1.How old is your business now? 2 ½ years old
2. Has your business changed dramatically since you first imagined? Yes it has grown rapidly in the past two years, it’s a dream.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced? Working from home, massively difficult. When it takes over my kitchen, diner, utility, garage & spare room, it’s a lot of pressure a s a family and impossible to create a good work/life balance, currently trying to find a studio/warehouse ASAP.
4. Tell us what a normal day looks like for you? As I have youngish kids my day starts at 7 for the school run, I turn the wax on if I’m pouring, few hours housework then prep for the pouring. I prep one day(wicking up, wax Fragrance oil calculations, lay out jars, clamshells) then pour on days 2,3 & 4. School run and after school clubs most nights, I tend to work til after midnight when it’s quieter.
5. Which of your products do you enjoy creating the most? My main candle range hasn’t changed since day 1 so I always love pouring my 30cl. My favourite jars are my raindrops, I love boxing these as gifts, a real statement.
6. Who would you most like to meet in business? I’d love to meet the home fragrance buyer for John Lewis, Harvey Nichols & Selfridges if I was to really dream big.
7. What advice do you have for a younger self? To believe in myself and maybe be less shy, people generally don’t bite.
8. Has building a candle business been easier or harder than you thought? Way harder than I could ever have imagined, crazy unsociable hours and £1000’s spent of testing new fragrances and products. I find social media hard too. In my personal life I wouldn’t use it but I rely on it for business.
9. How many hours a day do you spend on your business? It depends on what jobs I have on, sometimes I can do a few hours in a day to keep it ticking over, but I have period I work from 9am til midnight if I’m working towards deadlines for days on end, my husband and mum really help with childcare and chores.
10. What inspired you to start a business? Jo did, after doing her courses and seeing her business flourish I really wanted to follow in her footsteps.
11. What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own candle business? If you’re waiting for perfection before releasing your candle range, you’ll never release anything. You’ll never ‘feel’ ready so just close your eyes and take the leap of faith.
12. What is your current favourite scent? Tobacco Vanille is my favourite candle, diffuser scent it’s warm and smoky. I love the Rosemary and eucalyptus too, so fresh.
13. Do you enjoy all aspects of running your own business? I love the practical side, I love getting to know my customers but I really struggle with paperwork. I can get overwhelmed trying to keep on top of things.
14. How do you take time out for yourself? I really need silence sometimes just to clear my head and regroup. I love bubble baths and a good book, although I don’t get to do this as much as I’d like. Having some time on my own is what I need to keep calm and keep any anxiety at bay. At night I like to listen to sleep meditations. I have just started playing the sax too so I’m enjoying that as some ‘me time’
15. 5 words to describe your business? Luxurious, Elegant, Boutique, Friendly, unique.
16. How did you come up with your business name? I loved the 2 opposite words, I have two opposite ranges black and white It reflects me and my personality, I love all things black, quite rocky, leather, Doc Martens, but I’m a girly girl too.
17. How long did it take from starting your Build a candle business course and selling your first candle? I completed the beginners course November 2018 and the Advanced January 2019, sold my first candles for Mother’s Day March 2019. I started small with 4 fragrances, Candles and matching diffusers in my luxury gift boxes, so I sold out of 30 boxes for Mother’s Day.
18. Did you have any candle experience before starting? No previous candle making experience prior to completing the courses, apart from spending lots of money buying candles.