Top 5 Reasons Why I Joined an Emerging Brand

June 28, 2024

Hello Friends and Chandlers! My name is Melissa Ojeda, and I’ve had the pleasure of just hitting my one year mark at Cork & Candles this past weekend. Cheers to that! If you had a candle making experience at the Cork & Candles Philadelphia scent bar, it is very likely you have had me as your “personal” Chandler, and we may have even shared a few laughs together. Today, I’m writing to you as Cork & Candles’ Marketing Coordinator, and I’m thrilled to share my top five reasons why joining an emerging brand like Cork & Candles can be an incredibly fulfilling career move for you.  

Keep your notebook and pen ready!

1. A Unique, Creative Environment

At Cork & Candles, creativity and engagement is at the heart of everything we do. As a Chandler, I often had the opportunity to nurture my artistic side by getting the chance to learn how to hand pour retail candles and dive into various advanced candle making techniques with our novelty experience candles. Being able to share my newfound candle making knowledge with guests during the signature experience or when leading a class, was both fun and rewarding. Cork & Candles is in the early phases of franchising, so being a Chandler at a flagship location during a time where expansion is on the rise, you get to feel first-hand that the environment is filled with the passion that owners Kenny and Dave Straub carry throughout their scent bars. They’ve created a warm space for those who thrive on creativity and enjoy working with their hands, both from the internal employee experience to the guests who get to enjoy the atmosphere.  

Pictured left to right: Penny Butts (General Manager at Cork & Candles Center City), Melissa Ojeda (Me! Marketing Coordinator), Alex Holley (Journalist and Co-Host of “Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29), and Kenny Straub (Cork & Candles Co-Founder).

 2. Personal and Professional Growth

When I joined Cork & Candles, my goal was to step out of my comfort zone and re-engage with people after spending so much time working from home during the pandemic. The role of a Chandler was a perfect fit, allowing me to interact with guests and make meaningful connections, something I had longed for quite a while. Over time, Dave and Kenny recognized my potential and invested in my growth. Within six months in my Chandler position, I was promoted to Lead Chandler where I was able to showcase my leadership abilities. Today, I proudly serve as the Marketing Coordinator. Having all of the experience and knowledge that I gained working in the store and in front of guests, has better prepared me for this role. This kind of support and investment in the growth of employee is a cornerstone of Cork & Candles, making it an ideal place for anyone looking to advance their career.  


3. A Supportive, Close-Knit Team

One of the most remarkable aspects of Cork & Candles is the sense of community among our team. One thing that Kenny, Dave, and I have in common is that we’re firm believes that people cross paths for a reason, and this belief has instilled trust in each other as a team. The camaraderie here is genuine and the supportive atmosphere helps everyone achieve their best.  It’s also incredible to see colleagues who’ve been with you from the beginning also get growth opportunities, from Chandler to General Manager.

4. A Chance to Make a Difference

When you work for an emerging brand, you’re making a difference in the founder’s lives by helping them make their dreams come true. Everything you do on a daily basis is making them one step closer to their goals of building an inviting space that would bring families, friends, colleagues, and communities together, while sharing their love of handcrafting through candle making. 


Photographed by Melissa Ojeda for Cork & Candles, 2024, in preparation for

5. The Wins are Greater

As an emerging brand, Cork & Candles is constantly evolving and expanding. This dynamic environment provides endless opportunities for innovation, especially as we’re preparing for our transition into franchising. In my new role as Marketing Coordinator, I’m excited to contribute to our growth and success. Kenny and Dave have trusted me in this crucial role of creating a solid brand presence and establishing marketing strategies for franchising. As we continue to position ourselves regionally and nationwide, the wins are going to feel so much greater because I got to play an essential role in it. My background in photography and marketing has made this a seamless transition, allowing me to merge my passions in a familiar yet exhilarating career path.  

Whether you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone, make meaningful connections, or advance your career, this emerging brand offers unparalleled opportunities. I’m excited about our future and looking forward to achieving great things together. On the up and up! 

If you or someone you know is interested, we’re hiring Chandler positions at our newest location on Penn’s Campus in West Philadelphia. Click here to apply and join our team.