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The Candlemaker

I’m writing this while the third Nor’Easter in the NYC-area is throwing down a steady snow. And while the snow will call for an eventual shoveling, it’s nothing like the first Nor’Easter that was windy and took the power out. With no electricity, we resorted to a box of candles to help us lighten things up and gave me time to reflect on other things, as well.

The pic, above, was taken right after the power went out. It’s my computer keyboard that I was working on. I knew where the flashlights were and they all worked. We still had gas and running water so we weren’t thinking about going to a hotel. In our kitchen, we had a box full of Shabbat candles that we got for emergency use right after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was only fitting that the power went out on a Friday, thus the start of the Sabbath in Jewish tradition. I’m not Jewish, by the way. :o)

But, what happens when there’s no internet, no TV, no computer and all those things we take for granted with electricity? You light a candle and read on the dining room table.

And while I was reading the latest issue of Lacrosse Magazine, which has a pic from The Art of Lax on a page about innovation, I kept on thinking about something that’s pretty much archaic, or old fashioned and outdated. It wasn’t about old lacrosse sticks.

I kept on thinking how pretty much everything at night was done by candlelight before electricity. Documents that shaped and built the United States such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were probably written by candlelight.

As I kept on thinking more and more about it, I started to think that if you were a candlemaker back then, then you pretty much had a secure job. A guaranteed way to make a living. The candlemaker had a craft, manifestly a business, to make a product of need, instead of want. And I bet the candlemaker didn’t have to advertise their business, because people knew where to find the candlemaker each and everyday – and night.

After reading that Lacrosse Magazine issue about innovation and the new products, I got even more cerebral. It made me wonder from both a business owner and consumer mindset, is a new product of any sort something you need, or something you want?


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