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It Starts with a Flame
Crossroads Original Designs is a family-owned and -operated manufacturer of scented candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, framed art and home decor accessories. Since its founding in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 2003, the company has continually reported notable growth, even during troubling economic times, something the company's leaders attribute as much to their customer-centric business philosophy as their product line. "From the beginning, we really set out with a main focus of creating unique, quality products and giving great customer service at a great price. We started with those core values and stuck with them over the years," says president/owner Jason McMullen, who launched the business with brother and current vice president/owner Justin McMullen. "We were just looking to make candles, and we built it from zero to over 7,000 customers today." The Crossroads credo of adhering to a vision is echoed by Justin McMullen. "One of the things we try to do is build a relationship and partnership with customers. I don't mean just receiving an order and shipping it as quickly as possible, we do that, but we also want that customer to be a customer forever and create value for them," he says. Part of this value is providing merchants with selling tips, marketing strategies and display ideas, among other merchandising and support tools.

Lighting the Way
Before beginning Crossroads Original Designs, the McMullen brothers were in a warehousing, packaging and distribution venture. When the two began bandying about ideas for a new gift business, they kept returning to the core concept of giving to their customers. And, they listened to the advice of their sales and marketing man, Dave Kuns, who had worked in the gift sector previously and understood the marketplace trends and needs. "As we were sitting around the table one night, we threw out the concept of a new gift and decor business, and he came up with ideas that would make an impact on the gift industry," recalls Jason McMullen. Kuns says that top-notch service was part of those early brainstorming sessions, as was the group's desire to work with independent retailers looking to distinguish their stores from others. "We wanted to work with the independents because we didn't want a customer for one order. We want to have customers who are as loyal to us as we are to them," he says. Through the years, Crossroads customers have remained loyal, appreciating both the company's service and quality product. As the McMullen brothers continue to build their company, they focus not only on distinctive products but strong customer service. The company operates out of an 80,000-square-foot facility in Ohio and is represented by more than 90 sales reps in the United States and Canada. Continual introduction of new products and fragrances allows the business to keep branching out.

Continuing to Burn Bright
As is true with any successful business, the McMullens are always looking ahead. New product development is ongoing, as are discussions on how to meet customers' needs. Given such evolution and branching out, it's a good thing that the McMullens didn't name their venture Crossroads Candles, as they had briefly discussed. "We started out strictly as a candle company, but the longterm vision was to be able to diversify into other markets. We wanted a name that would allow us to do that," says Jason McMullen. So does the name "Crossroads" refer symbolically to the brothers' new venture at a crossroads in their careers? No, laughs Jason McMullen, it's much simpler. The name is simply a nod to the street on which the company headquarters is located. "Most people think the road was named for the company, not the other way around," he says. Either way, the Crossroads name has become linked to its founders' ideals of quality and service, say supporters, and the company continues to grow and thrive.

Wherever the road may go, Crossroads will continue to lead the way and outshine the competition by being innovative and forward-thinking, while at the same time sticking to the very small town values the company was founded on. If you are looking for high-quality, clean-burning candles with rich, true-to-life fragrance, we invite you to try our authentic, made in America goods.

Light a Crossroads candle -- you'll love it!