia’s Mohawk Avenue. 

“The store is about creating something where people can come in and feel like they can buy something at a price point that I think is reasonable. But it’s also about cultivating this walkable, shoppable corridor,” Brenner said. 

More from Celebrate 2019: Gifts & Memories

In the past year, Storied Coffee and Northpoints Gallery have opened on the avenue, bolstering the business scene and helping to, as Brenner puts it, cultivate a walkable shopping corridor. Opening b.Inspired was a way for Brenner to get involved and give back to the community she grew up in, and she sees Schnore’s candles as an extension of that vision. She’s also noticed that others who come back to visit the area ask about Schnore’s candles. 

“People who grew up here and need to buy a gift for someone, they gravitate toward this,” Brenner said.   

View Comments
Hide Comments
0 premium 1 premium 2 premium 3 premium article articles remaining SUBSCRIBE TODAY
Thank you for reading. You have reached your 30-day premium content limit.
Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber or if you are a current print subscriber activate your online access.