WELLS, Maine –Village Candle Company has introduced a new management team to expand on the company’s 25 years of success and facilitate continued growth.
The new executives include Jeanne A. Hulit, President; Dana Schwarz, Vice President, eCommerce and Brand Management; Erik Murer, Vice President, Finance and Operations and Kim Biggs, Director of New Business Development.
“We are excited about this team of leaders and experts that will help take Village Candle to a new level of growth,” said Paul Aldrich, Founder and CEO of Village Candle. “With this leadership group in place, Village Candle is poised to expand not only throughout the U.S. but also internationally beyond the 32 countries we currently already serve.”
Aldrich continued, “Retail—how, where and when people shop—is changing. Our commitment to brand innovation and the shopping experience itself, will evolve the Village Candle brand forward in all of our shopping channels, not only toward our loyal consumer base but to attract a broader range of new consumers.”
As president of Village Candle, Jeanne Hulit is responsible for managing and growing the 24-year-old manufacturer of premium scented candles from its Wells, Maine headquarters. Hulit came to know Village Candle well over the course of her 20-year career in commercial and international banking in Maine, when she served as the company’s relationship manager. Her intimate knowledge of the company’s growth and history positions her well to help lead a new management team in pursuing new opportunities for expansion.
An established business leader in Maine, Hulit most recently served as President of Northeast Bank’s Community Banking Division. Prior to joining Northeast Bank, Hulit served on President Obama’s Cabinet as the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, DC, after serving in senior management roles at the agency in Boston and D.C. “I am passionate about helping grow small businesses and Village is a classic entrepreneurial success story. It’s an honor to help take this great brand to the next level,” says Hulit.
Dana Schwartz is a leader in consumer direct, digital commerce and consumer experience in the premium brand space, both domestic and international. She will lead eCommerce and brand management, engagement and experience for all sales channels on a global level. She has led eCommerce and Omnichannel efforts for such venerable brands as Brookstone, ECCO Shoes, and Ethan Allen Global, Inc. While at ECCO, Schwartz was recognized by Retail Touchpoints Magazine with a Retail Innovator Award in 2016 for her efforts in blurring the lines between physical and digital retail, launching a digital shopping experience in ECCO retail stores across the US. Schwartz began her career on the ad agency side in New York City. Schwartz is an active industry thought leader, speaker and advisor within digital and brand innovation.
Schwartz joined Village Candle with a great deal of passion toward taking the brand in new directions to appeal to different market segments. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to lead ecommerce and brand for a heritage and family-owned business with an exceptional product assortment and rich story,” Schwartz said. “Today we are a best-kept secret – now it’s time to share our story and to think beyond traditional ways of engaging through fragrance and experience.”
Erik Murer brings extensive experience in supply chain, finance and international markets. Murer joined Village Candle to take the company forward in building out operational efficiencies, inventory optimization, financial modeling and proven business process to lay the infrastructure for expanded growth.
Prior to joining Village Candle, Murer led supply chain and demand planning efforts for the Performance Sports Group. As Category Supply Chain Manager, Murer was responsible for the overall management of demand and supply plans and acted as the primary liaison across the organization for logistics, product management, global sales, R&D and quality.
Murer was previously a Senior Analyst for International markets for L.L. Bean, Inc., where he supported insights and analytics, including a focus on the China start-up joint venture for the brand. He also held the position of International Operations Manager, managing demand planning, purchasing of inventory to support the Japanese subsidiary.
Kim Biggs rejoined Village in a new role as Director of New Business Development. She brings a proven track record for successfully driving sales and transformation initiatives in some leading brands including Yankee Candle, Samsonite, Montblanc, Godiva Chocolatier and Clinique. Her commitment to Village Candle’s mission of enhancing the lifestyles of customers, employees and supporting its communities has been a key to her re-engagement. “I am drawn to Village Candle Company because it is a family owned business focused on quality and innovation with an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Biggs.
“As we enter our 25th anniversary of making premium candles in Maine, it is exciting to assemble this talented team to help lead Village Candle into the next twenty-five years of bringing the experience of fragrance into our customers’ homes,” stated Aldrich.
Founded in 1993, Village Candle® is a manufacturer and multichannel retailer of quality fragranced candles, gifts and accessories, based in Wells, Maine.