At first glance, Justin Tyler seems to be a normal husband and father living the American dream. With a beautiful, growing family and meaningful career, he surprisingly is somewhat of an unconventional dad, wearing many hats to live within his calling and support his wife in her side business making Cotton Top Candles.
In 2011, Justin’s wife, Janna, and a friend had the idea to design hand-poured candles. In the beginning, they simply created a small batch and set sail on a trip to the Canton Flea Market. A speech pathologist at Forrest General Hospital, Janna began the side business as a fun creative outlet, never expecting the business to turn into a thriving supplier for retail stores all over the United States. Today, Cotton Top Candles has turned into an outlet for the Tylers to serve a community of retailers and individuals, providing a personal touch with (mostly) hand deliveries to each location and inspiring scripture on much of their packaging. For example, the Barnabas candle was created in reference to Barnabas in scripture, who was an encourager. Each candle label has an encouraging word and corresponding scripture reference. Named after their eco-friendly, cotton wicks and blonde headed-children, Cotton Top Candles are made with 100% soy wax, reusable jars and essential/fragrance oil blends.
Justin’s Day Job
As the Director of Rain Down Global Missions at Rain Down Ministries , a typical day for Justin is not typical. Rain Down Ministries is a Laurel-based organization with international impact. Each year, the organization hosts 100 youth hunters in their Refuge Hunting camps and hundreds more in Sportsman’s Challenge events, seeing lives changed through the truth of God’s Word. Justin’s role is to support the efforts of the outdoor ministries as well as helping churches organize global mission trips.
And if two businesses weren't enough, Justin has also been in the military, serving in the Army for 12 years, and he has been in the Air Guard for the last four years. “No day is a cookie cutter day,” said Justin. “I spend some days on my laptop, some days meeting with pastors and some days walking through the woods.” When it comes to the candle business, Justin adds. “In a pinch, I will sometimes make candles, but I prefer to be the accounts receivable, accounts payable and grunt work role.”
Candles with Eternal Impact
The candles have served as fundraisers, allowing them to bring adopted children home from China. “Our hope is that our candles can make an impact, stir memories and provide a backdrop for creating new ones,” said Justin. As for the future, Cotton Top Candles has considered going to an Atlanta market to expand their reach in the wholesale arena. But for now, Justin’s priority is his wife and children Sara Catherine, Wes and Graham and continuing to wear all the hats that make him worthy of celebrating this Father’s Day.