Bringing the Economy Home


Inside Meridian-Based Scentsy


Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Scentsy's ceramic warmers are manufactured in China, the wax bars are made in Meridian, Idaho.

This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to Boise State Public Radio’s website.

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.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Wax bars on display at an event in Nampa, Idaho

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.

Latest Posts

18 Idaho Companies Make Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing List

Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies was released this week, and 18 Idaho businesses made the cut. To qualify, companies apply by providing relevant financials and a general description of their business. Some familiar companies that frequent these kinds of rankings were again included.  Scentsy ranks 516, Balihoo ranks 853 and Pita […]

Idaho-Based Scentsy Continues To Grow, Adds New Brand

Say you own a multi-million dollar direct sales company that sells wickless scented candles, bath products and chocolate fondue…what would you add next? Well, Meridian, Idaho-based Scentsy is diving into the handbags and accessories market. The company that launched in 2004 selling wickless scented candles has added a new brand to its growing business, and […]

Most Direct Sellers Don’t Earn A Living Through Sales

Earlier today we introduced you to Maggie Clark, an independent salesperson for the wickless candle maker Scentsy.  Clark says she earns about $1,200 a month on her business.  That is well above the median income for someone in the direct selling industry. The Direct Selling Association, an industry trade group, says the median annual income […]

Do Direct Sales Models Work Better In The West?

When I started researching the direct sales industry and one of Idaho’s newest direct sales companies, Scentsy, I wanted to find out if that model of selling at parties and events does particularly well in Idaho. The Direct Selling Association has this handy map that shows the percent of sales by region.  Idaho is part […]

MTV’s ‘Teen Mom’ Cast Members Selling Scentsy

The direct selling industry isn’t just for Mary Kay or Tupperware consumers anymore.  It seems the younger demographic is getting on board.  The entertainment blog WetPaint and parenting blog Babble have recently posted that two women from the MTV reality show Teen Mom are selling Scentsy products. Scentsy is the Meridian, Idaho-based wickless-candle and personal […]

Direct Sales Companies Saw Spike In Sellers During Recession

One of Idaho’s fast growing companies is Scentsy.  They sell wickless candles and personal care products.  It’s a direct sales company, meaning independent consultants sell products largely through home parties (think The Pampered Chef). The Direct Selling Association is a trade group for some of the country’s most well known direct sales companies like Avon, […]

Scentsy Launches Fondue Product Line, Could Create More Jobs

Scentsy, the Meridian, Idaho-based wickless candle company, launched into the world of fondue today.  The company announced its first food product line, called Velata.  The chocolate fondue kit will be available in May.  It comes with a microwaveable pouch of chocolate, a silicone dish and an electric warmer. Scentsy has made some new hires in […]

Scentsy, Deer Valley Trucking Make Forbes List

Meridian-based Scentsy has landed a spot on Forbes Magazine’s list of America’s Most Promising Companies.  The only other Idaho company to join the no-flame scented candle maker on this year’s list is Idaho Falls-based Deer Valley Trucking, which transports water and oil on North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation. Scentsy stands out on the Forbes ranking […]

Meridian Based “Scentsy” Among Fastest Growing U.S. Companies ranks the Meridian, Idaho based wickless-candle company Scentsy the 85th fastest growing company in the United States over the last three years.  According to its website, Scentsy has 100,000 independent sales representatives who market and sell products through home parties. It’s the second year the wickless-candle company has made Inc. Magazine’s list of the […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »