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WSFS Loves Small Businesses: Shane & Pepper Candle Company Spreads Love and Acceptance Through Candles That Serve a Purpose

running-a-business | Read Time: 3 minutes

By Eric Springer | Published: November 2021


Through December 16, WSFS Bank and FOX 29 are teaming up each week to honor a small business in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region that lifts the spirits of others by going above and beyond to serve their customers and communities. WSFS Bank is proud to provide Shane & Pepper Candle Company with a $1,000 award, a live segment on FOX 29’s Good Day Philadelphia and Random Acts of Kindness for their customers as part of the WSFS Bank Loves Small Businesses Holiday Program.

What started as a fundraiser for a service dog for their son has turned into so much more for Brett and Marie Popiny.

They first began making soy candles in 2016 to help pay for their son, Shane’s, mobility service dog and were able to raise $17,000. Shane is a pediatric stroke survivor who has cerebral palsy and working with non-profit 4 Paws for Ability in Ohio, the family was able to bring Pepper into their family.

They chose candles for the fundraiser because when he was a baby and toddler, Shane loved to watch the glow of candles to help him feel calm when he was having a bad day. Shane wanted others to have that same feeling of calmness within their own homes.

These days, Pepper and Shane are inseparable. Pepper helps Shane up and down steps, opens doors for him, turns on lights, and even helps Shane take his sweatshirt off.

During the fundraiser, the candles we so popular that Shane had an ideaturn their candle making into a business that also gave back. The family set out to not only start up the business, but to provide a safe space for children with disabilities, somewhere they could go with no judgement but plenty of love, understanding and acceptance.

And in 2020, Shane & Pepper Candle Company was born. Their mission as a company is to educate the community about individuals who face the challenges of a disability and keeps moving forward. Each candle sold generates a $1.00 donation to 4 Paws for Ability to help children and adults with disabilities welcome their own service dog into their families.

On many days, Pepper can be seen at the store helping to provide comfort and joy for anyone who walks through Shane & Pepper Candle Company’s doors. Meanwhile, Shane is the first class president with a disability at his school with aspirations of attending Harvard Business Schoola young entrepreneur with plenty of spirit!

Check out Shane & Pepper’s Candle Company on Good Day Philadelphia!


About the Author – Eric Springer
Eric Springer is Assistant Vice President, Integrated Communications Manager at WSFS Bank. He brings more than 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and marketing for banking, professional services and nonprofit organizations.


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