We’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on one of CSUMB’s alumni, Johnny Foster, who graduated in 2018 with a degree in Physiology. We interviewed Johnny Foster, one of our successful entrepreneurs. In this conversation with Johnny Foster, the creative force behind Johnny Wicks Candles, we uncovered the inspiring story of his rise to success. Let’s dive into the key milestones and insights shared during our interview.
Johnny began his entrepreneurial journey in clothing paralleled with the name John Wicks for brand development. The candle accessories sold more than the clothing which sparked a transition of a candle business and Johnny Wicks Candles was lit. Johnny currently sells scented candles and offers candle making workshops which are a must to try out for family, friends, child class activities,
and special events.
Johnny has options for children and adult sensory workshop play, ensuring a unique sensory experience. Johnny provides granulated sand wax that feels like sand. Johnny provides sparkles and flowers, or people can bring their own accents to unleash creative magic into a scented soy candle. Johnny hosts workshops for up to 16 people at his shop or accommodating larger groups in different locations.
If you’re a hoodie lover, don’t forget to pick up your Big Wick Energy hoodie, a great conversation starter, or order online.
Earth Consciousness and local
Beyond sensory indulgence and relaxation, Johnny’s candles prioritize environmental consciousness. Johnny Wicks Candles are crafted with all-natural soy wax, devoid of lead, zinc, toxins, parabens, and synthetic dyes. Hand-poured in Monterey, California, and using fragrance oils free from harmful chemicals.
Startup Monterey Challenge: Igniting Innovation
In 2023, Johnny Foster emerged as a standout contender in the Startup Challenge Monterey Bay, securing the Main Street Runner Up prize. His journey from a clothing line to candle-making excellence captivated the audience. As Johnny revealed:
“I thought I had a good concept going with the candle workshops, and I wanted to see how far I could get in the Startup Challenge.” This win along with previously winning a large Cali Roots 1,500 candle sale ignited a feeling of business accomplishment.
iiED’s Guiding Light: Fueling Entrepreneurial Growth
The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) at California State University of Monterey Bay (CSUMB), played a pivotal role in Johnny’s entrepreneurial voyage. With their unwavering support, Johnny leveraged the Startup Challenge prize to elevate his business:
“The prize money helped me secure a new space. It’s good networking, and you can make new connections.”
Johnny Wicks Future: Illuminating Pathways
Looking ahead, Johnny Wicks Candles is geared up for remarkable expansions and philanthropic ventures: Johnny explained, “To do more wholesale accounts, diverse workshops, and expand our charitable endeavors. I recently teamed up with an Animal Friends Rescue Project to do a pet odor elimination candle, and 40% of all sales returned to the rescue project. So that’s pretty cool, I think”. Pretty amazing, indeed. Johnny’s vision includes innovative workshops, charity collaborations, and a commitment to staying ahead in the competitive market. Johnny’s expansion includes creating fragrant items like colognes, car fresheners, and other items that ignite the senses, enhancing his vision for market leadership.
Challenges and Triumphs: Navigating the Entrepreneurial Landscape
His resilience and adaptability have been instrumental in carving a distinctive space in the industry. Johnny reflected on the challenges encountered amidst fierce competition:
“Standing out among numerous candle vendors was tough. But it’s been an exciting challenge.
iiED’s Impact: Empowering Entrepreneurial Endeavors
The support and mentorship from iiED have been instrumental in Johnny’s entrepreneurial growth. Johnny lauds iiED’s profound impact on his journey:
“The expertise and advice from iiED have been invaluable. I’ve absorbed every bit of information to apply in my business.
Johnny Wicks Candles Location & Hours
● Walk-in candle-making will only be during regular business hours.
● Appointments can be scheduled every day 11am-8pm exceptTuesdays.
● For Private Parties enquiries, please email Johnny to discuss details Johnnywickscandles@gmail.com
● Give an individual or group gift with easy online ordering Gift
Johnny Wicks Candles
499 Calle Principal (Main Entrance)
Monterey, CA 93940
Johnny Wicks Candles
482 Alvarado St. 2nd floor (Back Entrance)
Tuesday 3:00pm- 7:00 pm
(farmers market hours)
Wednesday 12:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday 12:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 12:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday 12:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 12:00am – 5:00pm
Closing Thoughts: A Call to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
In conclusion, Johnny shares a motivational message for budding entrepreneurs:
“Anyone out there trying to start their own business, don’t give up. Keep going. It’ll pay off.”
Johnny Foster’s journey with Johnny Wicks Candles exemplifies the spirit of innovation, resilience, and collaboration fostered by CSUMB’s iiED. Stay tuned for more success stories and insights from our vibrant entrepreneurial community!
Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED)