Behind the Scenes of “Annie’s Joy”

Greg Butler was sitting in Timothy Jay’s candle shop in Los Angeles when he thought, “Oh my god, what if we make a candle for Annie?” He returned to the Ann Reinking Fundraising Committee to share his idea, and everyone was on board. After Tim, who adores Annie, and Peter Talbert, Annie’s husband, agreed to make the candle, it was time to get to work.

So far, Greg and Tim have made nearly 100 candles to honor Ann Reinking. The candle’s name, “Annie’s Joy,” was inspired by a quote Ann used to always say: “The Joy is in the Work.” This unique candle is available for purchase until December 31st, and 75% of the proceeds directly support the Ann Reinking Scholarship Program at Off The Lane.

Photo by Greg Butler

Greg, who will be celebrating his 25th anniversary of working on the historic Broadway show Chicago The Musical in February 2022, has also been working at Timothy Jay Candles for the past seven years when he’s not in New York City. “It’s been the job that I do when I’m not doing the job that I do,” he said.

Tim started making candles in his kitchen, a creative endeavour that became his business for the past 26 years. Greg was introduced to Tim through a mutual friend, and the two have been working together ever since. “[Greg] is our master bow-tie-r,” said Tim.

As a native New Yorker, Tim made many friends in the Broadway community, including Leonard Bernstein, whom Tim referred to as “Lenny” during our interview. In the clip below, he talks more about his love for Broadway.

Greg said he eagerly listens to stories from Tim while they’re making candles together, saying that Tim is a rolodex of information about New York and old Hollywood. “It’s amazing that this side job turned into something that I love and respect so much,” said Greg. Both of their worlds have collided with this candle for Ann Reinking.

In the clip below, Tim talks about his favorite part about creating “Annie’s Joy.”

Tim puts great care into his candles, making sure he selects the right wax and wicks that make for the most quality candles. For Greg, this was his first time starting a candle from scratch. Below, he describes the process of creating the scent for “Annie’s Joy.”

Photo by Greg Butler

Greg loves to be creative wherever he can, and being a part-time candlemaker has allowed him to use his creativity in a completely different way. “Working at Timothy Jay’s taught me that my creativity is boundless,” he said. In collaboration with the Ann Reinking Fundraising Committee, Greg was responsible for the design of the box, from creating the copy of the insert to hand-selecting photos of Annie.

He said it has helped with the grieving process, and he elaborates more in the clip below.

In the midst of the holiday season, the “Annie’s Joy” candle is not only the perfect gift for someone who enjoys floral scents, but it’s also a way for those who were touched by Ann Reinking to honor her legacy, spirit, and joy. In the final clip below, Greg shares the impact he hopes this candle will bring to its buyers.