MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — What started as a hobby during the pandemic has turned into a full-time business for a Milwaukee woman. Jodian Morgan creates candles in her basement studio that feature all kinds of different bodies, and she’s accepted into the art.
Every day starts the same way for Morgan.
First he breaks the wax.
“And I put on the scent,” she said as she carefully tightened the wax.
Then it’s time to blow out the candles.
“It’s a lot of work,” Morgan said. “That’s a lot of 14-hour days.”
Then, comes the difficult part.
“Hope for the best, expect the worst,” she said nervously as she removed the candle from the mold.
“Success,” she said with a big smile on her face.
For more than a year, she is her own boss. Which is both interesting and…
“Forgetful,” she said with a big smile. “That’s a lot of work!”
Morgan works to perfect the process of making candles that are small sculptures. When she decided to turn her hobby into a business. She needed a name.
“Maybe it’s called enlightenment, or peace, calmness,” she said of some early ideas.
None of this seems right. So, the company is called CTOAN. A name born out of willlessness.
“We were in the car, and I was like, I can’t think of a name. So we use an acronym for it. CTOAN, CTOAN, can’t think of a name,” Morgan explained.
But the company’s mission was always clear.
“It was important to me to show different body types because representation is important,” she said.
Each hand painted candle…
“I’m not Picasso,” she joked while painting.
Different body types are represented. They are gender neutral and transsexual.
“It has side rolls and back rolls,” said Chaya Melchtin, Morgan’s wife.
Melchtin said the response to the CTOAN candle — people seeing bodies that look like them — has been overwhelming.
“If you find these candles beautiful, you can find yourself beautiful,” Melchten said.
She has been by Morgan’s side every step of the way — building the CTOAN website and helping with marketing.
“I’d like to say I was very supportive, but it was like the fourth or fifth hobby she’d tried,” she says with a laugh. “One day I came up to her and I said, ‘Baby, ah, so are you going to stay a hobby or are you trying to start a business?’
As the business grew — so did the need for space.
They bought a house with a basement for Morgan’s studio.
“Once she decided it was going to be a business, it was clear it was going to be very powerful,” Melchtin said.
Customer feedback proves that it is.
“I really go through all the reviews we get on the website. And sometimes it’s very emotional what people say about how they find themselves in the art,” Morgan said.
With the holidays approaching, Morgan packs and ships hundreds of candles.
Her studio smells like pepper, ginger and pomegranate.
“It smells like a combination of scents,” she said.
He spreads holiday cheer by donating $2 from every candle sold to the Hattrick Martin Institute in New York.
“It was really a safe place for me as a teenager when I came out as gay,” she said of the organization.
Refunds are made in business. He has been doing this since it started in November last year.
“When he donates $800 in Pride Month, that’s a lot,” Melchtin said proudly.
CTOAN – A company dedicated to adoption in all its forms.
“It gives me back, a warm feeling that I’m making an impact,” Morgan said.
You can find CTOAN candles at Plus Size Body Candles – Owned by Black and Coir (ctoanco.com).
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