Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Kuhles, founder of Artistscent, LLC., located in Tinton Falls, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Artistscent is a new luxury scented candle brand that partners with visual artists to bring their art to a new dimension through scent. We work closely with our artists, bringing their fragrance vision for each painting to life, resulting in a multi-sensory candle experience. Our customers are candle lovers that appreciate expertly crafted, high-performing fragrances in beautiful and unique vessels. We are a small family business operating in New Jersey, and all of our candles, packaging, and components are made in the US and sourced from other small US businesses. We are eco-friendly in that everything we use is recyclable or reusable.
Tell us about yourself
Four years ago, my husband and I purchased an original painting as the centerpiece of our new home. One day while admiring it, I thought, "how would this beautiful art smell from the artists' perspective?" At that moment, Artistscent was born. Having spent four decades in the fragrance creation business, I have been an integral part of the launching of hundreds of successful scented products, from fine colognes to luxury scented candles and everything in between. I have had the honor to collaborate with some of the most talented Perfumers and Evaluators in the business. This is what led me to work with incredible artists to design custom scents that express their fragrance vision for each piece of art. Our ultimate goal and daily motivator are to build a successful family business where we can continue to employ current and future family members, including those that are disabled.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment is that we have been able to develop and produce beautiful, unique, and custom candles in a challenging supply chain environment. Our artists and suppliers are really strong partners with relationships based on mutual trust and respect. We are very proud of our products, high-quality standards, and customer service and believe this is what sets us apart from large candle companies.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Scaling a self-funded business online, gaining brand recognition, and building a consumer base have been hard and a constant learning curve. Staying positive with the constant curve balls and challenges, especially now, is hard and a very different experience from my previous career experience working for corporations.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your market. Make sure you are aware of the competition and understand where you fit in the competitive landscape.
- Know your numbers. You can't make decisions about what to do in your business unless you know your costs.
- Always have a plan B and be ready to pivot- be prepared for the curve balls that will inevitably come, especially now. Whether it be supply chain, finding help, inflation effect, etc., have a backup plan on what you will do when unexpected things happen.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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