How one diagnosis is helping change the lives of thousands affected by Nephrotic Syndrome
A budding business in West Haven, Connecticut is creating candles for a cause. Jordan Crooms and Jennifer Lowe started A Little Soy Candle Company in March 2018, but there’s more than just wax and wicks consuming their lives.
Before they became entrepreneurs, the couple was focused primarily on raising their child. In October 2015, their daughter Tatum was born. Just before her second birthday, Crooms and Lowe started noticing their once healthy baby girl now appeared more swollen than before.
“We thought we were feeding her too much. At one point we asked, ‘Are we giving her too much juice?’” Crooms said.
After several misdiagnoses, Tatum was correctly diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome in August 2017.
“Your job as a parent is to do everything you can for your child, but there was nothing at that time that we could have done, and it was just defeating,” Crooms recalled.
Initially Tatum was given steroids, but after several relapses she was put on CellCept (Mycophenolate Mofetil MMF). One thing both Tatum’s parents and doctors think contribute to her Nephrotic Syndrome, and relapses, is her sensitive skin.
After Tatum’s diagnoses, Crooms and Lowe ripped through their home throwing away anything containing harsh chemicals. They swapped cleaning supplies for vinegar, and traditional paraffin wax candles for soy ones.
“I did some research and noticed that they [traditional candles] are basically made from oil-refining by-products,” Crooms said.
That didn’t sit well with them, and it’s ultimately what ushered the two to start their own soy candle company.
Selling the candles to family members at first, the couple was able to branch out and grow business within months. They welcomed this unique opportunity to inform people about Nephrotic Syndrome, all while raising money.
“Our core mission is to not only sell candles, but to work with NephCure and help support in any way that we can,” Crooms said.
A Little Soy Candle Company is committed to finding a cure for all who suffer from Nephrotic Syndrome. They are donating 20% of their profits to NephCure Kidney International, but their vision by 2030 is to be able to give 80% of profits to help find a cure.
“It’s a very bold mission, but I think we can do it,” Crooms conveyed.
This year alone, the company has made nearly $7,000 in sales and is set to donate roughly $1,000 to NephCure.
Since starting the candle company, Crooms and Lowe began to realize just how many people were affected by Nephrotic Syndrome in their area alone. They’ve connected with other families through candle sales and hope to build a community together.
Hand delivering locally has allowed the couple to meet customers face-to-face and share the details of Nephrotic Syndrome.
“When we deliver, it’s crazy because most of the people come out and say, ‘Our son has Nephrotic Syndrome.’ There’s just so many people,” Lowe explained.
A Little Soy Candle Company has their products in several retail spaces in Connecticut, as well as a boutique in Missouri.
“Our long-term goal is to really make this not just about candles, but a vehicle for people to help NephCure, help the families, and really just build a community around it,” Crooms said.