Our Story

Manitou Island

In 2015 Kate made candles for the guests of her Northern Michigan wedding. After her wedding, her friends and family continued to ask her to make them candles. She loves getting together with friends so she thought candle classes would be the perfect way to do both! And so, began Manitou Candle Co.

Growing up Kate spent her summers in Northern Michigan. She loved to visit the Manitou Islands in Leelanau County. A legend attributed to the Native Americans explains the origin of the Manitou Islands and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Long ago, the bear Mishe Mokwa and her two cubs sought to cross Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin shore to escape a great forest fire. The mother bear made it across, but sadly her twin cubs did not. The great spirit (Manitou) covered the cubs with sand to form the two Manitou islands. The mother bear lies and looks over her cubs as the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Manitou opened its doors in late 2016 as a place where friends could gather and share experiences while spending quality time together making their own custom candles. A lot has changed since then. Kate and her husband Jarod welcomed their son Louie in 2018 and moved to Mount Lookout in 2019. They welcomed their daughter in the summer of 2020. Throughout these changes, and more, Manitou has grown from a small workshop space to a popular local gift shop and candle company. However, it continues to be a place where friends and loved ones can get together to celebrate and spark joy.