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Meet the Owner of Barnlight Candle Company, LLC

Dreams Come True

Hello there, and welcome to my small business! Let me introduce myself, my name is Amy Merritt and I'm the owner of Barnlight Candle Company, LLC and Grand-View Holsteins. I'm from a small town in South-Eastern Wisconsin, and I grew up on a hobby horse farm. Some very good family friends of mine gave me the opportunity of a lifetime in high school, and let me show one of their dairy calves at my local county fair through FFA. Ever since then, I've been hooked on cows. 
All my life I've loved candles and I always wanted my own herd of dairy cows, and to run my own business. When I graduated college with a double degree in equine science and dairy science, I immersed myself in the dairy industry. I bred cows via artificial insemination for two different prominent breeding companies, and was also trained in DHI milk testing by the second company I worked for, CentralStar Select Sires. While working full-time for the dairy farmers in North-Western Wisconsin I soon realized I could chase my dreams to have a herd of my own too. After dealing with some health issues, I unfortunately had to step away from my passion and my dream job. With a lot of hard work since then, and a switch to a career with a more regular sleep schedule, I've been able to beat and turn around my health, so I can keep chasing my love of dairy cattle. 
Over the last 5 years I've built a herd of registered Holsteins from one original 5 month old calf, and then added two more new bloodlines to the herd in 2021 and 2022. I now milk my girls from home with my husbands help, love and support. We have 13 total head, and milk 4 cows. We are a very small herd, and unfortunately are too little to have our milk picked up and be used in the food supply to be used for fluid milk, cheese production or other dairy products. My husband and I enjoy showing our cows at our local Holstein shows and at the MN State Fair.
In the transition of moving our cows home, I knew we didn't have enough calves to feed all the milk our cows produced to. We would have extra milk, and during an early winter morning milking, I got this crazy idea in my head. Why don't I make candles with it? I knew it was possible to make goats milk soy candles. After a LOT of research, testing old farm recipes for milk candles, and then multiple trial and errors, I finally learned how to get the cows milk to blend and not separate during the curing process of the candles. The fat and protein components in cows milk is a bit different from goats milk, so the original recipes and techniques I was using had to be tweaked along the way. 
With my love for candles, and I should probably say obsession with them...(I probably have a dozen or more around our home at any given time of the year)...I knew this was something I had a passion for, and could really turn into a good business. It was important for both my husband and myself that we found a solution for the extra milk our cows were giving. It is also important to us that some of the profits of the candles goes back into the cows. We plan to build a nice shelter for them this year, and improve our pasture system at home. Down the road adding better calving pens and weaned calf pens is another goal. It has been an amazing ride watching the herd grow and now becoming self-sufficient. 
It’s no secret that, as humans, our sense of smell is inextricably linked to our centers of emotion, nostalgia and wellness. Thus, every aroma curated at Barnlight Candle Company, LLC is inspired by different experiences in life, from childhood memories, time spent with loved ones, that once in a lifetime vacation, or simply that special scent you love. For me, the crisp fall and winter air in Wisconsin or the sweet spring scent of apple tree blossoms and lilac bushes have always been my favorites. 
Whether you're looking for something for yourself or as a gift for someone else, we are sure to have something that will fit the bill. From refreshing blends that provide an energy boost, to soothing scents to help you wind down after a long day. Discover the hand-poured, smooth and clean burn difference the cows milk blend adds to our soy wax candles and hand-blended details that will make you fall in love with our wax melts. I promise you won't be disappointed, and will enjoy the love and labor my cows and myself put into each product so much, that you'll be back for more! 
Barnlight Candle Company is the start of something new for my husband, myself and our cows. My husband, Philip is the scent critic, ocassional labeling helper and nighttime cow milker. Our ladies are the masters of milk production giving the candles and melts that extra creamy and smooth burn/meltdown. I manage the rest of the business details for both the herd and the candle business, from start to finish. It really is a team effort!
As we embark on this first year of business, officially starting sales on May 1st, 2023 I would like to say in advance thank you for all the support, business and feedback that I'm sure will come throughout the year. I strive to be customer focused and open to hearing what folks would like for scents in our products. While I perform burn tests on all of my batches and quality checks, I absolutely want to hear if there's any issues with your order whatsoever so that it can be made right as soon as possible. 
Thank you so much for supporting my small business and helping me chase my dream of being a small business owner!
Bringing together for you the love of cows and candles,
-Amy Merritt (and the ladies of Grand-View Holsteins)
Photo above is me with Jewel, the matriarch of the herd and my first owned registered Holstein. She's the first Grand-View lady, and is one of the main producers of the milk used for the candles and melts of Barnlight Candle Company.

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