Kacie Kicinski explained in a recent TikTok how a customer took issue with a candle label that included a reference to being discharged from the military, but this customer didn’t realize Kicinski is a veteran herself.
Kicinski, who is the daughter of the owner of candle shop Malicious Women Co., has posted dozens of videos about “Karens” who come to the store — a nickname given to people who behave in an irrationally entitled manner. They even have a board in the store where they keep count, which also notes how many days it has been “since our last Karen.”
This latest TikTok, which has been viewed over 470,000 times, was the tale of Karen number 149.
Kicinski explained that a group of people came to the store and they didn’t seem like they would be an issue. They appeared to be enjoying the irreverent candle labels, which say things like “Every Great Mom Says The F Word,” “Not Today, Mansplainer,” and “Fuck Your Abortion Law!”, until one member of the group came up to her.
This woman, Kicinski said, thought a certain candle label was “making fun” of military veterans.
The candle in question is called “DD-214 — Infused with ‘An Identity Crisis'” on the Malicious Women Co. website. It is a reference to the paperwork veterans receive when they are discharged from the military, otherwise known as a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
“It’s ‘infused with an identity crisis’ because when you spend some time in the military and you get out, it takes a little while to kind of find out who you are again, because nobody’s there telling you who you are,” Kicinski explained.
Kicinski said the woman told her she was “an actual military wife” and “it is not cool to make fun of our service members and the issues that they go through.”
“I then told her that nobody is making fun of anybody,” Kicinski said. “A big part of our brand is to use humor, and sometimes dark humor, to normalize and talk about some of the real things and the real issues that people go through. Candles are just the vessel that we use to do that.”
The woman continued, saying she didn’t think the candle was funny, and Kicinski had “no right” to speak about such topics. She then left the store saying “she would be taking her business elsewhere.”
Little did this woman know, Kicinski had a military background herself.
“What I could have done was show her my office and let her know that I did four years and two deployments in the Navy,” Kicinski said, showing the certificates hanging on the wall. “But sometimes it’s just easier to let the negative energy take care of itself and leave the store, and make fun of them on TikTok.”
Malicious Women Co. was set up by Kicinski’s mother, Lacie Marsh-Carroll, in 2017, after losing her best friend to depression and suicide a year prior. A cut of each candle sale is donated to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Washington’s The Daily Herald reported.