Vancouver Candle Co. announced Friday evening its founder and former creative director Nick Rabuchin is stepping down following harassment allegations that included racism and threats of physical violence.
The candle-maker issued a lengthy apology in the form of six consecutive Instagram posts where Rabuchin outlined the steps he’s taking to make amends.
This comes after multiple women allege they were harassed after ending business relationships with the candle company. Daily Hive broke that story in June, and the Vancouver Police Department confirmed they were investigating the allegations.
For Christina McDaniel, one of the women who alleges she was harassed, the company’s apology is too little too late.
“It’s nice that he apologized in general. But there’s still a pending criminal harassment case, and he hasn’t apologized to the women he [allegedly] tormented,” she said.
The alleged harassment included an anonymous text with a racial slur sent to a former sales agent, an anonymous message threatening physical violence against a former assistant, and attempts to coerce other businesses to cut ties with a former marketing specialist.
McDaniel also shared a message she received from Rabuchin referring to a store owner they worked with that used anti-Semitic language.
When these allegations first surfaced, Rabuchin announced he was stepping away from the company that is co-owned by his husband Farouk Babul. Now, Rabuchin is officially renouncing his role with the company.
“Our company has and will always stand for diversity and inclusivity, and racial slurs, hate and violence is not tolerated at Vancouver Candle Co.,” the company said on Instagram July 3.
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Read Vancouver Candle Co.’s full statement below:
From Vancouver Candle Co.
Since the June 9, 2020 apology post, the Company’s Co-Founder & Creative Director has stepped down. Our company has and will always stand for diversity and inclusivity, and racial slurs, hate and violence is not tolerated at Vancouver Candle Co. These values hold true to our management team and employees, our agents and contractors, retailers and social supporters. That said, actions speak louder than words and we wanted to update you on the life-changing work that Nick is doing and how he is following through on the promises he made. His personal work is far from over and he is getting the help that he requires.
Healing is done in layers
“I struggle with deep inner turmoil and my emotions can many times be raw and painful – this was the traumatic awakening that I needed to seek help. The first step I have taken is completing an intensive sensitivity training course and I am enrolled in weekly therapy sessions. I am learning how to manage my emotions, tolerate distress and improve my relationships.”
“I have read each and every message and fully acknowledge the consequences of my actions, and am truly sorry. My heart breaks when I think of how I have let down the Vancouver Candle Co. family – not just the company that I built, but also my husband, the employees and retailers – and I am deeply saddened by the emotional and financial suffering that they are experiencing. I know that my healing and change doesn’t stop here and ask that you keep me accountable in the future.” – Nick
I know I need to do better
“I am learning and listening to Black voices through social media, podcasts, TEDx talks and Black stories, I now realize that I need to spend my time being committed to abolishing all forms of racial hate rather than defending or convincing others that I am not racist. The real works goes beyond social media and I am committed to using every channel, every resource, and every conversation to continue my anti-racism work.” – Nick
To the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver:
“I am sincerely apologetic for my actions and welcome the opportunity to listen, learn and be a better person. My comments are unacceptable, hurtful and contrary to the values of the Company. Personally and professional, I am truly sorry and deeply remorseful. Racism has never been and will never be tolerated at Vancouver Candle Co. I hope we can build a bridge and amend relationships with the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.” – Nick
Sent by email on June 15, 2020
To Ms. Rothman:
“I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the vulgar, offensive and anti-Semitic messages that have come to light in social media in recent days. They came out of anger and frustration, and are completely out of character. As a person of Jewish decent, they are hurtful to my family, community and most importantly, to you and your family” – Nick
Sent by email June 15, 2020