Tenacity Runs in the Family
Twenty years ago and before anyone even knew what the law of attraction was about, a smart and spunky 24-year-old quit her day job and started a company that revolutionized the way we approach personal success. Jacki Smith’s method was unconventional but she knew her way really worked. Jacki set out to show people that magic isn’t just for witches and wizards and that we all use magic every day without even knowing it. She created a line of inspirational candles and, combined with her passion for marketing, created a system she called Creating Your Own Reality. A year and a half into it, Jacki invited her sister, Patty Shaw, to join her and they soon became partners and conspired together to bring about world change one candle at a time.
Back in the early ’90s, the New Age market was pretty new itself and hungry for fresh ideas, innovative products and the people who could create them. Jacki and Patty’s company, Coventry Creations, fit perfectly in this niche market and business took off like a shot. Sales doubled and tripled annually. Distributors and sales reps were begging to be associated with Coventry Creations; even QVC came knocking at their door.
The Blessed Herbal candles immediately became the standard of intentional candles in the New Age industry. On most days they find it a vast compliment that many variations of the Blessed Herbal candle have surfaced through other companies. A wise mentor showed them that being copied by other companies solidifies their place as the industry originator and leader; they keep that message close to their hearts on the difficult days.
Home Is Where Your Magic Is
Coventry’s first headquarters was located in Jacki’s kitchen, but after spilling 10 pounds of wax on the floor, she made the executive decision to move the operation to the basement. The UPS driver got lots of presents for schlepping those boxes up that flight of stairs every day. In the beginning, everything she did was “outside the box.” She constructed her own candle molds from pvc pipe and caps, and the candles were made upside-down according to industry standards. All this came out of the mother of necessity and a tiny working budget.
Coventry has gone through many changes over the years. Jacki and Patty were never bored with all the ups and downs of trials, tribulations and successes. After four moves and lots of personal and professional growth, Coventry is settled in Ferndale, Michigan, a community they plan to call home for the rest of its history. Jacki and Patty opened a boutique in downtown Ferndale to be the local retail outlet of their candles.
The journey would have not been as enjoyable without the unbreakable bond of sisterhood Jacki and Patty have enjoyed. Patty Shaw's unfailing patience and confidence, combining with Jacki's drive and courage blossomed into a creative team that is equal to infinitely more than the sum of its parts.
“Every day we are working on the next evolutionary step of our company. We wish that you enjoy using our products as much as we enjoy creating them.” —Jacki Smith & Patty Shaw
2012 was an amazing year of accolades for the sisters of Coventry. Not only did they celebrate 20 years in business, they were awarded the COVR 2012 Vendor of the Year! What an honor it was to receive that award from their peers, customers and fans. This is only the second vendor award given by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources). As the award presenter started describing the recipient of the 2012 award, Jacki and Patty were in disbelief that it could have been them: “Two sisters that have worked together for nearly 20 years…” The Coventry sisters kept looking around wondering what other sister teams were out there with businesses. When our tablemates started poking them, Jacki and Patty realized it was them!
Jacki’s book, Coventry Magic, won the 2012 Best in Print for Magic and Shamanism COVR award. It was a heavy luggage year as the sisters flew back to Detroit from Denver, but there was no way these awards were getting out of their sight! Jacki got through the awards ceremony with many damp napkins and a series of bumbling emotional outbursts.
Jacki said she cried almost as much in 2012 as when Patty’s self-published book, the Healer’s Almanac, won as a runner-up in 2009 for the Alternative Health Award. Writing that first Healer’s Almanac was a journey of many years and here Patty was, getting the recognition of an amazing book. There are dozens of books in each category that are entered in the COVR awards; being in the top two is a tribute in and of itself. Here’s hoping that the 2014 COVR awards will be fruitful for their new co-authored book, DIY Akashic Wisdom.
Over the 20-plus years of taking the road less traveled, Coventry has received numerous awards, from the Detroit-based Metro Times “Best of” awards, to BBB recognitions and display awards at local conventions. With all of these humbling honors Coventry has received, the most important one is the award we experience every time a customer reaches out to us with a Coventry candle tale.