Eleventh Candle Company is not just another local candle shop.

This company strives to truly change lives.

Candles are just one avenue to help give women who have been victims of human trafficking, abuse, exploitation or even addiction a second chance.

“I didn’t know how to cope so drinking became my best friend,” said Felice Dean.

Felice lost her mom, brother and even her father at a young age.

She started drinking in her teens, eventually lost custody of her son and started spiraling.

She was lost, confused and looking for answers until she met Amber Runyon.

Little did Felice know, but Amber would soon give her a chance to change her life.

Amber is originally a nurse.

She’s traveled the world working in impoverished communities. One year, she was in Ethiopia.

“One day we were traveling through this village and these two girls were being led by a man blindfolded and I said to my translator, what’s happening over there? He said they’re being sold,” shared Amber. “I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t believe it. Then he said, Amber, they’re being sold for sex,” said Runyon.

She returned home to Columbus and jumped online.

She quickly searched human trafficking in our area and found startling statistics.

“I found out that we’re the fourth largest for human trafficking.”

She knew she wanted to do something so she started diving deeper.  

“I saw housing was an issue and recovery was an issue. I saw where we really fell short was employment,” said Amber. “Most of them have never worked an actual real job before.”

She had $250 and a dream.

Her dream was to help women become empowered, ditch their fears and start a new life.

She Googled companies she should start easily and decided to sell candles.

She doesn’t even like candles. Her goal was to just use the business as a catalyst for much more.

“I contribute a lot of our success to the community,” noted Runyon. “The community has really embraced this idea that we can make a change.”

“I don’t like my job, I love my job,” shared Dean.

Amber explains that Felice is one of their biggest success stories.

She celebrated two years at the company this week and recently regained custody of her son.

She’s now three years sober.

She has some advice to anyone who has ever been in a position like hers.

“Don’t give up. Just know to keep fighting because if you keep fighting and keep believing you will get through it no matter how hard the situation may seem or be you’ll get out of it.”

A business that is changing the lives of women who are looking for hope and a new beginning, one candle at a time.

You can be a part of a new Guinness World Record with Eleventh Candle Company.

Get a ticket online for Oct. 13 and be a part of the event and the change. Click here for more information.