KC man who struggled with suicidal thoughts starts candle company to help other with mental illnesses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- From darkness to light: That's the message of one local candle company -- but it's not all about candles.

The Crumble Co. has created a so-called "crumble family," hoping to help people overcome mental health issues.

“I was at the end of a three-year relationship at like 17, 18," now 21-year-old Brandon Love said. "That's a big chunk of your life, and so it had mental effects on me. A lot of stuff I didn't know how to deal with, and I wasn't taught how to deal with.”

In 2015, Love started his anti-suicide and pro-joy candle company, The Crumble Co., in Baltimore, Maryland.

“It launched on my mother`s kitchen table,” Love said.

He was in a dark place and became suicidal.

Brandon Love

“I took that energy after a suicidal attempt that didn't go through, obviously, thankfully, and I started making candles,” Love said.

He just wanted to stay busy to take his mind off things. Love asked his mom to help him.

“The pain that he was going through, as a mother, goes through it, too,” Love’s mom, Darlene Troutner, said.

After each putting in $50 for supplies, the business took off. Then Love picked up and moved to Kansas City for a fresh start.

“It felt like a place I could come and heal and find myself,” the 21-year-old said.

But this company is much more than just candles. Love said it's a huge community of love, light, acceptance and kindness.

“It's not just about the candles. It's about the love we put into them,” Troutner said.

“We have this huge group on Facebook called the Crumble Family, and it's Facebook's largest 24/7 emotional support group," Love said. "And we just talk about coping mechanisms, and we talk about ways to heal through hard things or a platform for people to vent.”

Love said it's just like a candle. It can either be dark or give off light -- and it's up to you to choose darkness or light.

“We're always showing the hashtag #BeTheOneTo," Love said. "Be the one to reach out. Be the one to rise up. Be the one to ask questions, talk to people and discuss these things because they should be normalized in discussions. We're all going through it every day."

And Love's hard work has made his mom proud.

“I'm so proud of him that I glow during the day when I'm in here," Troutner said. "I'm like, 'Yeah, this is my son.'"

“Crumble Co. is everything I wish I would have had when I was in my darkest era,” Love said. “When you sit down on that fountain of things you've created, it's hard to be anything but happy.”

Love said the company is continuing to grow. They've gone global, shipping to many countries. They even have a subdivision in the United Kingdom with the same anti-suicide, pro-joy message.

Suicide Help Information

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.