Helping a dream come true in Chelsea
Each candle Roy Marchetti and his mother, Jennifer, hand-pour and create inside their Chelsea home carries with it a scent and look that makes it special for many reasons.
Not only do their sales help support his Special Olympics team, but they’ve also helped Roy see one of his dreams come true.
“It feels amazing. I have my own business,” said Roy during a recent interview with The Sun Times News inside the Chelsea Young Adult Program building in downtown.
“I’ve had this dream since I was a little kid,” he said with a smile that is evident in his eyes and voice, even with a mask covering it.
Roy is 22 years old. He lives with his mother, father as well as his sister and her husband in Chelsea.
Seeing his dream come true with a business that is truly a family affair was a big moment for him. He saw a lot of difficult moments in life in trying to work a “regular job” but they never worked out for him, which left him feeling down.
Roy has several disabilities, his mother said, that have led to different challenges in life.
They are: High functioning Autism, Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type, ADHD and a mood disorder.
His mother says he has struggled a lot with these disorders, but with help from his teachers, coaches and psychiatrist he has fought his way through it.
“I think it's hard for Roy sometimes because to meet him you might not ever guess he has the disabilities that he does,” she said. “But they're there, he hides it well. He wants to be like everyone else. He knows he should have a full time job at this age or be going to college, but with his disabilities it's just too hard for him.”
One place he had found a connection has been with his Special Olympics team. It was there with his teammates and coaches that his confidence grew as he participated in such events as hockey, where he plays a heck of a goalie.
“It’s been so much fun,” he said.
Another place that helped his confidence was at Chelsea High School’s Independence Hall. He and his mother both cite teachers Saundra Dunn and Katy Fillion as having an awesome impact on him.
“They were huge,” his mother said.
Roy can be described as goodhearted and caring. His mom said he enjoys telling jokes, and he loves Civil War history and Abraham Lincoln. He’s also a 4th degree knight in the Knights of Columbus, along with his dad, Norman Marchetti.
“Another thing about Roy was at the end of his second senior year (in Independence Hall at the High School the kids can choose to go an extra year) he was voted “The Most Likely to Say Please and Thank You.” We were very proud of him for that,” his mom said. “And honestly we continue to be proud of him every day because he battles daily with his disabilities.”
Now he has taken another positive step in his life with the Twisty Wick Candle Company, where he can be home working with his mom and in turn helping to bring a smile to others with his creations.
The candle idea took root when his mother was trying to think of something for Roy to do to get him some money.
And also “give him something to give him some self value,” his mom said.
“Wasn't worried about him being rich or anything, just something that he could do to earn some money and feel good about himself,” she said.
It was during a conversation with Lynae MacLellan of Devil’s Haircut salon that the idea popped up. MacLellan was telling her about the art bar she was thinking about opening up (The Crazy Diamond in Chelsea), which got Jennifer thinking.
“I crochet and knit, and I've always liked candles,” Jennifer said. “I had an Etsy page with my daughter for awhile where she was making handmade soaps and I was making candles. So I told Lynae my idea and asked her if it was something she would be interested in selling at her art bar. She said yes, but it would have to vibe with her vision so they would have to be colorful. So we made them swirled with colors.”
When she asked Roy about starting a candle business with her, he was very excited and eager to do it.
“I never thought I would be doing something like this, but it’s been amazing,” he said.
It's also been nice because they do it together.
They are an artsy, crafty family, so it’s been a fun experience for everyone in the house. Roy’s older sister Elizabeth, who also suffers with an Anxiety with Panic Attack disorder, works from home on TikTok making her own watercolor paints. She also makes stickers and prints of her artwork.
She has helped out with the creation of the candle labels.
The candles have been a hit. Ten percent of all of the candles proceeds at the Crazy Diamond go to Roy’s Special Olympic team.
Going forward, he and his mother want the community to know the story behind these unique, locally-made creations and they also want people to know that each person also has their own story.
“There’s something out there for everyone,” Roy said.
“One thing I think is important for you to know, is like I said before, to meet Roy you might never guess he suffers with disabilities and mental health issues,” Jennifer said. “So I think it's important for people to be nice to one another because you just don't know what someone else is going through.”
With a smile behind his mask, Roy ended the interview with the STN by saying he would tell anyone that…
“Don’t think you can’t do anything.”
To see and buy a candle, you can visit The Crazy Diamond at 110 N. Main Street or contact Roy and Jennifer at TwistyWickCandleCo@gmail.com. They will soon have items on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/TwistyWickCandleCo.
To see some of his sister’s creations go to etsy.com/shop/BethMarchettiArt or on TikTok @beth.marchetti, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.