Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brody Major, Founder of Asher, located in Toronto, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Asher is a boutique hand-poured candle company based in Toronto, Ontario. Our customers are design-obsessed and have a love for all things olfactory.
Tell us about yourself
By day, I am an executive at a Toronto marketing firm called Blue Door Agency. By night I am working to craft unique scents and styles for Asher. My background is in brand design and marketing, and I have always wanted to have a hobby that was in the candle/scent space. When COVID hit, I used a lot of my spare time at home to finally kickstart my obsession and share them with the world. Every day, scents are ever-changing and complex, so it's a great escape for me to be in the lab working on new designs and scent profiles for our candles, room sprays, lotions, and more.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As with any business owner, you feel a lot of big accomplishments throughout your career, but they also come with a lot of fail-forward moments that sometimes, as they happen, are not the easiest to digest. I have sold companies and met incredible people, and I am grateful for that. However, I would say today that my biggest accomplishment has been the ability to say no. Say no to a product that I feel is not ready or up to brand standard, say no to partners and vendors that don't believe in the vision, etc., because it's hard to say no. So I know that when I say YES, it's because it has been thought out, benefits the company, benefits the customers, and everyone wins.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are plenty, but you have to adapt at the end of the day. Whether your sales aren't where you want them to be, when you want them to be there, production issues, etc., you need to adapt to the place you are in today and apply forward-thinking about how not to be in those positions in the future as best as you can.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Think like the customer you're going after. Do I want this? Why do I want this? What brand am I supporting (on the inside, not just the outside)
- Develop a brand that is going to scale with you. If you're in the candle space today, and that opens up possibilities to broaden your product range into other non-candle products, then prepare the brand for that. Build the brand strategy, customer profiles, and visual identity - GO.
- Prepare for the marathon, not the 100m race. Great businesses take time; we can't all be TikTok sensations overnight. Come with a mindset that your first year is going to be a lot of work and a lot of learning curves. If you have the persistence and the ability to say no, you'll be well on your way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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