Matthew Bretherick had years of experience working in retail before eventually starting his own small business, Mercantile 1858, a home décor and gift shop. With locations in Arrington and historic Franklin, Mercantile 1858 is nothing like a typical big-box home decor stores.
Make sure you follow @mercantile1858 for Matthew's Vintage Monday Picks and the latest product discoveries.
Read on to find out why Matthew started his own candle business, his tips for decorating your space, and what keeps him busy when not at the store.
What is Mercantile 1858 and how long has it been around?
Mercantile 1858 is a home decor and gift store. We specialize in handmade and vintage items.
What advice helped you when you were beginning your business?
Stay true to who you are!
Describe your style.
Do you have top tip for people who are unsure about how to decorate their space? Where should they start?
Don’t buy anything to just “fill a space”! Love it or leave it!
How did you curate Mercantile 1858? What makes it different from a big box home decor store?
The handmade goods in my shops really help us stand out. Pairing locally made goods with vintage, one of a kind pieces allows for a truly unique shopping experience!
When did you start making candles?
I started 1858 Candle Co in the summer of 2020. I sold my first candle July 24th, 2020.
Where do you find inspiration for new candle scents?
I try to always keep my shoppers in mind. I listen to what they want and ask what kind is scents they normally gravitate towards.
What do you like to do when you are not working on your business?
I have a passion for all living things. When I’m not in one of my shops, I’m probably gardening while my chickens free range. I also have four dogs (three of which are rescues) to love on and spoil!
We are a gift company so we always ask: what is your favorite gift to give or receive?
The gifts vary depending on the recipient. I try to only buy from other small businesses. Gifting is my love language! I come by that honestly, my mom and aunt were amazing gift givers.
Any future plans you'd like to share with us?
I started 1858 Candle Co. to be able to adopt one day, hopefully. I had ordered and carried candles in my shops for five years prior to becoming a chandler myself. My hope is that with becoming a maker, it might allow me to become a little more financially prepared to start the adoption process.