1.How old is your business now?
Hand Poured by Jules is now 8 months old. I started making Wax Melts for my own use in January 2021 and started trading in March.
2. Has your business changed dramatically since you first imagined?
Absolutely! It started off as a little hobby to get me through the boredom of lockdown and then my family & friends started commenting on how good my melts were so I though why not……and now here I am with a website and adding to my product range.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
Probably juggling the day job and life (now the world has opened up again) around my wee business. I now don’t try to do everything at once and plan out my time for focussing on Hand Poured by Jules.
4. Tell us what a normal day looks like for you?
I am usually up early and start the day with an hour gym session at 6am then move onto the day job. I work full time for NatWest so that’s my focus from 7:30am, I try to finish no later than 5:30pm (doesn’t always happen though!) then I try to spend about an hour in the evening on Hand Poured by Jules – packaging up orders, catching up on my Instagram/Facebook/emails and testing candles. Then it’s bed around 10pm with a good book.
5. Which of your products do you enjoy creating the most?
I think I’d probably say candles although sometimes it is a bit of a love / hate relationship! Getting everything right and creating a candle that looks good, smells good and burns well is so satisfying.
6. Who would you most like to meet in business?
Oh, that’s a difficult one, there are so many people have inspired me at different times in my life. If I had to pick someone at the moment it would probably be Sara Davies. I love watching her on Dragon’s Den, I think she is so down to earth, and I was inspired by her story, starting her business Crafter’s Companion whilst at university which was turning over £500,000 by the time she graduated.
7. What advice do you have for a younger self?
Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Life is for living and do what makes you happy.
8. Has building a candle business been easier or harder than you thought?
Harder! Until I started making candle’s I had no idea how much there was to think about……which wax, wick, % Fragrance Oil, packaging, labelling, testing the list is endless. This is the reason I signed up to Jo’s ignite tribe not only is the course great but also so much advice & support from Jo and the other tribe members.
9. How many hours a day do you spend on your business?
I try to spend about an hour or two in the evening during the week and usually try to dedicate a day at the weekend to make my products.
10. What inspired you to start a business?
Hand Poured by Jules was born out of lockdown boredom making wax melts to pass the time and then the more I created the more I got passionate about it.
11. What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own candle business?
It’s not as easy as you might think it’s hard work to make a great candle and takes a lot of patience and testing to get there. Sign up to Ignite Tribe, there is a lot of information on the internet, but Jo’s course brings it all together in the one place and you can’t beat the 1:1 coaching, advice and encouragement from someone who has been there.
12. What is your current favourite scent?
I love so many different scents, but Coconut & Lime holds a special place in my heart as it was the first scent I worked with. I do have to say at the moment Myrrh & Tonka is a favourite though – I just love walking into a room and smelling it.
13. Do you enjoy all aspects of running your own business?
No, I hate paperwork!
14. How do you take time out for yourself?
Exercise is a big thing for me, and I go to a local women only gym and do 3 small group personal training sessions every week as well as running. I love socialising with family and friends, and I am a total foodie with a love for fine dining.
15. 5 words to describe your business?
Authentic, small, luxury, creative, personal
16. How did you come up with your business name?
It took me a while! Every name I came up with was already out there and I think to begin with I was overthinking it. I took a step back and thought what do I want to be known for, what’s my USP? It’s me I am the face and driving force behind the business – I make everything myself from my kitchen table, I package it up, I go to the post office, I follow up with customers so that’s where Hand Poured by Jules came from.
17. How long did it take from starting your Build a candle business course and selling your first candle?
I haven’t sold any candles yet! I started with Wax Melts and then moved onto making candles in June and have been working hard to perfect them since. They will be going live on my website in August.
18. Did you have any candle experience before starting? None. I bought a candle making kit a couple of years ago but hadn’t got round to trying it until start of 2021.