From Military Service to Local Entrepreneurship: The Journey of Sean Campbell and The Mountain Top Candle Shop

In honor of Veterans Day this week, we are privileged to shine a spotlight on the incredible contributions of our veterans, not only in their service to our country but also in their entrepreneurial pursuits. We had the honor of sitting down with Sean Campbell, a veteran and the founder of Mountain Top Candle Shop, to learn more about his journey as a business owner and the lessons he’s brought from his military experience into the world of entrepreneurship. 

Sean’s military journey was marked by dual service, with 12 years in the Coast Guard and 10.5 years in the Army infantry. Upon retiring from the military, Sean sought a productive and enjoyable path that could also generate income.

He started with hobbies such as brewing beer, building furniture, and working with reclaimed wood. Candle making just happened to pop up as an idea, it started out small, for example crafting candles for friends and family during the holidays. However, thanks to their family and friends their creations gained popularity on social media, prompting the launch of their business. They began by selling their natural, non-toxic products on Etsy. Not long after, they expanded to collaborate with their first wholesale customer Glass Tangerine, which has now led to several other local stores.

Sean acknowledged that his military background instilled valuable work ethics and skills in him. His military service emphasized the importance of good work ethics, a strong work ethic, and a proactive approach. These traits are ingrained in him, contributing to the success of his candle business.

The Mountain Top Candle Shop: A Commitment to All-Natural Products:
The heart of Sean’s business lies in the quality and sustainability of their products. The Mountain Top Candle Shop prides itself on using only essential oils, coconut oil wax, and wood wicks in its candles. Their commitment to all-natural, non-toxic goods has resonated with their growing customer base.

Community Spirit in Cookeville:
When asked what he loves most about doing business in Cookeville, Sean emphasized the community’s support and embrace of local, high-quality products. He noted that a good product crafted in the area is sure to find support from the local community.

Fun Facts and Connection to Middle Tennessee:
Sean and his wife, Lyndsee, share an interesting connection to Middle Tennessee. Both grew up in Houston, Texas and lived near each other without ever meeting. Fate eventually brought them together in Middle Tennessee, where they embarked on their entrepreneurial journey.

Sean’s journey from military service to entrepreneurial success is a testament to the resilience, work ethic, and adaptability that veterans can bring to the business world. The Mountain Top Candle Shop’s commitment to quality and all-natural products, coupled with Sean’s strong work values, has created a thriving local business that resonates with the Upper Cumberland community. It’s a story of inspiration and the fulfillment of entrepreneurial dreams.

Sean’s advice for Fellow Veterans Pursuing Entrepreneurship:

  • He personally worked with the Biz Foundry.
  • Utilize local resources and networking.
  • Getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations.

Where to Find Their Products:
The Mountain Top Candle Shop’s products can be found in various local stores, including Glass Tangerine, Bloom and Wellness, Cookeville Visitor’s Center, P.S. Paws Pet Bakery, and many more. For more information, visit their website.

Photography Credit: Ben Weaver and Autumn Rumsey.

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