Paddywax was founded by Gretchen Hollingsworth (established in 1996), who desired something different for her career. Fresh out of college and contemplating a career path, Gretchen Hollingsworth and several girlfriends started a group based on the premise that each week, someone would choose a project and lead the group through it. It was a way to explore a creative side, while chatting about jobs (or lack of), post graduate life in Chicago and a slew of other things. Gretchen, a natural leader, was up first. Intrigued by an article on the century-old techniques of candle making, she decided hand-poured candles would be their first adventure. What started as a “knickknack, paddywhack” inspiration became Paddywax. What began in the humble beginnings of Gretchen’s kitchen quickly grew to be an industry leader.

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