Makers on Main: Andy’s Candles


Andy Gouthier is a persistent fellow, which translates into working hard on his candle making business he calls Andy’s Candles from concept through completion. Gouthier is well aware of the rigors of operating a business from production through inventory control, sales and marketing.

Gouthier said that his candle business gives him something to do and keeps him busy. Gouthier started his candle business as an offshoot of Nathan Young’s Autism Candles project in Fortuna. Autism Candles created advocacy, awareness and ultimately employment inclusion for individuals on the autism spectrum in society. This home based business is one of many featured artisans selling their products at the recently opened Makers Market on Main in Downtown Fortuna.

“I ran into him in Safeway, as a matter of fact. And, I had seen he’d posted on Facebook about his candles,” and I just.” Rusty Calkin, a business affiliate of Gouthier, said. “I thought, you know what this is? This is what we want. These are the kind of things we want to do. So when I seen him at Safeway, I said, hey, tell me about your candles. And just went straight into, you know, how many, how many can I bring over? And I said, well, let’s start with, you know, 5 or 10.”

Calkins is the shop owner of Maker’s Market on Main. He’s probably better well known as the proprietor of the Humboldt Hippie Cup Coffee. Calkins himself is a disabled Air Force veteran.

“We we rent shelf space and floor space. and we offer that to special needs folks, and we encourage them to bring in, whatever their little, home business is. And, we’re just trying to give them an outlet and a place to sell, and maybe generate some income for them. And, you know, just give them something to focus on. I, being a disabled veteran of Iraq myself, I think it’s great. We encourage special needs and veterans and anybody really that wants to come in here and do business.”

Calkin spoke of Tom Cohn, whose wares Calkin carries in his shop.

“He’s a disabled veteran of Vietnam. And so his therapy is building birdhouses,” Calkin said. “Whenever he’s feeling stressed out or anxious, he goes out into his, shed and or garage and he builds birdhouses. I believe he said he’s around 180 birdhouses, so he definitely needs a place to sell this.”

Calkin had several stories to share about the vendors whose merchandise he carries.

“Another gentleman, he, he lost an arm. So he has a prosthetic arm with a hook on the end, and he does 3D printing. And so after the 3D printer makes the item, he uses his non-dominant hand, which he still has to paint that. And that is also his therapy.”

While you can order Andy’s candles directly from the candle maker by emailing him at the address below.
It’s good to know you can get a cup of coffee and find all the other makers in one central location in Fortuna, too