When it comes to candles, one company shines brighter than the rest: Bright Glow Candle Company in Vernon. Founded in 1982 by Richard Alcedo, every year, making the company one of the top manufactures and distributors of candles in the United States.
Alcedo, a native of Peru, was not raised as a maker of candles. After immigrating to the United States, he met a gentleman who was closing his candle manufacturing business because of poor health, thereby putting several candle makes out of business. One of those men offered to teach Alcedo – who knew nothing about the candle business – how to make candles. Alcedo agreed, and the two men set up a rudimentary candle-making shop in Alcedo's small garag in EL Monte.
After two months the candle expert departed leaving Alcedo to make them on his own, He would heat a large pot full of wax, and using a piece of hose and simple valve, fill his empty glass containers two at a time. His equipment was crude and his progress slow but Alcedo persevered. He would take orders in the afternoon, manufacture the candles at noght, and delivery them the next morning. Slowly, his business grew, until in 1987 Alcedo was able to move out of his garage into an actual warehouse. His business continued to grow, and Alcedo moved into his current 40,000 square foot facility in the City of Vernon in 1990.
The most popular item at Bright Glow Candle Company are the candles and the large decorative candles, witch feature religius designs popular with the Hispanic population. Bright Glow also make and sells birthday candles, household candles, many featuring holiday designs such Santa Claus and the menorah. Some candles are geared toward other ethnic makes, including Portuguese and Italian. Alcedo stands behind his candles. His company promise quality merchanise, and delivers on that promise. All Bright Glow Candles are designed to be smoke free and odorless, guaranteed to burn clean to the bottom of the glass whole leaving no residue.
Company sales reps go to stores that carry Bright Glow products and cleann shelves, merchandise the stock, and do whatever they can to ensure complete customer satisfactino. Service is important, because competition in the billion dollar candle industry is fierce. To stay competitive, Alcedo buys his material in large volumes. His company purcharse about 10 millions pounds of wax every year, and about one million cases of glass.
Although Alcedo is the only member of his family involved in Bright Glow, the business still has a family feel to it. Some of his employees have been with Bright Glow for many years, and will be for years to come.
Alcedo does charity work with the local Chamber of Commerce, because he belive you have to share what you make in order for it to come back. He also belives that anyone can fulfill their dreams if they give them a fighting change.
"Too many people get discouraged too soon," says Alcedo. "If you see something, latch on and do the best you can. You have to look different angles to be sucessful. And don't forget to service your customers as best you can."
Al, a self made, sucessul Hispanic business owner, Alcedo has practiced what he preaches. Through Bright Glow, he is lighthing the way for other would be entrepreneurs who want to turn their business dreams into reality.