Couple uses repurposed bottles to make business

That is Vela de Vino — translated to “wine candle” in Spanish — formed by husband-wife duo Jenny and Joe Gutman of West Chester Twp. The two run the business out of their home, creating candles inside recycled wine, beer and liquor bottles.

Joe Gutman said they got the idea for the “wine candle” after seeing a similar concept in a Chicago boutique during summer 2010. He said both the candle and glass-cutting were of low quality.

“We knew we could do better and there it began,” Joe Gutman said. “We’ve been researching and perfecting it for a year; there’s been a lot of trial and error, a lot of broken bottles.”

The product itself is a high-quality candle using Grade A essential oils and American soy wax — versus paraffin wax made from chemicals — from a local supplier in Hamilton, Jenny Gutman said. Scents include vanilla grapefruit, Christmas tree, cinnamon, ocean and juniper.

“Soy candles burn cleaner and smoother; it’s more expensive but makes a better candle,” Jenny Gutman said.

Vela de Vino candles can be found at Sara’s House at Bridgewater Falls in Fairfield Twp.; Wise Owl Wine Bar in West Chester Twp.; Little Red Gift Shop in Montgomery; Whole Foods in Mason and Hyde Park; and by emailing candles@veladevino.com.

Jenny Gutman said the candles are perfect for wedding receptions, table settings, special anniversaries and interior design. Candle prices range from $14 for small bottles; $20 for larger wine bottles.

“It’s so much fun to turn something that would be garbage into something fun,” Jenny Gutman said.

Jenny Gutman said she receives recycled wine bottles from a variety of sources, including friends and family and local restaurants the Wise Owl Wine Bar and Jag’s Steak and Seafood.

“We’re supporting the home team and local partners,” Joe Gutman said, who’s in charge of cutting and smoothing the glass. “It’s been a fun journey. We like being a green company.”

Jenny Gutman said her next step is to develop a website for Internet orders. Eventually, she envisions a small storefront.

“We want to grow in a smart way to keep up with orders,” Jenny Gutman said, who’s also a stay-at-home mom to sons Vince, 6, and Luke, four months.

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