Kara Egan and Colette Gunnell founded Scentsy, a wickless candle company, in Salt Lake City, Utah back in 2003. The next year, the two met Orville Thompson at a Salt Lake City business event. Thompson was then a struggling entrepreneur selling video game controllers, but he took an interest in Scentsy.
Within months, Thompson and his wife Heidi purchased the company from Egan and Gunnell.
On July 1, 2004 the Thompsons launched Scentsy as a direct selling, party-plan company. That first year of business revenue totaled about $140,000. In 2011, seven years later, revenue totaled $535 million.
As of August 2012, Scentsy had nearly 200,000 independent consultants selling the wickless candles (wax and warmers in Scentsy lingo). The company has also expanded its product line to include personal care products, and scented greeting cards. A new chocolate fondue brand called Velata launched in May 2012. And the company’s third brand, Grace Adele, launched in August 2012.
In 2011, Scentsy made Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing, privately-held companies in the United States. The company also made Forbes 2011 list of America’s most promising companies
. It stood out on the list for having the greatest revenue of any company the magazine named — $381.8 million in the most recent fiscal year.
The company has more than 830 employees at its corporate office in Meridian, Idaho and 265 corporate employees spread across Kentucky, Texas, Utah and Puerto Rico.
Scentsy’s founders Kara Egan and Colette Gunnell are now independent Scentsy consultants and members of the board of directors.