MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) - A group of young entrepreneurs in Mansfield is making candles with a mission: to empower and equip survivors of human trafficking.
It takes passion to start up a business, and the guys behind Calyan Wax Company are pouring themselves into perfecting their craft.
"Being able to do good with business – I think is really powerful. Also, creating a product is a lot of fun," says Stephen Engstrom, with Calyan Wax Company.
Calyan Wax Co. soy candles are handmade in Mansfield and fragranced with essential oils. They feature scents like musk and teakwood, oak moss and amber, and cedar and tobacco, to name a few.
The candles and wax melts are sold in more than 30 stores – small and large – across North Texas.
Jacob Johnson, who founded the company in 2017, says the team is about more than a well-made product, though: "We are a candle company with a mission to do two things – one, to craft the absolute best soy candles in America; and two – to help empower and equip survivors of human trafficking," Johnson explains.
They're spotlighting a serious issue.
"Seeing the effects, even within my own family, of how abuse really damages to the core and how it has a lasting effect on someone – something has to be done," Johnson says.
Ten percent of Calyan Wax Co.'s revenue currently goes to Traffick911. The organization is dedicated to freeing youth from sex trafficking.
"The buying of children for sex happens every day. Right here in our community," explains George Lynch, CEO of Traffick911.
With 14,000 candles sold in two years, Lynch says Calyan Wax Co. has given back to Traffick911 like no large corporation has. Calyan has contributed more than $23,000 to the cause, supporting Traffic911's efforts across twenty counties in Texas.
"Last year our team was dispatched by law enforcement in Dallas and Tarrant counties 164 times. That's 164 times that a young person was recovered in our community. These are our kids," Lynch explains.
Calyan Wax Co. has no plans to slow down. The next step is to develop an internship program for survivors of human trafficking.
Johnson and Engstrom say they will continue to help shed light in this simple, tangible way.
"To give the everyday person the opportunity to fight this issue, while educating people that this is a real issue that is happening in our backyard right here in North Texas," Engstrom says.
Click here to learn more about the mission.
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