Burt Hanna's Candle Burning Bright

Wal-Mart recently announced that it will promote merchandise made in the Natural State with signage proclaiming “Arkansas’ Own,” and one of the main beneficiaries of that will be a company founded by a member of the 40 Under 40 class of 1997: Burt Hanna.

Hanna’s Candle Co. of Fayetteville is expected to see sales increase from $4 million in 2012 to $30 million this year to $45 million in 2017, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Hanna, now 50, was not yet 25 when he and his then-wife went into the business of making and selling potpourri and then candles. When Arkansas Business interviewed him last year, we asked for three things he wished he had known when he started his business. Here’s what he said:

  1. Family is always more important than business
  2. You don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room
  3. Never, never, never borrow money using a swap to fix the interest rate.

We also asked what he’s glad he didn’t know:

“I am glad I did not know how hard it is to make a good burning candle when I started or I would have given up.”