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Breast cancer survivor sees major community support for her business during the pandemic

Matt and Cari .jpg
Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 18:56:29-05

CARMEL — In a time of darkness, a Carmel mom decided to find a way to bring light to her own life and give back to others.

Cari Hahn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

“When you go through treatment it’s hard and it becomes a full-time job,” Cari said. “That year I had chemo, radiation, and surgery I probably went to the hospital at least over 70 times”

After finishing treatment, she couldn’t sleep well. That led to her being up in the middle of the night looking at Pinterest. She decided then to use her degree in art therapy to make candles.

“She was in a dark space and this was a wonderful place while she was dealing with cancer to focus her energy and to give to others,” Cari’s husband, Matt Hahn, said.

In 2019, she launched her business Karma Candles and Kinds.

“Of course, 2020 affected a lot of businesses. A lot of my business is in person because I am selling candles," Cari said. "You want to see them, you want to smell them, and you want to touch them. Once the pandemic hit, I looked at my husband and I said 'Oh no everything’s been canceled I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to pivot.'”

For the first few months, business was slow, and it was hard to get supplies. Suddenly, the support from Hoosiers started pouring in.

“So many people were burning candles since they were home and just wanted their homes to feel nice and cozy during this time," Cari said. "My business has probably quadrupled, it’s been crazy busy."

Customers began requesting more products, so Cari teamed up with her husband to create a candle line for men called Clutch and Kindle. They donate 10% of all proceeds to local charities.

“With Clutch and Kindle and being an Indianapolis firefighter we were able to donate to Hoosier Burn Camp which helps young children go through life and have a wonderful event where they could be with other kids like them," Matt said. "As it unfolds it’s beautiful."

For Cari, she gets joy in helping other cancer patients who are going through a dark time in their lives.

“Last year I had three women that came to me the days they shaved their head, they came to me and wanted to buy my products," Cari said. "That’s why I did this, I wanted to show people that there’s hope and there’s light even if you’re in a dark time there’s always hope."

You can find Karma Candles and Kinds at local retailers and at the Noblesville Farmers Market.