Belmar Beachcomber loves to support local businesses, and one of our favorite little shops is Surf’s Up Candles on Main Street in Lake Como, New Jersey.
The driving force behind Surf’s Up Candles is founder and owner Michelle Fontanez, a Belmar resident who got started in the candle-making business in 2013. At the time, Fontanez was recently divorced with four young children. She was looking for a new business opportunity and found herself drawn to handcrafted candles.
In a 2020 interview with the Asbury Park Press, Fontanez recalled her early days at the helm of Surf's Up Candle:
“I started making candles in a slow cooker in my kitchen in 2013 and spent eight months working on the process," she said. "I learned how to make candles online, as well as through a lot of trial and error, using and burning candles to test them, and called my new venture Surf’s Up Candle; I loved the name from the beginning and designed the packaging myself …. The products, name, and graphics have a vintage, beachy, refurbished vibe and are designed to remind people of a happy and simpler time.”
Fontanez initially sold her candles at street festivals and vendor markets. She also pounded the pavement at home décor trade shows and in the community to get her candles into local shops such as the former Sunsations in Belmar, Bungalow Road in Avon by the Sea, and Mueller’s Florist in Manasquan, New Jersey — all while still hand-pouring candles at home in her kitchen.
As the Surf’s Up brand grew in popularity, Fontanez opened a small retail shop in Lake Como in 2017 and also obtained a large adjacent warehouse/office/manufacturing space.
In 2020, she had a “dream come true” when shopping channel QVC first featured her candles on air. Surf’s Up Candles can now be found in more than 5,000 stores nationwide, according to the Asbury Park Press article, as well as on Amazon and Etsy.
About Surf's Up Candles
Surf’s Up Candles are made of 100 percent natural soy wax with all-natural paper and cotton wicks, essential oils, and fragrances. Every batch of candles is hand-poured at the Jersey Shore.
The core Surf’s Up Candle product line includes mason jar candles in three sizes (4-ounce, 8-ounce, and 16-ounce), paint can candles, bath bombs, and all-natural sugar scrubs. (The glass mason jars are reusable, too.)
Over the years , Surf's Up Candle has expanded with the addition of lip balms, body sprays and lotions, surf dust, car air fresheners, subscription boxes, beachy home décor, alpaca blankets, jumbo mason jar candles, scented oil diffusers, and specialty candle collections (Grateful Dead jars, state license plate labels, seasonal and holiday collections, and zodiac signs).
Whether you shop online or in the retail store, you can stock up on your favorite Surf's Up Candle and bring the scent of the Jersey Shore back home with you.
Surf’s Up Candles
1703 Main Street
Lake Como, New Jersey 07719 848-404-9559
Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of www.VacationInBelmar.com and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved. Photo credit to Surf's Up Candle for the business owner photo and thank you note.
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