4 Lessons I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Candle Business

Where it all began…

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

I was living in Brooklyn, NY when I purchased my first soy candle making kit at Michael’s. I’m pretty sure I was in there because my 40% off coupon was expiring that day. I figured I love soy candles, I’m a queen of serial DIY projects and up until that point handcrafted soy candles was something I surprisingly had never tried. And starting a business let alone a soy candle business was never my intention.

I just wanted to make soy candles.

After a few months, I got really good at making candles, wax tarts and mixing different scents including essential oils. I got my hands on a few books and I even took an inexpensive soy candle making class on Groupon. I learned about all the great properties and benefits of burning soy candles as opposed to other traditional waxes.

I enjoyed making candles on the weekends and I often gifted them to my roommate and friends back home in Florida but it never crossed my mind to start selling my soy candles. My roommate’s friend suggested I sell my candles on Etsy. But I had no idea what an Etsy was or what it did.

It wasn’t until 6-8 months later when I moved back to Florida and ran into a friend from college, who told me she sold her handmade tote bags on Etsy. She also encouraged me to open an account to start selling my candles. So I took a leap of faith and grabbed a few old edition business 101 books from my local library and I launched my soy candle line on Etsy June of 2016.

And. It. Was. Work.

It was exciting because I was creating my soy candles, taking mini photoshoots (you can see here), editing videos to market (you can watch that over here) and I was strategizing the look and feel of the brand. You know all the fun stuff. Well, at least to me it was.

But the business aspect, mmmhh not so much fun.

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

As exciting that journey was it was also daunting and stressful. I had not one clue what I was doing. But I am so grateful, now, to have survived those rough patches.

In retrospect, I was thriving creatively and I effortlessly develop the brand for my soy candle line. After all thanks to my social media pages, I was afforded the opportunity to do my first huge pop-up collaboration at a Disney Springs store in Orlando, FL. And I am proud and humbled to say that that was only after being in business for a month.

On the same token, I definitely avoided surveying the areas I might have been weak in, as far as maintaining a business goes.

I waited too late to reach out for help.

And in result, I failed my soy candle business.

I can reflect back now and to see where I dropped the ball. Consistency and planning were my two downfalls.

It’s been a bittersweet lesson that I’m now taking on to the new journey ahead. But before I do…

 

 

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Here are 4 lessons I wish I knew before starting my soy candle business:

1. Do More For The People That Support You And Your Products.

Queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

” Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value” – Wallace Wattles

I’ve added this first lesson as a personal value as well as a template for how I do business.

It can be something small as interacting with potential customers while passing out samples of your products that have an affirmation or a witty little joke that can put a smile on their face. At the end of the day, people are the reason why business can run therefore you want to find a way to connect with another being in addition to providing a service or product.

 


La Nouba by Cirque Du Soleil

2. Shamelessly promote your products

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

 

This is your vision that you have executed and you have every right to promote your accomplishments!

I had to remind myself this so many times. I used the excuse of being an introvert so many times out of fear to promote the soy candles that I made out of love.

If I could do it all over, I would plan out 3 tasks for the week that I could commit to. On Monday I would design a simple ad on PicMonkey and I would pin it on my Pinterest board and share it on my Instagram. On Wednesday, I would offer a 10%off coupon with the code called #wcw (woman crush Wednesday). I would encourage everyone to share the code or purchase an item for their #wcw! And Friday I would carry samples and business cards and leave on my co-worker’s desk as a token of my appreciation.


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3.Work with local stores in your hometown

 

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle BusinessI kick myself each time I think about this. I frequent several mom and pop restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques in my hometown. I don’t know, for the life of me, I didn’t reach out to do a one-day pop-up event at their stores. I wish I would have worked my way through local shops first.

Although I was blessed to get my candles in a huge store in Disney Springs, I couldn’t interact with my potential customers. Heck, I didn’t know who they were. I think as a newbie it’s important to make presence visible along with your product. People love to connect a friendly face with a product. Handmade made products have made a sexy comeback after all.

 

 

 

 


 

4. “No Such Thing As Failure Only Feedback”.

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

 

One of the few things I did do right was that I kept a notebook during the time I was “running” my soy candle business. I journaled what was working and what wasn’t working anymore. My disconnect was that I didn’t know how to come up with a concrete plan b. Or to simply ask for help.

I would do it differently by accepting when something is just not working. Instead of beating myself up, I would take it in as a feedback that x,y, and z may not work for this particular task but here is an opportunity for me to reach out for help. This can be a win-win because I can form great relationships which translate to networking.

So in hind site, failing in my first business has now provided me great feedback that I can apply to my new adventures. But who knows, maybe this can be a comeback *thinking emjoi face here*

queendomlife.com | How To Start A Handmade Soy Candle Business

 

 

Let’s Keep In Touch!

Other than the comment section on my blog posts, you can connect with me over on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest (& please feel free to follow) or you can reach me by email at info@queendomlife {at}.com.

If you are a chandler (fancy word for candle a maker) and you have more questions on starting a soy candle business, please subscribe to the blog and ask away. Who knows, I just may make an entire blog post for you boo!

xo, 

Jesula


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