Shining Sol Candle Company was founded in 2012 by award winning musician, producer, and author Pete Evick. In addition to his role at Shining Sol, Pete works with Rock Icon and TV reality star Bret Michaels as his guitarist and music director, among other duties. While on a long overdue break from touring the world years ago, Pete developed an interest in candle making. While it started as a quiet hobby in his seemingly loud life, he also decided that starting an online business of some kind would help teach his kids the skills and thrills of entrepreneurism. In an ever-changing world where job stability has all but disappeared he felt running a business of his own would be an invaluable lesson for his children, and starting a candle company became the obvious choice; and so Shining Sol was formed.
Pete quickly developed the desire to create something new and different with this timeless art of candle making. As an added bonus, within the candle world, he could take part in helping stimulate the American economy. He found that he could contribute to the American farming industry by using soy wax as opposed to the most common candle making wax, known as paraffin. While that alone was enough to justify using soy wax, learning that soy is also clean burning and non-toxic when used in candles…well, that was just as important a reason. Supporting our country and our environment at the same time? You just can’t go wrong.
Next came the choice to use a wood wick instead of the traditional cotton wick. The wood wick crackles like wood in a fireplace (or campfire) and provides an incredibly relaxing ambiance. While there are several wood wick candles and even more soy candles on the market today, the combination of soy and wood wick is rare due to the complications that arise from being able to achieve a perfect burn pool when the two are combined. Pete was up to the challenge and called on Phil Niemerg of Candle Art to help develop the perfect wick. After months of research and development the team developed the right balance and formula for the “perfect” candle, and Shining Sol was on its way.
Pete soon after called on longtime friend Sara Rodriguez to come on board as a business partner. Sara has great artistic vision and passion in creating new and unique candle ideas, some of which are Shining Sol’s top selling products to this day. Together, they quickly created a buzz in their home state of Virginia and rocked the boat in the online candle community.
Pete brought long time friend and world class graphic designer Keith Sarna on board to give life to the Shining Sol vision. Keith worked for months on the original look and feel of the brand and eventually creating the perfect representation of Pete’s vision for Shining Sol.
The company was growing fast and at an unexpected level so the demand for a stronger online presence as well an expert in online marketing was needed. Pete was fortunate enough to know just the guy, childhood friend Deron Blevins. Deron’s 20+ year background in graphic/web design and marketing had successfully turned several small businesses into multi-million dollar companies. Deron had been keeping a watchful eye as Pete grew Shining Sol and had developed a great interest in what the company was doing. Deron joined the team and immediately began building a new online presence for the company and business started to grow to even higher unprecedented levels for Shining Sol.
It became clear that Shining Sol’s candles were something special, and in addition to the continued increase in new customers, repeat customers (the Shining Sol family) were growing even faster. Given the continued growth, the trio of Pete, Sara and Deron decided to take a chance and launch its first brick and mortar store in the Historic Downtown district of Pete and Deron’s hometown of Manassas, Virginia. Shining Sol now has a full staff which includes a social media marketing department and a sales team dedicated exclusively to spreading the word about Shining Sol to the entire world.
The passion for candle making grows every day with Shining Sol. The desire to continue making the best candles in the world is our only priority. Our production team continues to innovate, design and improve the candle making process. Our creative team, still led by Pete and Sara, work nonstop to come up with new and exciting scents and colors, all while remaining a handmade product of the USA.
Pete Evick is a Virginia boy at heart with tight strong ties to his hometown of Manassas. He is a multitalented musician/producer who, in addition to playing guitar in the Bret Michaels Band, has also served as a co-songwriter, producer, mixer, and musical director for the group, and his own band, EVICK. A man with a true entrepreneurial spirit, he pursues his own projects, which have included the conception of an all-digital record company called Potomac Records which has been turned over to his close high-school friend, Mike Bailey, and a new environmentally conscious candle company also based in Virginia called Shining Sol Candle Company.
Pete is also a published Author, his book "The Moments That Make Us" can be found on Amazon or can be purchased in their retails store (Center Street Manassas).
Although Pete is an award-winning producer, his biggest role in life remains that of being the best father he can to his two boys.
Never attending college and going from high school straight into a Civil Engineering job via a work program for technical drawing. As a draftsman, he contributed to many new site projects in the Manassas area. At the time, Computers were just starting to play a role in the civil industry so he adapted and learned CAD drafting (computer aided drafting). Soon after there was a round of layoffs that led to his first business adventure, an auto detailing business with an old friend.
Computers took the "fun" out of drafting for Deron and he found he really enjoyed the hand drawing method. Enjoying the idea of working on his own as an entrepreneur, in the late 1990's he ventured out and started his own graphic design business which quickly morphed into web design as the tech boom was increasing. Again, he spent all of his time and energy learning everything he could about web design and development to offer additional services in conjunction with his graphic design company. Through the years, as his business grew he continued to take on new challenges and provide additional services, social media, message boards and eventually Google Adwords and Microsoft Bing (among other platforms). His company grew to help companies from $100K - Multi-Million dollar brands.
Faced with a recession in 2008, an opportunity to work with an old childhood friend led him to become a full-time web developer for his friend's company. The position quickly expanded into advertising coordinator, responsible for ad spending, Google, Bing, etc.. During this time Deron was responsible for ad spend of accounts for more than $250K per month.
In 2016 he was again faced with industry decline. It was around this time, life long friend Pete Evick started talking with him about Shining Sol Candle Company and the opportunities that existed there (along with his current partner Sara Rodriguez). Utilizing the foundation Pete had been building for Shining Sol with his own experience in the marketing/music business, and merging with Deron's 20+ years of graphic design/marketing/web design - they knew it would be a formidable combination to really try and build Shining Sol into the industry leader for candle products.
Since then they have successfully grown the business every year, launched a retail store, won Best Gift Shop in Northern Virginia 2 years in a row, Business of the Year for City of Manassas in 2018, Man of the Year Pete Evick in 2018, and countless other achievements! Shining Sol Candles is currently "testing" with Bed Bath & Beyond and the wholesale division is growing steadily.
Fun Facts about Deron:
- self-taught using books, online articles, youtube videos as well as way too many magazine subscriptions.
- avid Heavy Metal fan and collector, and at one time ran one of the largest Heavy Metal forums in the world.
- owns over 450 domain names.
- watches too much of The Profit on TV!