Meet Milan Candles Founder & CEO, Luis Garcia, Who Is Using Candles To Help End Sex Trafficking

Luis Garcia defies convention in his approach to business. A Philadelphia native and US Army combat veteran, Garcia used his street smarts and military knowledge to become a self-taught entrepreneur. His unique business strategies and commitment to goals have led to the formation of his two companies, Red Wolf and Milan Candles.

Garcia is the CEO and founder of digital marketing production company, Red Wolf and social impact candle company, Milan Candles. The proceeds of Milan Candles fund “Milan’s Mission,” an initiative to rescue and rehabilitate individuals impacted by sex trafficking.

Haute Living sat down with Garcia to talk about the heart-centered mission of Milan Candles, his journey as an entrepreneur, and his vision to build businesses that leave a lasting positive impact.

Why did you start Milan Candles?

Milan’s mission to end sex trafficking came first for me. I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on individuals who, in my opinion, did not have enough support. That was my driving force. I also knew I didn’t want to rely on government funding or grants of any kind to fund the mission so we could offer real support unencumbered by politics or other forms of red tape. That’s when I decided to start a product-based business to fund it myself. I always liked candles—when I was younger my mom sold products for Avon so we would always have candles around the house. I liked that they represented self-care and self-love and decided that candles would be the vehicle that would drive my mission forward. After that, I went all in to produce the best candle I could.

How important is the social impact of the company?

Very important. We’re a mission-driven company, which means the mission comes first for us. Our aim is to help make the world a safer place, and we try to highlight that in every interaction you have with us—through the stories we tell in our emails, the details on our logo, the scents, and the angel numbers we use for each candle. We want Milan Candles to be your Haven—a reminder that you’re safe, that you’re allowed to love yourself and that with us, you’re free to be whoever you want regardless of your past.

What was your journey to becoming an entrepreneur?

My journey wasn’t your typical story. I went from being a broke kid with limited possibilities, in North Philadelphia to joining the US Army. I had a daughter already and a second one on the way, and that’s when I decided I wanted to do something else with my life. At the time I wasn’t sure what, so I took my cell phone and jumped on Instagram. Initially, I was just searching for mentors who could help guide me, and in that pursuit, I started building up my personal brand and connecting with entrepreneurs and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. I remember during my deployment in Afghanistan, during every break or while everyone else was sleeping or eating, I’d be on my phone talking to these people and making money by consulting with them on how to grow their brands and their communities. It wasn’t long before I attracted prominent clients like Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Penske, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Rolls Royce. That’s when I left the Army and decided to start my media company, Red Wolf Entertainment.

What advice do you have for others looking to become entrepreneurs?

The one thing I would say is don’t listen to people who tell you to be realistic. In my opinion, realistic is just a reflection of what you’re willing to work for. If I had stopped to be realistic, I’d probably be dead or stuck in a minimum wage job with zero prospects right now. My goal for Milan Candles is to impact a billion lives—I want Milan’s Mission to go out and conduct the raids and create a haven for individuals that we rescue where they have a real chance to heal and I still have people telling me that’s an unrealistic goal (even after building two successful businesses). I don’t listen to those opinions because I know how hard I’m willing to work for this. I know what this mission means to me and how much it’s going to help people. So, my advice to anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur is to trust yourself to put in the work, to be disciplined, and to find a way to make your goals the new benchmark for what people see as realistic.

What do you see for the future of your businesses?

Growth. In all ways. Right now, we’re working on scaling Milan Candles into a billion-dollar company so we can drive Milan’s Mission. The same goes for all of my companies. Each one will help to support Milan’s Mission in some way, shape or form. Beyond that, I also see us disrupting the luxury candle market and taking our company to the next level. We will not be just another candle company but we will be a beacon of hope.*

For more information and to order Milan Candles, visit their website here.


Written in partnership with Milan Candles